Valve’s founder Gabe Newell has spoken up against embattled president Trump’s currently suspended travel ban, talking primarily about how, if the travel ban was reinstated, his employees would be unable to visit home as they would be stopped from returning to the United States.
The Valve boss also mentioned that teams playing in The International might struggle to get visas, which could have severe implications for the professional DOTA 2 scene, that Valve has a large part in arranging and organising.
"We have people who work at Valve who can’t go home. They’ve been here for years. They pay taxes. They cheer for New England in the Super Bowl and we try to not hold that against them," said Newell.
"They can’t leave the country. So, if there’s some event outside the country and for the first time we say ‘Wait, they can’t go because they can’t get back.’ That’s a problem, not just these hypothetical future employees, but actual Valve employees. Yeah, that’s a concern for us."
"If you’re an opera singer, it’s pretty easy to get a visa. The State Department understands who these people are. If you’re a Nobel Prize winner, they kind of know who you are," he continued, explaining that even the highest profile eSports stars simply don’t have the sort of global recognition enjoyed by members of other communities and industries."
Newell hinted at the possibility of relocating the yearly International event if players were struggling to get visas, an event which is one of the largest single game esports events in the world.