A League of Legends tournament in the Philippines is openly discriminating against LGBT players.
Update: Whether due to intervention from Riot, or just the general bad press, Garena has completely reversed the ruling change limiting teams to one LGBT player per team. “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,” said the organizer in an official statement.
Original Story: Garena eSports, a Philippines-based competitive gaming league, recently announced that it would be running an “Iron Solari all-feminine tournament” in the region, and has made some interesting conclusions over what kind of players should be allowed on the teams. First up, it does acknowledge that LGBT members will be allowed to participate in the tournament… but only at a rate of one per team, because, get this, some people apparently think they have an unfair advantage.
“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,” the league explained in a ruling update. “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,” it added, “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.”
So if you live in the Philippines and you want to play League of Legends competitively, you’re good, so long as you only have one LGBT friend. I’m seriously struggling to think what “unfair advantage” having more than one LGBT member would cause. Are they worried they would start making out or something and distract their opponents?
For what it’s worth, League of Legends developer Riot Games has condemned the ruling change, and claimed that it is “Working with partners to ensure consistency with our values across all regions.”