posted by Matthew Elmas,
ru Team Empire has announced that they will play with a stand-in at the upcoming MLG LAN finals after ru Maxim 'yoky' Kim was unable to procure a visa on his second attempt. Empire have since told joinDOTA that they have enlisted the help of ua Gleb 'Funn1k' Lipatnikov for the finals at the MLG arena in Columbus next week.

Empire made the announcement on twitter earlier today, saying that the reasons given for yoky’s visa denials were poor.

"Sad news came to us from the embassy, friends. At the time we were happy that ALOHADANCE received an US visa... One of the leaders of our team, that competes on the position of an offlaner - Maxim "yoky" Kim was rejected at the US Embassy and will not be able to represent our team on JoinDOTA MLG Pro League lan-finals."

With the addition of Funn1k Empire have managed to fill their roster for the LAN; however this comes as a setback for the squad, who will be unable to showcase the strength of their full roster after placing second at the Major All-stars LAN finals last month.

This comes only a week after ru HellRaisers announced that they would forfeit their tiebreaker match versus world The Balkan Bears* because kz Dulat 'goddam' Seidimomyn was unable to obtain his own visa for the event, leading to BBC’s subsequent qualification for the LAN finals.

DOTA has a long history of visa-denials, especially concerning Southeast Asian and eastern European players. Most notably was ro Armand 'bOne7' Pittner’s repeated attempts to obtain a travel visa to the United states, with world Cloud9 resorting to employing an immigration lawyer to ensure his participation at The International 4.

The final itself will run from the 10th to the 12th of April at the MLG Arena in Columbus, OH. The likes of us Evil Geniuses, se Ninjas in Pyjamas*, ph Rave* and pe Not Today* will all compete for more than $75,000 USD. You can purchase a DOTATV ticket here.

This article was written by au Matthew Elmas, joinDOTA's senior writer. Matthew has been an e-sports fan since 2008 and is currently undertaking the second year of his university studies as a journslism major. He also manages the Southeast asian team Can't Say Wips. Location: Melbourne, AustraliaFollow him on @Moxjoo.