ESL bans one of the most prominent eSports teams.
The Electronic Sports League is one of the biggest organizations in eSports, holding major tournaments for games like Rocket League, Dota 2, and Hearthstone. Today, they’ve updated their official rules to cut ties with adult entertainment, including banning YouPorn-funded Team YP.
According to VentureBeat, ESL officials sent Team YP an email about new rules that have been enacted. These rules prohibit sponsors known for pornography or adult products.
While Team YP does not mention YouPorn by name in any of its branding or on their official website, they are funded by the adult website.
This isn’t the first incident Team YP has had with eSports organizations. Last year, Capcom removed the “YP” tag from sponsored players while they were featured on Ultra Street Fighter IV streams. This has continued to happen in 2016, presumably because Capcom wants to limit any association with YouPorn.
Team YP manager Claire Fisher has responded to this ruling, saying that it is unnecessarily prohibitive.
Stopping our players from competing because they are sponsored by us, in spite of Team YP operating as a completely SFW [safe for work] brand, clearly separated from any adult content, seems unfair to say the least.
This could affect sponsored players on Team YP. If they are banned from competition, they are cut off from making income through future gaming tournaments. ESL oversees many eSports tournaments for several games, and banning the team can impact them immediately.
ESL does have the final word on what teams it chooses to partner with, but Team YP members feel like removing them from one of the world’s largest eSports organizations is too harsh.
Evolve player Eril “YP_Nightwane” Djoehana summed up the team’s thoughts in his comments to GamesBeat.
We are well-treated by Team YP, and we are never pushed to promote or be linked to any mature content. I do not think there is any cause for this harsh punishment for a sponsor and team, especially since they are only trying to support the scene and its players.