[Update 7/17/2017: ESPN has responded to an inquiry, stating that the outfit was banned during the Top 8 due to broadcast standards]
During the Top 8 finals during this year’s EVO 2017 tournament, player Kazunoko was asked to change the outfit he had selected for Cammy during his match against NuckleDu while playing Street Fighter V.
The news spread rapidly directly after it happened. Over on the Street Fighter sub-Reddit users made a thread pointing out the censorship taking place during the Top 8 finals. Lrn2ford wrote…
“Can they sink any lower than this? How much more disrespectful can you be to Kazunoko, who took the first game and had his concentration broken by some idiot telling him to change his costume? At least tell him before the actual matches start.”
After the first of three rounds were completed, with Kazunoko winning against NuckleDu, an EVO staff member raced up on stage to tell Kazunoko to change from Cammy’s default leotard outfit. Kazunoko acknowledges and puts Cammy in the Pro Cup Tour outfit, which sees her wearing a dress with spandex shorts underneath. It takes place at the 6:50 mark in the video below that Masked Gaming Entertainment captured.
Kazunoko had been using Cammy in her default leotard outfit before being told to change her costume. The commentators were a bit confused at what happened, but played it off without bringing any awareness to the issue.
Of course, this led many people to believe that ESPN put pressure on EVO to ensure that the players did not pick risque outfits, even though Cammy has been wearing the default green thong leotard for more than 20 years.
Last year a similar thing happened when a player was advised not to use the default R. Mika costume. When asked about any rules or measures in place regarding character attire in games, ESPN said they had “no comment”.
I reached out to ESPN to ask if they had any rules or standards in place for in-game character attire for this year’s broadcast of the Top 8 at EVO 2017, and if they decide to respond the article will be updated.