Riot Games has issued warnings to two teams who competed against an all-female in League of Legends. The infractions? Gender discrimination.
Sankaku Complex is reporting that during the Russian LCL competition the all-female team of Vaevictis eSports were allegedly discriminated against, according to Riot Games.
What was the discrimination? Well, Invenglobal.com is reporting that when the all-female team of Vaevictis eSports was going against the team of ROX on February 16th, 2019, and it was time to ban five characters from the hero – which is a common thing that teams do in order to get an advantage over another team – ROX decided to ban five support characters that Vaevictis eSports is known for playing. Since Vaevictis eSports wasn’t entirely proficient with other characters outside of the support role, it put them at a huge disadvantage.
You can see the whole match-up courtesy of the YouTube channel Reverse in the video below.
Riot Games came down hard on ROX with a stern warning, like a headmaster pointing a finger at a pubescent boy for sneaking a peek through a hole in a wall that spies on the girls’ shower room at a convent.
Riot issued a statement on ROX banning the five support heroes, which consisted of Nami, Janna, Lulu, Thresh, and Braum, from being used during the match-up against Vaevictis eSports by stating…
“In a game against Vaevictis, team ROX banned 5 support champions during the pick/ban process. Although it is not technically against the rules, both Riot Games and the broader League of Legends community took this as a sign of disrespect towards the Vaevictis Esports team.”
Riot cited section 10.2.4 from the LCL guiding regulation manual, which states that team members may not denigrate nor discriminate against another country, person, or group of people based on race, skin color, ethnic backgrounds, nationality, language, religion, political opinion, sexual orientation… or gender.
Riot couldn’t necessarily prove that ROX was being discriminatory against Vaevictis eSports, which is why they warned them instead of meting out punishment for their actions.
But it didn’t end there.
Invenglobal also reported that another team, Vega Squadron, who drew out a match against Vaevictis eSports where they were up 52 kills to 2 during their encounter on February 17th, 2019. Vega Squadron refused to end the match, carrying it on for 31 minutes before finally snatching up the victory. That’s 11 minutes longer than the 20 minute forfeit minimum afforded to teams during a match. You can view the entire match below courtesy of Gaming Predator VR.
Over on the < ahref=http://ru.lolesports.com/articles/1154 target=”_blank”>League of Legends e-sports administration page, the company warned Vega Squadron for unsportsmanlike behavior and also warned any further infractions would result in penalties, stating…
“Riot Games considers gender discrimination—and any other kind or discrimination—completely unacceptable, and expects no less from all players of the LCL who are to demonstrate competitive integrity and respect towards their opponents. ROX and Vega Squadron’s egregious behavior violated the guiding regulations of LCL, as well as paragraph nine of the Summoner’s Code.
“Warnings were issued to ROX and Vega Squadron organizations, which means that their punishment will be more severe in case of repeated infractions. We preventively warned other organizations that any discriminative behavior is unacceptable and will be penalized by administration. We hope that these measures will inform players of the gravity of the situation and motivate them to improve their behavior.”
Players saw this warning from Riot Games as a joke.
The comment sections on the videos, on the news sites, and on Riot’s own site, laid into the company for trying to turn it into a gender discrimination issue.
Ultimately, the consensus from most gamers is that this does more harm to the e-sports league, to professional players, and to female players because Riot is trying to pamper the female teams.
After the exposé last year painting Riot Games as a corporate culture steeped in sexism, the company has been desperately trying to reverse course in some of the most absurd ways imaginable, including opening up a diversity and inclusivity division, and by having gender-exclusionary workshops that prevented men from participating. This latest escapade of sending out warnings to e-sports teams for perceived infractions is just another mishap in a long line of Riot seemingly tripping and stumbling their way through the minefield of the culture war.
(Thanks for the news tip Vic)