In an effort to create diversity in an industry that is overwhelmingly dominated by male audiences, an eSports organization in the Philippines called Garena eSports has decided to create Iron Solari – an “all feminine” tournament for the game League of Legends.
However, after a mere 24 hour period, the organization was treated with an extreme backlash from fans around the world, citing both sexist behavior and unfair advantages.
Initially, Garena had set forth guidelines in the decision to only allow players who were born female to be allowed to enter the tournament. This caused a huge backlash in the LGBTQ community as they felt it was unfair to members of the group who self identified as females, in turn demanding that they should be allowed to enter.
Attempting to rectify the situation, the tournament released a statement claiming that “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…”, which was followed by an apology to all parties who were offended. It then went on to state that each team may have up to one LGBTQ player.
“And there are arguments and concerns from other participants who disputes that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members may probably have some unfair advantage,” Garena representatives wrote in an official tournament ruling.
According to MCV, Garena has since then went back on this decision, and decided to open the Iron Solari tournament to anyone who self-identifies as female.
“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 offence 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.
“We hope you will tune in to support these awesome teams and players in this upcoming tournament.”Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.