It appears that long-standing rivalry between foreign esports teams and Athletic VISA applications wages on.
As first reported on by OWBeacon (Chinese Overwatch fans reporting to a Western audience via Twitter), Chengdu Hunter DPS player Zhang “YangXiaoLong” Zhihao has had his VISA request denied while the rest of his team successfully entered the US without a problem. Former Miraculous Younger player and arguably one of the strongest players on the Chengdu Hunters team, it is a heavy blow to the Chinese esports organization.
In this post on the Chinese social media site, Weibo, the official Chengdu Hunters account posted photos of the team safely arriving in Los Angeles. They then followed up the picture posts with the following message about YangXiaoLong
While it is still unknown why YangXiaoLong had his VISA denied, it is sadly common in esports for this to occur arbitrarily, often times with no clear reason why. Due to how long it can take for an Atheletic VIAthleticsecured, there is a real risk that Chengdu Hunters might have to start Overwatch League Season 2 without YangXiaoLong.