|Syed Sumail Hassan|
Arsalan Ash Siddique, 23 years old player from Lahore, Pakistan, caused a stir in Fukuoka Japan when he defeated world's top players to win EVO championship in February, 2019, according to Asahi Shimbun. In his victory speech, Arslan acknowledged many unknown Pakistani players who are also quite strong but could not join the competition because they could not get the visa to travel to Japan.
It wasn't easy for Arsalan to reach Japan to participate in the contest. He had to jump through many hoops and travel through several transit countries each of which made it difficult for him. When he arrived at Haneda airport in Japan, he only had Pakistani rupees and no exchange would accept them. Hungry and tired he tried his luck at the food court but no one would accept the Pakistani currency. His next flight was from Narita airport an hour away by public transport. To travel he needed to buy a ticket but did not possess any local currency, according to SBS Urdu.
|Arsalan Ash Siddique (Center)|
Arsalan was exhausted and ready to give up his dream when he finally got through to his Japanese sponsors who helped him out. Needless to say he got no help from Pakistani diplomats through his challenging journey.
In spite of visa denials and other travel challenges faced by Pakistani players, the country ranks 25th in the world for players' earnings in 2019, according to esportsearnings.com. Ranked above Pakistan are mainly rich industrialized nations from North America, Europe and East Asia. All South Asian nations rank below Pakistan. Players from India rank 63rd, Sri Lanka 98th, Afghanistan 108th, Bangladesh 115th and Nepal 123rd.
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