Home Gaming League of Legends tournament backtracks on discrimination against LGBTQ players

League of Legends tournament backtracks on discrimination against LGBTQ players

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I already get upset when I hear about all-female tournaments. They are fine as an added component of a tournament series, but I worry that they will marginalize women more than they will uplift them. However, this latest Garena tournament out of the Philippines has instituted such a disgusting policy that even Riot is horrified.

[Update] Garena has offered a response, saying they’ll lift the restrictions.

Our initial ruling on LGBT player restrictions within the Iron Solari League has created a lot of good discussion and debate over the past 24 hours. 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.

Our original intent when we put together this tournament was to promote diversity in the competitive gaming community. Hence, we are grateful to our players who have consistently provided their feedback to help us learn and improve as we strive to develop an inclusive gaming environment for all. We’ll also be keeping our promise of having an open dialogue with all parties as we plan this and future events

[Original Article follows]

According to Garena, they have had an open discussion with “various parties” including the all female teams who wished to take part in the Iron Solari League. They made the following judgement:

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.

Wait wait wait! LGBTQ members will have an unfair advantage? Are they assuming that due to their sexual proclivities these participants might have an unfair click per second ratio? Is there some form of dexterity that is only afforded to lesbian or transgender women?

As a result of this perceived advantage, each team will be allowed to have a maximum of one LGBTQ player for the entirety of the tournament day. But, it gets even worse.

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.

So, if a woman is unsure of her sexuality, or worried about coming out, she had better just stay in the closet – coming out could lead a year-long ban for her and the rest of her team. That is simply obscene and horrendous from the Garena team. Luckily, it doesn’t conform to Riot Games’ policies and they will hopefully be forced to change this ruling.

Poor form eSports! You should be better than this.

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Last Updated: February 4, 2015


  1. HairyEwok

    February 4, 2015 at 09:08

    The competitive gaming scene in SA towards female players is really positive. Last year at rAge I actually saw quite a number of females competing in the tournament and playing casually without discrimination towards them and this year there’s actually an all female clan in know of called the Vixens competing in the DGL.


    • Bravebelle

      February 4, 2015 at 10:10

      Tx so much for naming us here! We are V!x3NS and very proud to only be girls. The game is very different with only girls playing: a lot of laughing and screaming and most of all no raging. And we enjoy it tremendously! So girls, if your interested, join our clan.


    • Bravebelle

      February 4, 2015 at 10:10

      Tx so much for naming us here! We are V!x3NS and very proud to only be girls. The game is very different with only girls playing: a lot of laughing and screaming and most of all no raging. And we enjoy it tremendously! So girls, if your interested, join our clan.


  2. Tosh MA

    February 4, 2015 at 09:09

    This sounds familiar.

    “Hermaphro… Whatever. There is no word for this thing in my language.”


  3. Shas 'O Norm

    February 4, 2015 at 09:12



    • Leslie Gray

      February 5, 2015 at 07:28

      Narrow mindedness is what is disgusting.


  4. Hammersteyn

    February 4, 2015 at 09:12

    Well lesbians are quite adapt at clicking buttons 😛 Kudos to Riot for taking a stance against this.


    • HairyEwok

      February 4, 2015 at 09:15

      Yep, I think the other people will actually be at a disadvantage. They are pro’s with their hands after all 😛


      • z1n

        February 4, 2015 at 11:21

        So that’s why I’m good at clicking! I’m a closet lesbian deep down. It’s just a coincidence I have balls.


  5. Goal9

    February 4, 2015 at 09:39

    Us gays have a Fab+1 factor that gives us a major advantage over the competition.


  6. RinceThis

    February 4, 2015 at 09:49

    Eish, once again, humans. Blight on planet Earth.


  7. Spaffy

    February 4, 2015 at 09:52



  8. ProxyMoronic

    February 4, 2015 at 09:56

    Wait, is this to prevent dudes in dresses playing in the women’s league or to marginalise LGBTQ women in a religious country? I see these are 2 separate issues.


  9. Blood Emperor Trevor

    February 4, 2015 at 10:02

    It makes perfect sense. Obviously a transgender person has two genders, the previous and the current, therefore they count as two people. So it’s unfair because then it’s not 5 v 5 but 5 v 6, or even more if there’s more than 1 transgender person. Where will the madness end!


    • RinceThis

      February 4, 2015 at 10:05

      An they are twice as fast because they have like 2 brains and stuff!


  10. Lardus-Resident Perve

    February 4, 2015 at 10:06

    Wow….just WOW! In this day and age there are a few things we should obviously not do. We should not blame Eskom or the ANC (it is apartheids fault remember), we should not have segregation in our schools (who was the idiot that thought this would work out) and we should not discriminate based on sexuality! These are OBVIOUS things! How the hell…who the hell…tell Kratos the person in charge is a missing Olympian god and send him hunting!


    • HairyEwok

      February 4, 2015 at 11:27

      Eskom’s failure is beyond apartheids fault remember, it’s Jan van Riebeeck fault. Poor Jan he’s so deep in the sh!t now for not bringing enough candles with him back then.


  11. Blood Emperor Trevor

    February 4, 2015 at 12:09

    And they’ve changed it. Good.


  12. Raptor Rants A Lot:Original #7

    February 4, 2015 at 12:10

    I can understand them saying they fear an unfair advantage from a man who identifies himself as being female….. IF IT WAS THE FREAKING 100M SPRINTS!!!!!!!!

    This is a freaking PC game for crying out loud. In fact, if you really want to get technical, the stronger you are the slower you’d click. Here speed of clicking is probably much better for a person who plays a musical instrument as apposed to someone who is apparently “physically stronger because they are a man”

    But noooooooooooooo. It gets better. They didn’t just say you can’t enter if you have male genitalia and identify yourself as a woman, nooooooo. If you are lesbian you also didn’t qualify to enter originally. REALLY!?!?!??!?!

    Are you seriously telling me their original ruling would not allow a WOMAN to enter a WOMAN’s competition just because she was lesbian??? What the actual!?!?!?

    You see why I say these “All female” tournaments are a bad idea???? Look at the crap it’s caused.

    I know they’ve lifted the restrictions, but the fact that they had the rulings there in the first place is disgusting.

    As I said, I can sort of understand (Note only sort of because I honestly don’t believe gender has any benefit or inherent handicap in clicking a mouse) them stating a male may not enter a woman’s tournament regardless of how they view themselves. But to exclude Lesbian or transgender woman who, you know, technically have all the required parts to make them biologically a woman!??

    FFFFUUUUUUU. This is why gaming shouldn’t have gender/sexual preference separation of ANY SORT. It’s too open for abuse by organisers of the events

    Don’t support gamer segregation.

    Support the tag: GAMER which includes EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! No matter what your preference!!!!


    • Ceyber, The Metal Rabbit

      February 4, 2015 at 12:32

      Agreed. Who you are shouldn’t matter, sexual preference doesn’t make any impact
      on your gaming “prowess”/skill level whatsoever (I’d love to see proof
      of that twaddle).

      I think skill should be the only deciding factor when it comes to playing at a competitive level.


  13. Ceyber, The Metal Rabbit

    February 4, 2015 at 12:22

    Still can’t come up with a reason why they would’ve done this in the first place. It makes no sense to me! What on earth could this ultimate–ability-absolutely-reserved-for-homosexuals-only be?

    Do I have to become gay to be a better player?! Is that the secret to success?

    PS – Not ignorant re BT aspect of LGBT. Just oversimplifying to get my point across… I really don’t get the why or how of this :/


  14. Weanerdog

    February 4, 2015 at 14:01

    I think that if you host a tournament for women well then the competitors should be sans penis and sexual preference should not come in to it. If you want to be inclusive then make the tournament for everyone and it should be up to the organizers and Riot to smite the shit out of anyone that is in appropriate.


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