Video game tournament wants to limit teams to one gay player each
An Asian video game company has apologised – after planning to limit teams to one LGBT player each during a tournament.
Competitive video gaming, known as eSports, is increasingly popular on the continent, with often-lucrative prizes available at major events.
Garena – which runs events across Southeast Asia for battle arena game League of Legends – had planned to implement the baffling rule for its all-female Iron Solari League tournament.
The rule had said: “Each team will be allowed to have a maximum of one (1) Gay/Transgendered woman for the entirety of the tournament day.
“Any team who has violated the above provision, regardless if intentional or otherwise, whether discovered during the day of the event or some time after, will have all their team members (the female members as well as the Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered women member) sanctioned with a 1- year ban on all Garena-organized events, including subsequent Iron Solari Tournaments.”
The company insisted that the perplexing rule was put in place because “there are arguments and concerns from other participants who dispute that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members may probably have some unfair advantage” – but the poor grasp of gender and sexuality has been mocked online.
Riot Games, which is the global developer and publisher of League of Legends, waded into the controversy to clarify: “LGBT players are welcome at official LoL tourneys. We’re working with partners to ensure consistency with our values across all regions.”
After Riot intervened, a second statement from Garena said: “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.”