Saturday 24 February 2018

The video game tournament that tried to block gay and transgendered women

Gamers at E3
Gamers at E3

Emma Finamore

A video gaming company has backtracked on a ruling which limited tournament teams to just one gay or transgendered woman player.

Garena eSports – which runs gaming events across Southeast Asia – planned to implement the rule for its all-female Iron Solari League tournament.

The company planned the new rule because they wanted to “ensure a fair level playing field for all participants”.

It said in a statement: “There are arguments and concerns from other participants who dispute that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members may probably have some unfair advantage.”

Garena wanted to limit each team in its all-female tournament to “a maximum of one gay/transgendered woman for the entirety of the day” and gave some guidance to assist players:

“Therefore, teams cannot do the following: Team A’s first game will be 4 female members and 1 gay, then on Team A’s second game they will have 4 female members and replace with another gay or transgender member.”

Teams were warned that if they broke the new rules, they would be subject to a year-long ban on all Garena events, which caused both anger and amusement online.

After the new rule was roundly ridiculed online, Garena backtracked in a second statement.

“After discussing the ruling with our partners and re-examining our approach, we have decided to remove these restrictions completely,” the company said.

“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.”

Independent News Service

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