Yesterday, it was reported that a Southeastern Asian game tournament, closely associated with League of Legends creator Riot, was restricting teams to one member who self-identified as a female.
Garena, the eSports tournament provider, posted its guidelines for an upcoming League tournament, named Iron Solari. The all-female tournament was trying to create an environment that would be deemed “fair” and that players with self-identifying females wouldn’t have an “unfair advantage” in the tournament.
“For any events we do, we always want to make sure we are able to have an inclusive environment where no one feels left out, and of course for everybody to enjoy. On this angle, we believed that allowing more to be eligible to join is obviously the answer and as many of our female teams have expressed — Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members are their friends too. On the other hand, for any competitions, we seriously look at ensuring there’s a fair level playing field for all participants. And there are arguments and concerns from other participants who disputes that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members may probably have some unfair advantage.”
Garena also went on to state that any player found to be lying about having more than one transgendered, lesbian, or bi player on the team would be subject to a one-year ban.
League of Legends creator Riot Games tweeted out a statement.
LGBT players are welcome at official LoL tourneys. We're working with partners to ensure consistency with our values across all regions.
— Riot Games (@riotgames) February 3, 2015
Naturally, that didn’t stop League players from voicing frustration on the issue.
”I kissed a girl and I liked it, so from that moment onward we gained magical video game powers beyond those of other women” #Garena
— Myke (@MykroftHolmes) February 3, 2015
It sickens me that even in 2015 the LGBT community is still being discriminated against #Garena
— Kerry (@laztiklock) February 4, 2015
Since the League of Legends tournament was announced, Garena has received considerable backlash. As a result, today the Philippines-based eSports company has updated its rules for the upcoming League of Legends tournament.
“Our initial ruling on LGBT player restrictions within the Iron Solari League has created a lot of good discussion and debate over the past 24 hours. After discussing the ruling with our partners and re-examining our approach, we have decided to remove these restrictions completely. This means that any player who self-identifies as female will be allowed to participate. We sincerely apologize for any offense we caused to the LGBT and gaming communities.”
League of Legends might be in hot water over the issue of restricting members of the LGBT community, but not every game community is so closed-minded. Dragon Age: Inquisition has been lauded for it’s creation and seamless integration of same-sex attracted and transgender characters, to the point where BioWare has been honored by GLAAD for its portrayal of LBGT characters. Also, recently the Inquisitr reported on DA:I Lead Writer David Gaider’s thoughts on creating gay characters for the series.
Have an opinion on an official League of Legends tournament originially excluding the LBGT community? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.