Garena, a Philippines-based eSports organization, apologizes and retracts an earlier ruling that would limit the number of LGBT members to just one per team in their woman-only ‘League of Legends’ tournament.
In an attempt to “ensur[e] there’s a fair level playing field for all participants”, Garena ruled only one player per team could be a member of the LGBT community. One LGBT player could not be swapped out for another LGBT player within the tournament day, and any team caught violating these rules, “intentional or otherwise,” would result in all members of the team being banned from Garena events for a year.
Garena has since retracted this restriction. They now state “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.”
One of the outcries against Garena’s original rule came from Riot Games themselves. In a Twitter post, the company stated: “LGBT players are welcome at official ‘LoL’ tourneys. We’re working with partners to ensure consistency with our values across all regions.”
Along with their retraction and apology, Garena stated: “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.”