Gay, transgender players restricted in 'League of Legends' tourney (update)

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Gay, transgender players restricted in 'League of Legends' tourney (update)

As eSports continue to grow so too will the walks of life who participate. That's something that a League of Legends tournament organizer in the Philippines has seemingly failed to realize with the announcement of its upcoming "all feminine" event dubbed The Iron Solari. In Garena Philippines' outline it says that it's having open discussions with members of the LGBTQ community about whether or not gay or transgendered women in particular should be allowed to participate. Why's that? Fears of an unfair advantage. Yes, really.


"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... 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 proposed rules would allow a maximum of one gay or transgendered woman to participate on a team for a single day. Meaning, there'd be no swapping a fresh teammate in or out for separate rounds as the day wore on. Fail to follow those rules? Team members will face sanctions and a one-year ban from all subsequent events. As Kotaku noticed, Riot Games (League of Legends' developer) tweeted that regardless of sexual orientation all are welcome at its tournaments and it's working with its partners to "ensure consistency with our values" wherever the game's played. Sounds like Garena's stance could need to change if it wants to continue its relationship with Riot.

Update: Well, that didn't take long: Garena's removed the restrictions it had in place. Now, any person that self-identifies as female is allowed to participate, and you can read Garena's full response right here.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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