Garena E-Sports, operator of League of Legends tournaments in Southeast Asia, has made an announcement concerning their upcoming all-female E-Sports league. Namely, that the number of LGBTQ players on participating teams will be limited as to prevent teams from gaining an “unfair advantage”.
Yes, apparently being LGBTQ makes you more adept at playing League of Legends, at least according to Garena. In an official statement released today, Garena said:
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.
The “unfair advantage” possibly afforded to LGBTQ players was not described, only that it is a very vocal concern from those attending League of Legends tournaments. In response to the possible danger of LGBTQ players completely stomping all of their inferior straight, cisgendered opponents, Garena made these rules for creating a female team:
1) Each team will be allowed to have a maximum of one (1) Gay/Transgendered woman for the entirety of the tournament day. 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.
2) 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 Tournament.
Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like this farce will stay in place much longer. Riot Games made this tweet concerning Garena’s backwards policies:
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
Hopefully Riot can get this policy thrown in the trash so we can all get back to just playing League of Legends.