Dote Night: LoL Tourney Abandons Awful LGBT Rules

The Iron Solari tournament

Hello! This edition of Dote Night is about a controversy which erupted yesterday in regards to the rules for a women-only League of Legends tournament run by the Garena organisation. The specifics are obviously about League of Legends and about this particular tournament, but the reason the rules are problematic is because they tap into stereotypes and assumptions which permeate across the pro scene and across games. It’s also a good place to bring up a study which looked at female and male League player skill which is important for how we think about both recreational and professional gaming. Here goes!

eSports organisation Garena has updated the rules for a Philippines-based League of Legends tournament in order to remove restrictions originally placed on LGBT players.

I’ll explain the original rules and why they were problematic in a second but the update means they now state that “any player who self-identifies as female will be allowed to participate” and “We sincerely apologize for any offense we caused to the LGBT and gaming communities.”

Riot, the developer of League of Legends, swiftly turned to Twitter to make their own position clear:

Here’s what happened initially:

Garena are running a monthly tournament called the Iron Solari which they bill as “all-feminine”. For the first month the tournament rules had the stipulation “Only Girl Summoners are allowed to join” but for the second month the rules were tweaked. Garena’s post at the time says they wanted to be more inclusive of the LGBT community while placating participants who assumed lesbians and trans women were somehow overpowered and would give teams an unfair advantage:

Putting all these points into consideration, we wish to experiment on the following changes to be implemented in this 2nd leg:

1) Each team will be allowed to have a maximum of one (1) Gay/Transgendered woman for the entirety of the tournament day. Therefore, teams cannot do the following: Team_A’s first game will be 4 female members and 1 gay, then on Team_A’s second game, they will have 4 female members and replace with another gay or transgender member.

2) Any team who has violated the above provision, regardless if intentional or otherwise, whether discovered during the day of the event or some time after, will have all their team members (the female members as well as the Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered women member) sanctioned with a 1-year ban on all Garena-organized events, including subsequent Iron Solari Tournament.

And when Esports Express – an eSports satire site – pops up in the comments on your idiotic rules post to leave one (1) comment saying “We salute your tireless dedication and welcome the competition!” you can be pretty sure you gone done fucked up.

I had a conversation with a friend about this when the debate was raging yesterday evening. The rules are earnestly stupid enough that there is humour there, although it’s rooted in very real eSports problems. We pondered what happened if you were bisexual? Are you allowed to trade one (1) lesbian for two (2) bisexuals? And what about in male tournaments? Are you similarly OP if you’re gay or a trans man or do Garena count that as a handicap? And what’s the exact statute of limitations on you coming out anyway?

What these rules imply is that if you aren’t a hetero cisgendered woman you’re not a real woman. Women who don’t fit that mould – i.e. trans women and lesbians – are then assumed to have a competitive advantage as a result of being less womanly. LGBT OP, basically. This also moves the idea of women-only competitions away from any sense of trying to redress a broad cultural and economic disadvantage and simply assumes there is an inherent biological disadvantage when it comes to women and competitive gaming.

There’s a study called Stand By Your Man: An Examination of Gender Disparity in League of Legends which was published in the Games and Culture journal. In the discussion the researchers state:

“the difference in actual skill between males and females was found to be negligible for those who have played the same number of matches. This is inconsistent with the stereotype, which suggests that males accrue game skill more readily than females. Thus, this suggests that females are not at an inherent disadvantage with respect to developing gaming skills, a finding consistent with previous research examining the relationship between gender and gaming expertise […]”

What the study did, however, show was that female players demonstrated less confidence in their ability to kill opponents. It was a small effect but suggests that awareness of the stereotype that men are more adept at games than women has a measurable effect on a female player’s perception of her own ability.

“In other words, many female League players may face a vicious cycle by believing that they are suitable only for Support roles or, more problematically, that they do not belong in the game, female players may refrain from intensive play and/or experimentation with other game roles, which in turn perpetuates these very stereotypes.”

Garena’s original stance is one which “othered” LGBT players. It helped shore up stereotypes which help contribute to a vicious cycle with regard to how women in general are perceived and perceive themselves. It played on lazy assumptions that ability is linked to the contents of your knickers and with whom you’d like to share those contents.

Their revised stance is simply what should have happened in the first place.


  1. int says:

    Daffyd Thomas would love to play, but he would be the only player on his team.

  2. KDR_11k says:

    I guess they didn’t want people to declare themselves trans for the duration of the tournament but given those studies I don’t see the point of a female-only tournament in the first place.

    • Hex says:

      I’m assuming that the point is the same point that there are female high-school/college/professional sports teams of all varieties.

      • KDR_11k says:

        In physical sports there are differences between men and women, according to the study in the article that does not apply to esports so the need for sex separation disappears.

        • Ashrand says:

          On the other hand Women can play physical sports, sometimes for hours (!) at a time without being threatened with rape or called a bitch.

          • Distec says:

            Bit out of left field, compadre.

          • Hex says:

            Not really. He’s saying that the esports scene is toxic to the point that male player attitudes alone are reason enough for all-female tournaments.

          • Distec says:

            I get that part. And I fully support a female-only tournament. I took issue with the sideways argument that rape threats and insults are the reason for low female participation in this activity, and that “A girl can’t game a day without somebody threatening to rape her”. It truly came from nowhere.

            So I think my assessment was fair, given that the articles and the pieces it links to make no mention of these things (from what I’ve read so far). Isn’t it enough to say that a game tournament had some stupid, boneheaded rules without dragging that particular fight into it?

          • Hex says:

            I dunno, it makes sense to me.

            To paraphrase KDR_11k: “If men and women have the same skill-level in this game, there’s no reason to have single-gender tournaments.”

            And now Ashrand: “Women tend to be subjected to a lot of abuse by some male players. Maybe some female players would appreciate having their own tournament.”

            I’m not understanding what the problem is.

          • Distec says:

            The problem is that a male-dominated venue =/= constant death threats and harassment against women, which is exactly what Ashrand’s post implies.

            It’s a needless, inflammatory injection into the topic. We don’t need to dial these conversations to 11 every time.

          • Hex says:

            I take it you don’t play a lot of LoL….

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            “The problem is that a male-dominated venue =/= constant death threats and harassment against women”
            Except… it pretty much is. Male dominated venues where women *don’t* face a stream of, at the very least, creepy unwanted attention, are the exception.

          • joa says:

            ‘creepy unwanted attention’ is a different thing from ‘rape threats’ and ‘being called a bitch’ though. That’s just nerds not being very good with the ladies.

          • Distec says:


            I can’t get over the seemingly encyclopedic knowledge required to be remotely competent. And I too got tired of being yelled at, insulted, and literally told to get raped after a couple weeks or so (ironically as a straight white guy).

            So I will cop to some ignorance there. I knew League was renowned for its toxic elements, and I tasted some of it myself. But I don’t know what the experience is like for a female LoL player; just as I arguably can’t fully relate to the experience of any female who plays online.


            I would agree that women get more attention in a male-dominated venue. I suspect the opposite scenario would generally apply as well. But creepy attention – however you define “creepy” here – is very different from insulting harassment and sexual threats.

          • Nafu says:

            Have you seen this video? It’s not just nerds, and it’s not just video games. We straight white males have little idea how much shit women (and of course LGBT people and other minorities) have to put up with on a daily basis.

          • Kitsunin says:

            @joa @Distec

            Yes, unwanted attention is very different from outright threatening or rude behavior, which is precisely why he said “at the very least”. Because even if you’re lucky and you get grouped with people who aren’t actively inflammatory against you, you’re still going to have to deal with something irritating, because even those people are often going to be like “wow, a woman, that’s super rare!”

            As a teen, I remember getting kind of starstruck when I heard a m’lady over VoIP in a game I was playing.

          • aepervius says:

            Firstly i have been judge in sport game (high school sports) and I had to threaten more than once both the fans and the teams to ton it down or I would start to distribute yellow and red tickets, but once it happens the threat were enough to cut it down fully. So it happens in normal sports too. But , and that is an important point, it was both directed at male and female teams, and at mix teams. far more often it was directed at *male* because there was an expectation of *performance*. In fact men (well…. boys at that age) were more likely to throw insult but also more likely to be the target. And the important point is as a judge on the line it was enough to intervene to cut it down to nearly zero level.

            That match all the anecdote I have seen in esport really : men are far more likely to be insulted , but are also far more likely to ignore that totally. On the other hand , in my experience, women are less insulted, but are far more likely to feel affected by it (or at least the female friend I have, were). I wonder if there are studies about that out there.

            I expect LoL would not be the exception. in fact you can ban/kick far quicker in esport than you can kick somebody out of a tournament hall…

            The question to me, naturally, is why not have mix team with judge like we have in normal sport ? That would cut down any such threat to nearly zero level, thus eliminating the need to *split* gender tournament.

          • Philomelle says:

            I wouldn’t even go as far as rape threats and being called a bitch, simply because over the course of three years of playing League, I’ve seen the word “woman” used as an insult numerous times.

          • Distec says:


            Yes I have. And without getting too into it, I didn’t think it was all that convincing as some outlets made it seem.

            I can’t help but feel the goalposts have moved on me in this particular thread of comments. My issue was with the overblown statements regarding rape and harassment, but now we’re talking about unwanted attention. I agree there’s a good bit of the latter, but I think comments such as the former are most unhelpful. These kinds of discussions aren’t very inviting or productive when people immediately beeline to the most grotesque injustices.

          • mattlambertson says:

            i think that Distec’s general lack of comprehension would be rectified by switching his life to “girl mode” for a while. Sadly this is not actually possible. Fortunately, options exist such as “reading” and “empathy” in order to understand what life is actually like for women and why people might make such comments as this.

          • Distec says:

            Sorry, I’ve actually taken to the frequent suggestion of talking to women about these kinds of things, and I’m deeply apologetic that the experiences recounted to me don’t sync up perfectly to the conventional online wisdom that women are under siege. Apparently I forgot to flip my empathy switch on. Of course, I don’t expect to convince anybody with personal anecdotes.

            Go away.

          • Pantalaimon says:

            Hostile players are hostile players in general, it doesn’t really matter who is on the receving end of it, they’re putting it out every game they’re playing in. Men and women both have to deal with it. The answer is not to segregate. That’s a long dark road that doesn’t go anywhere. Integration is the answer not the other way around.

          • Bweahns says:

            I play dota, but I generally mute everyone except my mates at the start of every game. Problem solved as far as dickheads go. In a tournament, I imagine anyone being a twat could be kicked out.

        • Hex says:

          Yes, and I’m sure that events-coordinators worldwide keep abreast of all the studies about things.

          Also, while apparently according to this study some aspect of player skill appears to be equal across gender lines, in meatspace there are still differences between men and women, and it’s nice to provide venues for the various genders to congregate and compete with themselves.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            We are also talking about competition at the top level. Something that study doesn’t really take into account, people who are the top 0.01%. Fine motor and mental gaming skills built up over years of adolescence that may give males an advantage due to it traditionally being a male dominated past time.

            This may be an imbalance that could take longer to equalize and is only going to happen if more females get into competitive gaming earlier. You aren’t going to pick up LoL at 22 having never played competitive games before and suddenly become pro, just not going to happen.
            Giving female competitive gamers a platform can only encourage others to do the same.

            Similarly with the toxic attitudes, it really only comes from a hostile environment that is happy to single out individuals for their differences, rather than some grand misogynistic crusade against women. More women playing the game so that it isn’t a >90% male playerbase will largely remove the toxicity and create a more appealing game for women. Again, seeing women playing the game competitively can only increase the number of women playing the game.

            It won’t happen over night and the odd tournament here and there probably isn’t making many in-roads at all, however at least it’s doing something, which is more than I can say for the people going
            “Nope, that’s sexist, can’t do that”, whilst offering zero constructive suggestions themselves.

        • skittles says:

          The skill reason for the sex separation disappears. Plenty of other reasons for sex separation though. Typically tournies are primarily male participants. This makes it uninviting for female players, to be surrounded by guys. It is the same reasons bars and clubs have ladies nights, or male nights. It allows people to know what to expect and hence makes it more inviting and more likely for certain people to participate.

          Sports made female teams not necessarily because of a difference in ‘skill’ between the sexes, but because a female team actually made females more likely to participate. If you suddenly said, okay football teams can have either sex. In all honesty how many females do you think would sign up? A couple, but really not many. Offer a female team though and there will be no problem filling it up.

      • joa says:

        Those things are generally done for different reasons though – because of different female/male learning styles and not wanting kids distracted having sex all the time at schools/colleges and because of different male/female physical strength in real sports.

        In virtual sports that doesn’t really make as much sense. It’s more for promoting female participation and stuff instead.

        • Hex says:

          Focusing on promoting female participation is itself a valid reason for justifying the existence of an all-female tournament.

          Additionally, as I mention just above, it’s simply nice to have a place where people of one gender can congregate and play a thing (be it a physical sport or an esport) with others of their own gender. It’s simply a more comfortable environment for many people, particularly when first getting involved in a new competitive hobby.

          • joa says:

            Yes I get that for women. But I think for guys not so much – personally congregating in a place with just other guys is pretty weird.

          • Hex says:

            No, it’s really not. Clubs for men have existed for centuries, if not millennia. Certainly men have had male-only organizations of many types and functions since the dawn of history.

            Check it out: link to

            There’s a natural urge for men to socialize with other, like-minded men. Humans are a social species, and particularly the males of our species are inclined to spend a lot of time with other men.

            There’s also a strong social urge in women, of course. Not being a woman, and not seeing the same consistency in their behavior-patterns as I see in men, I’m less inclined to speculate how it works for them.

          • joa says:

            Yeah obviously I like to socialise with other men, but I wouldn’t like to be part of an explicitly male-only organisation.

          • Hex says:

            Not that it would be a problem if you did. To each their own.

            None of which is the issue at hand — we’re talking about a short tournament for women. It doesn’t need to be weird.

    • LTK says:

      Given that study I see a very good point: women are shown to have less confidence in their ability, presumably as a result of being in a male-dominated space, so a women-only tournament may take away that anxiety and allow them to appreciate and expand their skills more.

      • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

        I think that’s the main and best reason for women-only tournaments in an area where women’s abilities aren’t actually different to those of men, but which is traditionally male-dominated. It’s supposed to be a safe space, and considering that, should be a safe space for any other LGBT*-gamers as well.

        Nick Mailer, John Walker’s co-host on the Rum Doings podcast, recently said in his slightly ironic I-don’t-know-if-he’s-joking kind of way that transgender people in tech (I believe he was referring to biological males) have an advantage over women because during their youth they could explore this traditionally male field in their role as males and thus have had male priviledge at least for that duration and in that field. (I’m sure he’ll come round if I completely get this wrong. John, tell him.)

        Now, I believe the above was mostly meant humourously, but I think that is what mostly went on in the minds of those responsible for Garena’s initial ruling. Because they can’t perceive people born a male as anything other than male, they thought it might be seen as unfair by the participants of their tournament, of course completely misunderstanding the very reason for the tournament.

        of course all that can still in no way begin to explain the arbitrary limit to one LGBT participant per team. it all left me baffled.

        • pepperfez says:

          I’ve definitely encountered more transwomen in gaming/tech circles than anywhere else in my life. It makes sense: You grow up being expected to do boy things, and you do them enough to realize they’re pretty fun, so you just keep doing them even when they’re not “gender appropriate” anymore.

          (NB: You might want to amend your comment to “have an advantage over cis women,” just to avoid confusion.)

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            When we are talking about top level competition this early exposure is necessary too. With any elite level performer, a high percentage start doing it at a young age where the necessary skills become more ingrained. This favours males at this point due to it being a more traditionally male pasttime amongst children.

        • Rwlyra says:

          I didn’t see the podcast and the way it was put, but from what you said about it it seems true in a way. Scarlett (similarly to most of MtF transsexuals in tech) probably wasn’t being prevented from pursuing an interest in computers/games the way most cis-girls are by their parents/background.

          It’s a really old cultural issue and the differences in the way people raise boys and girls. Women are not inherently worse in gaming in any way, but most of the time they don’t even have possibility to get into it. I hope society will outgrow all of this gender-stereotype bullshit someday.

        • aepervius says:

          “of course all that can still in no way begin to explain the arbitrary limit to one LGBT participant per team. it all left me baffled.”

          You explain it yourself the sentence above :
          “Because they can’t perceive people born a male as anything other than male, they thought it might be seen as unfair by the participants of their tournament, of course completely misunderstanding the very reason for the tournament.”

          Once you start seeing male as having an advantage , you want to have a playing field to make sure that some team are not advantaged too much. Thus having only 1 transgender female ensure to minimize the perceived advantage. It is actually self consistent.

          Naturally if one consider transgender female and female to have the same potential LoL abilities, it all fall apart and is baffling. But that is not the premise they obviously started with.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Womens only gyms are a good example. Lots of women feel more comfortable exercising where there aren’t a bunch of dudes huffing, puffing, flexing their muscles and competing with each other. It’s really not dissimilar to a situation in video gaming only replace weights with creep score. It’s still a bunch of dudes competing with each other, sometimes not exactly following social etiquette that lots of women find…….offputting.

        I guarantee there will be lots of women who join a regular gym after spending time in a womens only gym as they have more confidence in how they work out etc. Again, same deal with LoL.

    • aterriblesomething says:

      nobody wants to be the next Cross Assault

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      It states that females may lack confidence etc compared to men. It also states the “dearth” of female players at all levels of the game. Therefore isn’t the idea of female only competitions obvious? Show female competition and make it visible to other females which hopefully increases the number of females playing the game. Show females competing at all aspects of the game, boosting the confidence of other females playing the game that they too can play mid, or make plays they were previously shying away from.

      Also giving female competitors the space away from male dominated competition where they can develop the confidence and match skills that they don’t currently have due to them not being able to find spots on teams and hence cannot compete at the same level or with the same regularity of their male counterparts.

      There is more to being a top competitor than just skills in the game. Competition experience is vital, if females aren’t gaining that sort of experience (I assume this is a LAN tournament? dunno for sure), they will again be behind males who are getting this experience. Dealing with pressure etc is something that only comes with experience.
      An experienced player can beat somebody more talented when it comes to an important game due to controlling nerves and “not bottling it”.
      Something that is impossible to simulate to the same degree when sat at home.

  3. Hex says:

    For me, the humor is in the fact that an organization going out of its way to be female-positive can’t just be left alone to do it.

    • kevmscotland says:

      Damned if you do, damned if you dont.

      • Hex says:

        Exactly. This is a great example of the ultra-PC crowd (or whoever these people are) cutting off their nose to spite their face. I really think it would be better for their cause to let this stuff slide so they can focus on campaigning against…I don’t know…white men, somewhere.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          The irony to this would be if people going berserk over this ruling meant the tournament did end up full of men in drag and women were unable to compete.

          • aepervius says:

            Not sure if you are joking, but men in drag are not transgender men. In fact if you know a bit of the drag community, you’ll see most of them are hetero or homo, not in the least trans. Do not confuse cross dressing (dressing as the other gender for fun and entertainment) and sex dysphoria.

          • jrodman says:

            @Smoky_the_Bear: Though it would also be hilarious.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            I’m aware of the difference, the question is how can tournament organizers make a distinction? They gonna check for penises? Go into personal history? etc etc. A bunch of dudes turn up in dresses claiming to be transsexuals, now they must be allowed into the tournament.

            Yes it was said mostly as a joke, I don’t for one second think this will happen, but it’s essentially what the initial ruling was attempting to prevent in my opinion.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      “Female-positive except for those fucking queers” is not actually female-positive.

      • Hex says:

        Yes because that’s exactly what happened.

        • Karrius says:

          You’re saying that sarcastically, but it’s exactly what did happen? And telling women that they should basically just abandon parts of their community because there are worse things out there is just ridiculous. But your “campaigning against white men” comment is pretty good at showing how you’re approaching this though, which is that actual concern for treating people right… well, isn’t a concern!

          • Hex says:

            Is that the concern? Or is the concern to get self-righteous on anybody’s ass who doesn’t conform to some impossible ideal?

            The people who blow up about this shit aren’t trying to “make things better.” (If they were, there are positive and constructive ways of engaging.) Their primary motivation is to make people feel bad because they feel maligned somehow.

            I’ve directly interacted with LBGTQQ-community people in a workshop and in classes about this issue. Many of them are forthright about this. The goal is to exact a form if emotional vengeance, not to pave the way to a blissful society without prejudice.

            People are petty. Being transgendered doesn’t automatically turn you into a saint. Many of these people look for any excuse to throw a conniption fit over every perceived slight.

            It’s exhausting and not helpful.

          • Hex says:

            To clarify what I mean by the impossible ideal:

            A pretty small portion of society at large falls in the LBGTQQ demographic, and of those, a very tiny fraction make up those who consider themselves to be TQQ.

            So we have a very vocal minority that’s so small as to be almost statistically irrelevant wanting concessions to be made to them.

            Great. Everyone deserves representation.

            The mindfuck for me (citing my experiences in workshop/classes with this community), is that the attitude coming from these people is entirely (and very negatively) reactive: they don’t want to “raise awareness” and get plugged into your community and help old ladies cross the street and make positive social changes in your area. They want you to get interested, without invitation, and go out of your way to show them your generosity of spirit.

            It’s hard for me to put into words what I experienced with these people, because the concepts are so alien (though they seemed to be able to empathize with one another about it). They feel no onus to give you a means to understand their wants and needs: in many cases with the QQ crowd, they don’t have a firm grasp of their wants and needs themselves. But — they still feel the right to demand that the public at large accede to whatever whims strike them from moment to moment.

            It’s ludicrously narcissistic, but, perversely, in a very isolationist way. (Those aren’t exactly the right words for what I’m trying to get across.) Like they want everyone else to love/accept them, but they can’t be bothered to develop much care/understanding of who or what “everyone else” is.

          • Karrius says:

            It’s absolutely amazing how much you’re projecting your own hatred and bile onto people for the terrible, terrible crime of standing up for one another. If only everyone could be as vile and awful as you, the world would surely be a better place.

          • Hex says:

            Yeah, probably.

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            Phasma Felis says:

            “Or is the concern to get self-righteous on anybody’s ass who doesn’t conform to some impossible ideal?”

            It’s not an impossible ideal. It is in fact a very very easy ideal, and the proof is that it took them all of 24 hours to conform fully to this “impossible” ideal.

            “Impossible” and “I don’t wanna” are not the same thing. Most of us learned this in grade school.

          • Rwlyra says:

            @Hex – holy shit, are you serious? Not wanting to be excluded from public tournaments is “demanding concessions”? I have no words.

          • aldo_14 says:

            they don’t want to “raise awareness” and get plugged into your community and help old ladies cross the street and make positive social changes in your area. They want you to get interested, without invitation, and go out of your way to show them your generosity of spirit.

            Wait, is your argument that for a social group to be given equal treatment, they have to earn it?

            And that treating them without, for example, enforcing social exclusion is ‘generosity of spirit’ rather than just basic decency?

          • dethtoll says:

            Forget it dude, it’s Hex-town.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          Actually yes, that is *literally* what happened:

          “Each team will be allowed to have a maximum of one (1) Gay/Transgendered woman for the entirety of the tournament day. Therefore, teams cannot do the following: Team_A’s first game will be 4 female members and 1 gay, then on Team_A’s second game, they will have 4 female members and replace with another gay or transgender member.”

          • Hex says:

            …which really isn’t the same thing as saying “Each team can have up to one fucking queer.”

            It was a tournament designed for female players. They ended up making concessions to allow a limited number of female-identifying people participate, as well. For a backwater tournament in a tiny Pacific island country a million miles from the National Association for the Advancement of Queers, this all seems very normal and reasonable to me.

            You can’t expect everyone to foresee everything all the time.

          • LogicalDash says:

            “a limited number of female-identifying people as well”

            Ah, I see where you’re coming from: you are as gender essentialist as the people who wrote the rules, and therefore see nothing wrong with discriminating against women whose genitals are shaped wrong.

            All females are female-identifying, and all female-identifying people are females. Get used to it.

          • Hex says:

            While that’s very cute and pithy, it’s still a relatively new concept in the world. Growing pains are to be expected, and this organization should be appreciated for trying to to welcoming to females-with-penises, once the discrepancy was brought to their attention.

            Dealing with trans issues still isn’t every-day business for most simple folks. A gentle guiding hand when the issues arise would likely do more for the cause than rage and self-righteousness.

          • LogicalDash says:

            “once the discrepancy was brought to their attention”

            I think you’re confused. We’re discussing tournament rules that, in their original form, acknowledged that transwomen existed and limited the number of them that were on a team. It looks a lot like they knew enough to do better and didn’t.

    • wu wei says:

      Because if there’s one thing history has shown us, tokenism is always a positive?

  4. joa says:

    The only one lesbian rule is pretty absurd/amusing.

    But isn’t transgender a different thing in the Philippines and other such places though, where a significant number are transgender for sexual reasons, instead of being transgender in the medical sense?

    • LTK says:

      Simply put, no.

      • joa says:

        What about ‘lady boys’ and such? I’m just saying, it’s a bit off to judge a Filipino contest by American standards, especially when it comes to complicated issues.

        • Noc says:

          So…are you actually saying that you’re legitimately worried about an eSports tournament being overrun by sex workers who only identify as female professionally?

          • JRHaggs says:

            This is one of my favorite comments I’ve ever read in any comments section.

            Thanks, Noc.

          • Marclev says:

            Nothing to add apart from to agree with the other poster that this comment is brilliant LOL!

          • Rwlyra says:

            @Noc – on the other hand, that might be true in this context. SEAsians seem to be really paranoid when it comes to this subject. If I remember correctly – in some previous tournament they banned a winning team because someone thought a female player that carried the team “played too well” and thus it definitely had to be her boyfriend playing instead of her o_O

            It’s almost like something happened in some previous tournament that made them like this, otherwise they are just crazy.

          • Neutrino says:

            The presumption that lady boys are automatically sex workers is an example of the kind of cultural misunderstanding that the first poster was making.

  5. Distec says:

    “What the study did, however, show was that female players demonstrated less confidence in their ability to kill opponents.

    I had a super adorable image pop into my head when I read this. Just some small peep of a lady stabbing a guy repeatedly with a puzzled look on her face, unsure if she’s doing it right.

    Hmm. Maybe not adorable.

    • Sian says:

      Well, when I read your comment, my image was that of a chibi anime girl, because I think I’ve seen casual violence done by a confused-looking woman in that style before. So yes, kind of adorable.

  6. Noc says:

    What struck me the most about this was the repeated awkward wording of “gay or transgendered,” which suggested pretty strongly that whoever wrote this rule had absolutely no idea what they were dealing with?

    This situation actually feels really encouraging! It really feels like someone was just like:

    “Uh, what if a bunch of guys just, like, say they’re girls in order to compete?”
    “Why? It’s a girls-only tournament!”
    “Yeah but there’s, like, LGBT people and stuff.”
    “Okay but they’re rare, right? Lets say they get one LGBT per team, that sounds fairly reasonable.”

    And then the Internet promptly emitted a resounding “wtf is this shit?” and they were like “whoops, uh, disregard all that.”

    It wasn’t this nasty, drawn-out thing where they stuck to their guns and insisted that they had Totally Legit Concerns that they wouldn’t compromise! I really do get the feeling that they just blundered their way into unfamiliar territory, then realized this and backed off. And now they know better! Hopefully probably.

    And also that the LGBT section of the community finally has enough of a presence that the objections to this are swift, coherent, and listened to! Which feels like a really far cry from yesteryear, where we’d have to, like, slog through a mountainful of “what is even a transgender?” and then get ignored anyways because no one cares about us.

    So, you know. Surprisingly heartening!

    • mpk says:

      I read the rules last night when twitter picked it up and it the impression I got was:

      1) Gays are just, like, OP as all hell.
      2) We don’t really know what transgender means.

    • Loam says:

      It transpires that the weird wording is just because “gay” is apparently used as a synonym for “bakla” (a third-gender category that would be considered transfeminine within a Western framework). In any case, the weird wording was really the least of the issues in the first place.

      • Noc says:

        Huh. Thing learned!

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        This was a big part of the problem I think, there was definitely some elements lost in translation and once again Social Justice America proves it will instantly apply American values to everything.

        • Ada says:

          Yeah actually the conflation of bakla with binary western gender and sexuality categories is white colonialism in action…

      • Ada says:

        The term ‘third-gender’ itself is racist. Bakla is in some circumstances an indigenous gender, and we can call it that. ‘Third-gender’ is a colonialist term invented to homogenise indigenous gender systems to render them intelligible by western academia. It is impossible to homogenise experiences like this without violently erasing the histories and lives of people of colour who do not conform to the white, western gender binary, which has only relatively recently been imposed on colonised nations.

    • kalirion says:

      It may have been a language issue: link to

      “”Gay” here doesn’t mean homosexual, as we’d use it in the US or Europe. It’s the English word used in the Philippines as the analog for the tagalog word “bakla.” Bakla are, in the simplest terms, people who are born as men, present themselves as women, but unlike transgender women, they do not identify as women. They don’t identify as men, either. They identify as “bakla” or “gay.””

      • Ada says:

        Some bakla people do identify as men, and some identify as women, if they think they fit into the western gender binary. It’s important to recognise that the western gender system we’re trying to use to discuss this issue was violently forced onto other nations by genocidal white colonialism. The term ‘binarism’ specifically refers to the racial violence of white gender categories that affects trans people of colour and indigenous gendered people.
        Source: decolonizing trans/gender 101 by biyuti, who is bakla

  7. cnconrad says:

    The issue is that this is a girl only tournament. I can understand people being upset that gay women are not allowed to enter because, gay or not they are women.

    My problem is that transvestites either pre Op or post Op are still men regardless of what they did to their manhood. It doesn’t matter what studies say concerning if women = men or not. Its a tournament for women.

    Now, with their new PC friendly rules that state anyone who identifies themselves as a woman can be in the tournament, there is nothing stopping a whole team of men saying that they Identify themselves as women then entering the tournament.

    • Hex says:

      Well. The rule saying only 1 nad-less dude per team will stop them from being overrun.

    • JRHaggs says:

      You don’t really have your concepts/terms straight(haha).

      Transvestites and transgendered are different things.

    • Noc says:

      …except that no one actually does that?

      Here are some things about being transgender:

      1) It’s an identity thing, which means it’s a thing you a) believe is fundamentally true about yourself and b) that you stick to. You don’t decide to “be” a different gender based on when it’s convenient. And you almost never see people do it on a whim, because…

      2) It’s pretty fucking hard! The best case is when someone figures out they’re trans early, and is lucky enough to get the opportunity to transition as they go through puberty. Otherwise, you’re basically redoing your teenage years: hormone treatments mean your body’s changing, and does weird mood shit! You’re adapting to a very different set of voices, mannerisms, and expectations than the ones you’d been trained for! Which is even scary, because…

      3) It’s terrifying! Nailing the transition often feels really important, because if if you don’t it’s really easy to feel like you’re sticking out as a gross weirdo? And at worst, we…we kinda get murdered a lot! Like, “but then I found out they were trans and freaked out!” has stood up in court as a justification for murder dozens of times.

      Thus, basically nobody identifies as transgender unless they’re actually pretty fucking serious about it. So if I’m a trans girl, you had BEST understand that I am “actually” a girl in any meaningful way.

      This whole thing only reads as “PC friendly” because you have no idea who we are. The fact that you’re calling us “transvestites” indicates this pretty strongly! You literally have no idea who we are or what our deal is, but you feel qualified to make strong statements about who and what we “really are.”

      Man, ignorance happens! That’s fine! But for fuck’s sake, understand where the limits of your knowledge are, and don’t go talking shit about things you’re barely familiar with.

      p.s. Being “pre-op” or “post-op” has very little bearing on any of this! Most of the phenotype changes you see come from hormones, for a start. And for another thing, you…don’t play video games with your genitals.

      You don’t do most things with your genitals, come to think of it. For most people, the number of people who interact with their genitals in any ways is really really small. If the shape of my genitals causes real, severe issues for the way you interact with me…you’ve got something weird going on there, man, and I dunno what to tell you.

      • Serenegoose says:

        Noc’d it out of the park. (haw!)

        Honestly, thank you for that. I no longer have the stamina required to be so comprehensive. Or polite.

      • Majestyk0012 says:

        I created an account just to applaud this.


      • Dilapinated says:

        This is the best comment in this entire post. Thankyou.

      • Vandelay says:

        You don’t play games with genitals? That must be where I’ve been going wrong all this time!

        (Lame jokes aside, thank you for posting this.)

      • Neutrino says:

        That’s all well and good but I don’t see how what you want to pretend to be, has anything to do with what you actually are. If you have two ‘X’ chromosomes you are a female, if you don’t you aren’t. Everything else is window dressing.

        • HopperUK says:

          Your definition of what makes someone ‘female’ is far from universally accepted.

        • Pantalaimon says:

          If they’re ‘pretending’ to be anything, it’s not actually the sex they are transitioning into. That does not feel like pretending to them, any more than you feel like you’re pretending to be who you are right now.

        • Marr says:

          Sorry, dude, biology is nothing like as simple as you want it to be.
          Men with two X chromosomes right here: link to

      • Synesthesia says:

        Fuck yes. Well said.

      • dethtoll says:

        #REKT. This is the post I looked in the comments to see.

    • Sam says:

      Transvestitism is a completely different thing from being transgender. Similarly your concept of what a man or a woman is, is out of line with how it’s understood in sociology and psychology. I recommend you do some research so you can understand things a bit better.

      I suspect the issue of an all male team pretending to be women (if I knew any MOBA terminology I’d make a pun based on “Some Like it Hot”) is unlikely to actually happen. If it did happen I think the organisers could just tell them to stop it. No need to write impractical and wrongly exclusionary rules about needing to have identified as a woman for some minimum length of time.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Don’t be so convinced that people wouldn’t do things like that where prize money is involved. Males have successfully competed as women in the past in the Olympics, rules and gender testing regarding that had to be implemented.

        It’s not as easy as just “telling them to stop it”. Their response of “I’m incredibly offended, I’ve secretly identified as a woman for years!” is probably enough to justify a lawsuit in some places.
        You’ll see on this comment board alone how people will react/ overreact to any slight misrepresentation they deem offensive. You can’t just just say to a bunch of individuals who are entering a competition as women “Come on lads, cut the shit, we know you aren’t ACTUALLY women”. You can hardly sex test everyone either, how are you going to do that? Strip search only the female competitors so you can check for a penis? You’d be in a world of trouble for doing that.

        • SuddenSight says:

          Did you actually read the list of gender verification incidents? Hardly a case of the noble establishment keeping cheaters from cheating.

          Every case listed on Wikipedia involved some sort of unusual genitalia or chromosome makeup (with the possible exception of Erik Schinegger – the only case I found that might possibly be construed as intentional cheating). Most athletes “discovered” to be non-female were not really classified as male either. I encourage you to read about Santhi Soundarajan and ask yourself: should we be telling people they do not qualify for either gender? And because they do not qualify for either gender, they cannot ever compete in the Olympics?

          Our division of the world by gender is much more arbitrary than it often seems. Sure, the number of people who get screwed by this system is relatively small, but why are we aiming for mediocrity? Shouldn’t we aim to be as inclusive as possible? And shouldn’t we encourage others to do so as well? Especially when being inclusive is actually *easier* than being exclusive.

          • Pantalaimon says:

            Being inclusive is easier to some of us, for sure. But I do not think it is that easy for others :)

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            “should we be telling people they do not qualify for either gender? And because they do not qualify for either gender, they cannot ever compete in the Olympics?”

            I didn’t say that at all, I’m not saying I agree with their ruling. All I’m saying is it’s a complete hotbed where no matter what the organisers do they risk being wrong. This comments section alone has shown the sort of reactions they may face should they wrongfully accuse a transgender individual of actually being a man. They would be labelled as every nasty thing under the sun. You cannot say one thing slightly wrong where Social Justice America is concerned.

        • Marr says:

          In this hypothetical horror scenario of yours, a bunch of guys totally pass as female, play in a gaming tournament, and go home without anyone else ever realising it happened. Where’s the harm?

    • TWChristine says:

      Noc did a better job of explaining than I could, but I would point out that by essentially saying “It doesn’t matter what studies say, I’m still going to believe what I want” pretty much shows how little understanding you have on the topic.

      • Geebs says:

        Important corollaries: 99% of all people who claim knowledge of a topic based on a study won’t have read the full paper, and 80% won’t even have read the abstract. Add in the very high proportion of research which is either bogus or wrong, and bullheadedly retaining one’s prior opinion is mostly just a failure of substituting someone else’s bias for one’s own :-p

    • fish99 says:

      I think transvestites reading your post might be a little alarmed to read they might need an operation :p

    • Splattercakez says:

      What’s with the weird compulsion people who know nothing about the subject of transitioning have to spew complete uninformed nonsense?

      Like even a cursory Google or a glance over a Wikipedia article would illustrate how entirely moronic these ridiculously absurd, simplistic dismissals of the reality of physical transition are; and yet for some reason people feel the need to flaunt their stupidity?

      Not to mention even if you ignore the flagrant ignorance of how HRT effects the body, not to mention the difference between whether a person transitions before or after puberty, you also have to account the large variety of people with Intersex conditions -Several of whom would unarguably be considered ‘female’ by the populous at large- who would be banned under any compelling argument you could try and make against trans women.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Do you honestly believe it’s even remotely feasible the a group of dude-bros are going to rock up wearing wigs and convince the organisers that they were all trans? Just so they could enter this one particular tournament. That is, simply, not a thing that happens.

    • wu wei says:

      My problem is that transvestites either pre Op or post Op are still men regardless of what they did to their manhood.

      Did you know that there is evidence that the brains of transgendered people have strong commonalities with those of people of the gender with which they identify? That woman-to-man transitions are also common (but never seem to be the focus of hyperbolic reactions as much as the opposite)?

      Or that some men have XX chromosomes, and some women XY? That some people have ambiguous genitals, or both? That such people make up 2% of the population?

      Sex & gender aren’t the simplistic binary model that you believe in…

      • HopperUK says:

        I am almost completely uninformed. But it seems like FtM trans people don’t get the same attention because, to a traditionally-minded person, a woman wanting to be a man is natural. After all, men are better. It’s going the other way that’s unnatural, because becoming a woman is degrading yourself. It’s rooted in deep misogyny. Like how you’ll hear from idiot bigots that gay men are unnatural because they’re ‘like women’. In so many areas the worst thing a man can possibly be is ‘feminine’.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          I think you are overthinking things relating to this situation.

          Competitively Male to Female transsexuals are likely to have been born with a physical advantage over the gender they are now competing as, the same does not apply the other way around so it is not a consideration when it comes to sports or competition.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        All the more reason not to instantly slam this ruling as trans-phobic and homo-phobic.
        It IS a difficult situation to define. Seems to me they tried to ensure a fair competition for females, realised they’d made mistakes and corrected them.

    • jrodman says:

      The ignorance on display here is truly bold.

  8. Snack says:

    While inclusivity is all the rage these days having gender segregated activities shouldn’t make everyone “erupt” with indignation on the announcement of “women only tournament” ?

    • Xocrates says:

      “Same reasons why you don’t get blue shells in Mario Kart when you’re in first place”

      I could bring up dozens of analogies of why a women’s only tournament makes sense, but the long and short of it is simple: The scene is so male dominated that men don’t need the space, visibility, and representation of men’s only tournament, because any “normal” tournament will already be essentially a men’s only tournament.

      Seriously, can you find a single female participant on the LCS? No? In between EU and NA there are 100 players, and 50% of the worlds population isn’t represented there.

      • Snack says:

        Your analogy would apply if the topic was why the access is denied to the top players, and I’m not arguing that.
        I have to understand that the assumption here is that men are better at this game? If that’s the case, a lower skilled player will only have to gain from the experience of playing against a better one, it’s a guaranteed way for improvement.
        In my opinion everyone should have access to any competition, if the competition is designed for lower skilled players only than advertise it accordingly – no pros allowed, simple. Denying access of competitors based solely on gender is called sexism.

        Edit: fixed some typo.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          Your argument only works if skill level were the only factor in determining people entry into a competition.

          Male dominated environments are *very* often hostile to women.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          So you are saying they need to pitch a tournament exactly at the level where female competitors “might” be able to compete and then hope for the best, otherwise it’s sexist? That’s beyond ridiculous tbh.

          Please look at this realistically rather than pointing to a textbook definition all the time and you would realise due to the low number of female players at all skill levels as well as the restrictive, hostile environment the game has a tendency to create for women, a tournament like this is not a bad thing and it certainly isn’t sexist.

          Anyway, you are wrong. People organizing a tournament for women only is not sexist at all, it would only be sexist if you were then unable to organize your own tournament. Your argument is basically “Everybody has a right to be invited to everything, otherwise prejudice”. Which is complete and utter nonsense.

          You are in fact being prejudiced by saying what you are because essentially you are saying “You cannot organize this thing how you want to do it, you MUST do it how I want”, anybody that doesn’t agree with your way of doing things gets branded a sexist apparently, much like the social justice warrior methodology.

        • wu wei says:

          I have to understand that the assumption here is that men are better at this game?

          Maybe if you stopped assuming and instead listened to what people other than men were saying you wouldn’t be drawing so many erroneous conclusions.

        • Xocrates says:

          You know, it would have helped if you had read past the analogy :/

          It’s not my analogy, which is why it’s in quotes, but the essence is: If you’re ahead, you don’t need help getting ahead.

          This does not mean men are better that women, it simply means that since men dominate the scene then it makes sense to help others getting into the the scene so that equality can actually happen.

        • aldo_14 says:

          Denying access of competitors based solely on gender is called sexism.

          Well, not really.

          Sexism is not discrimination in the sense of separating (otherwise, toilet signage is sexism), but in the sense of prejudicial separation – i.e. motivated by a bias that the person being separated is inferior.

          If this tournament was motivated by the notion that “men are not good enough to play with women” or the converse, it would be sexist. If it was motivated by the notion that women are underrepresented in the general competitive gaming scene and thus this represents the best way to redress that balance, it is palpably not sexist.

          Discriminatory, yes, but discrimination is not always an inherently bad thing and is frequently necessary for positive reasons (such as targeting aid to the most needy, or triage at a medical emergency, or any other manner of things).

  9. OAB says:

    Registered just to say this –

    I’m the only gay in the team

  10. Tuor says:

    Gosh, what a huge relief. Now I can sleep soundly at night.

  11. Sidewinder says:

    Okay, now I can trace the line of logic that would see transgendered people as a potential problem, insofar as it’s following the line from physical sports, but how on earth is a person’s orientation relevant? Have I fallen into another dimension where a person’s preferred type of sexual organ affects their video game playing skills?

    Assuming I haven’t, these folks aren’t the only ones who’re confused: Philippa, this is in the Philippines. The closest territory of any CIS member state is more than 2,000 miles away.

    • Hex says:

      Yeah that seems weird on the surface. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I was assuming they’re saying each team can have 1 gay male or male-to-female transgendered player. The language is unclear.

    • Splattercakez says:

      It still doesn’t make sense, the Olympics allows trans* people to compete in their transitioned sex after just two years of HRT, for a non-physical sport denying trans* people is complete nonsense.

    • kalirion says:

      Potentially explained here: link to

    • pepperfez says:

      If they’re 2000 miles away from anyone cis, you wouldn’t think they’d have much choice in allowing trans people into their tournament.

  12. aircool says:

    WTF is LGBT?

    • Xocrates says:

      Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans

      • Hex says:


        • StAUG says:

          I get LGBT, but what in the hell are the TIAQQ blah blah blah extra letters for? Is something that hasn’t come to Australia yet?

    • Distec says:

      Lettuce Green Bacon Tomato

      It’s a sammich. Should try ordering one.

      • jrodman says:

        This reminds me of the young days of Usenet when someone wandered into soc.motss and asked what the name meant. My favorite answer was:
        Masters of the Submarine Sandwich

        (For any lost, it was members of the same sex, because actually mentioning gay or homosexual etc in the name of the topic would make it completely unworkable as a discussions space.)

    • Frosty Grin says:


  13. Mr Coot says:

    This is quite possibly the most eccentric thing I have read in respect of gender and gender identity in gaming. Just how were they going to police this?! “Right ladies… Pants off for the genital check! Oh- oh… we have some genital ambiguity here… EJECT! Now swabs and blood tests please, so we can make sure your phenotype matches your chromosomes. Oh. And congratulations, Contestant 5 you have previously undetected Swyer syndrome. Now for the orientation check… WE SAW YOU APPRAISING THAT HOT CHICK, Contestant 37! There is a lesbian in the house! But that makes 2 for you, Team 7 – don’t think we didn’t notice the assertive lady in Lane 2 with the short haircut who *Isn’t.Carrying.A.Handbag*! Contestant 12, you do certainly have the right to decline these invasive medical procedures and but don’t worry we have a chapter of the Tranny Fashion Police in attendance who can Pick *Them* By The Way They Dress!!!!!

    Original announcement beggars belief. And it isn’t even an excusable spontaneous lapse… they give an actual ‘thought out’ example how it will work and proviso for future discovery. :boggle:

    One year later… Garena Press Release: After attending recent gamer parties at which we noticed several former women contestants kissing other women and appearing to like it too much, we announce ‘Revision of winner’s table #472’. We are aware of the case of John (formerly Janet) Doe. We are undertaking interrogations to establish exactly when his gender dysphoria onset and do not rule out further revisions.

    • Ada says:

      Minus a chunk of lesbophobia, this is literally how the Olympic Comission works though.

  14. Monggerel says:

    … so where the fuck does the army of shitkites (LOL? and WTF is LGBT? Like, really.) come crawling out of when anything even remotely feminism-or-LGBTQ-or-socially-progressive(ugh) gets posted on RPS? I don’t recognise these usernames.

    There’s no dark side of the Moon, really. Matter of fact, it’s all dark.

    • pepperfez says:

      These posts offer a great opportunity to improve one’s block list for smoother and more pleasant reading. (PS: “Shitkite” is an excellent word, thank you.)

      • kael13 says:

        Ah yes, the old ‘better silence dissenting opinion’ trope.

        • Caerphoto says:

          It’s not silencing anyone, it’s removing them from one’s personal field of view.

          It’s also not doing so to a ‘dissenting opinion’, it’s doing so to ignorant and incoherent ranting.

          • Pantalaimon says:

            Which is, not coincidentally, exactly the type of behaviour I’d encourage upon anyone playing games who encounters similarly hostile players. Don’t engage with them, don’t try to reason with them, just quickly and efficiently mute and continue playing. Don’t even let them know you’re doing it, because they get a kick out of that, too.

        • Synesthesia says:

          showing you the door, relevant xkcd, etc. etc.
          link to

    • Distec says:

      I don’t recognize your name. u sockpuppet m8?

      • Monggerel says:

        w8 m8 i just wanted to st8 how gr8 it is that u went str8 for the b8


  15. Daniel Klein says:

    Not to be outdone, the Esport Sex Press published this today:

    link to

  16. Wytefang says:

    I had no specific issue with the changes that they made – it seemed silly the way the rules were originally written.

    I did have a good chuckle when the writer whipped out the whole “redress the broad cultural and economic differences” bit. There have been plenty of studies showing that career pay gaps no longer exist like they once used to and culturally there’s more balance between genders than there’s ever been – so might be time to calm down the rhetoric on that one. ;) But I guess I’m not allowed to make that point being a hated male and all. #eyeroll #herecomethewhiteknights

    • Hanban says:

      “But I guess I’m not allowed to make that point being a hated male and all. #eyeroll #herecomethewhiteknights”

      I’m glad you took the time to make your comment. Men are so victimized these days that their opinions aren’t seen anywhere at all anymore. I, however, am glad you’re standing up for us and braving the world with this fantastically well-researched comment. What us men needed was a man brave enough to simplify statistics to the point of them becoming completely useless and then telling everybody to calm down.

      Listen up folks, calm the fuck down! We got this! Things are alright now!

    • Ada says:

      You literally have no factual grasp of how vast the gap between cis men and trans women is in employment, housing, imprisonment, pay, sexual assault, rape, or in fact anything.

    • wu wei says:

      There have been plenty of studies

      Then you can easily cite one from a reputable source that has been peer-reviewed, right?

    • aldo_14 says:

      There have been plenty of studies showing that career pay gaps no longer exist like they once used to and culturally there’s more balance between genders than there’s ever been

      So, basically, ‘that’s enough equality for you women, no more!’.

      Even though pay gaps and gender inequality still persist and can be statistically shown, especially in the former.

  17. Mr_Blastman says:

    Oh give me a break. If you’re born a man with man bits, you’re a man. If you’re born with girl bits, you’re a girl. That’s life. Anything else is purely demented like this world is becoming.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Why do you feel so strongly about this? If someone feels they have another gender than they were born with, does this harm you in any way?

      • onionman says:

        I’m not the OP but I’ll say this much. I don’t care if a man wants to “identify as” a woman, or a woman wants to “identify as” a dolphin. We can be polite and friendly and I will, to the best of my ability, try to refer to you with the pronouns (etc.) you want me to refer to you with.

        However, in no way does that mean that I actually think that man is a woman, any more than I actually think that woman is a dolphin. So what bothers me isn’t the identification as such, so much as the increasing aggression with which the borders of acceptable thought and speech are being shrunk and policed.

        I agree that the original policy is silly, because eSports are not like meatspace sports. However I find the idea of some of the commenters here, that a 6’6″ 250 lb. man should be allowed to compete on a woman’s volleyball team if he “identifies as” a woman, both incoherent and dangerous. Put simply, it was to avoid having to compete against biological men that women’s sports were created in the first place. Physiological differences may not matter in eSports, but they absolutely do matter in meatspace.

        • says:

          Yeah, that’s pretty much where I am.

          Also, as if it weren’t already hard enough for the rest of us to understand, the hostility and tumbleresque slurs that have become the norm (at least on the net) are further off-putting.

          • pepperfez says:

            “I used to believe in equality until someone was mean on tumblr.”

        • Caerphoto says:

          I find the idea of some of the commenters here, that a 6’6″ 250 lb. man should be allowed to compete on a woman’s volleyball team if he “identifies as” a woman, both incoherent and dangerous

          Who exactly is claiming that, seriously?

          • onionman says:

            OK fair enough, I glanced through the comments too quickly and it does appear that no one *here* has that position. But I have absolutely encountered it among organized transgender rights activists on the Internet.

        • Marr says:

          > However, in no way does that mean that I actually think that man is a woman, any more than I actually think that woman is a dolphin.

          The thing is, the actual world out there is way too complicated for language to accurately express. Man, Woman and Dolphin are labels, not actual platonic ideals. Nature is messy, and creates people that don’t fall neatly into our mental slots, and privately thinking “Sue’s actually a man” ignores that reality, and leads to things like the Garena Philippines eSports gay quotas.

    • Serenegoose says:

      Deal a meal! Nobody gives two shits what you think, and the world’s leaving you behind – that’s life! I’d get you a daily mail to sob into, but I’m opposed to sacrificing a perfectly good tree for your babytears.

      • Mr_Blastman says:

        LOL the only one boohooing here is you.

        Think of it this way…

        If a Man gets a “sex” change to a woman… can they reproduce by making eggs and holding a baby to term? No.

        If a Woman gets a “sex” change to a man… can they ejaculate and manufacture sperm to reproduce? No.

        404. Sex Change not found.

        Male bits = male. Female bits = female.

        Deal with it. Don’t like it? Blame biology. Life’s sole purpose is to eat, survive and reproduce. If you fail in those roles, you are defective. My thinking isn’t… old. Nor are things changing. That is, unless life is being redefined. And the last time I looked, it isn’t. And if you think it is… You’re delusional. Because life might just leave you behind and extinct like the dinosaurs. So ha ha to you.

        • Serenegoose says:

          This just in! Infertile people no longer have gender! Come one, come all! Humanity now gives a shit what life wants! Incurable diseases no longer being worked on! We must all sit down and accept what biology gives us! No more improvements, no better quality of life! Shut it all down, the idiot on the internet who knows jack shit has spoken!

          Honestly, the whole ‘life’s sole purpose is to reproduce’ schtick? Then why music? Why laughter? Why post your reductionist views on life on a videogames forum? If you think fucking is all we’re here for, then you have all the ambition of bacteria. Thankfully, humanity abandoned that line of thinking at roughly the moment we discovered fire, and decided nature can take a back seat.

          • Mr_Blastman says:

            Why post them? Because they decide to report on this crap. It doesn’t belong. So now everyone gets to deal with it.

            Life isn’t about having fun. It isn’t about being happy. It isn’t about shiny trinkets or tasty lollypops. Life is about eating and sleeping, surviving, breeding and evolving and adapting to challenges to that survival. That’s it! That’s all life is about!

            If you fail at breeding you fail to further your genome thus it turns back to stardust and some other form of life becomes dominant in your place. Quit trying to argue otherwise. You’ll make scientists roll over in their graves.

            Oh, and guess what, mister “Humanity knows and does better!” We are nothing! We are a microcosm in this cosmos. We are pathetic and meaningless on this “rock” we call Earth. It could wipe us out in seconds. So if we give two shites about it and carry on having hedonistic orgies like the ancient Greeks did while waylaying everything else… well, that’s a one way road to extinction. That means we fail at life.

        • Marr says:

          So when medical science advances to the point that transgender folk can reproduce normally, you’ll suddenly accept them as they appear, and not in any way be all like “Ew, you used to have a willy!”


    • aldo_14 says:

      I bet you think rock and roll is corrupting the youth, too.

    • cederic says:

      What if you’re born with man bits and girl bits? What if you’re bitless?

      Gender is not binary.

  18. JaimieAngelo says:

    Awesome ,Loved it :)

  19. MrFlakeOne says:

    They wanted to make female only tournament but seems that due to their clumsy rules and histeric reaction of LGBT community, dudes who declare that they are women can also attend.
    I don’t see anything wrong in making female only tournament – how many professional e-sports females playing League of Legends do you know? They probably wanted to encourage girls to engage in professional League of Legends scene by making tournament only for them.
    I don’t think that organisers of Olympics are getting same shitstorm by dividing competitors by gender. Do you think that it would be ok if male football player would make shitstorm in media, because he feels like a woman and wants to play in female football team?

    • Sian says:

      Olympic sports are physical affairs and men and women are physically different. Games aren’t physical (with the exception of those dance pad things, but I don’t think there’s an e-sports scene there). You’re comparing apples and oranges.

      That said, read about Erich Schinegger:
      link to

      • MrFlakeOne says:

        All in all I don’t see anything wrong in doing female only league. Unfortunately nowadays every mention about gender specific disciplines is a huge ringing bell for LGBT hysteria.

  20. Neutrino says:

    “What the study did, however, show was that female players demonstrated less confidence in their ability to kill opponents. It was a small effect but suggests that awareness of the stereotype that men are more adept at games than women has a measurable effect on a female player’s perception of her own ability.”

    That’s not what it suggests at all. Females aren’t less aggressive than men due to their awareness of social stereotypes, they are less aggressive because they are physiologically and psychologically different. (Apologies all around if the truth is unpalatable for anyone).

    This whole ‘LBGT’ fiasco is exactly the kind of foolishness that results from the need to pander to the delicate sensibilities of anyone who isn’t a heterosexual male. If you have two ‘X’ chromosomes you are a bird, if you don’t you are a bloke, it’s that simple people.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Yes, we should clearly pander to the delicate sensibilities of the heterosexual male instead. Like we’ve always done.

    • HopperUK says:

      Excellent use of ‘females’ vs ‘men’. Well done there.

      • wu wei says:

        I was rather impressed with the dehumanising “birds” vs “blokes” as well.

        • Distec says:

          Pardon, but since when are those terms dehumanizing? Or are you referring to the “versus” part?

          • Luke Nukem says:

            Bloke is a word that is only applied to human males, it is a synonym.
            Bird is a word that was originally used only for non-humans. Thus, it is a dehumanising word.

          • Distec says:

            It seems to me a fairly common expression akin to “dude” or “chick”, no malice or devaluing of humanity intended. I wouldn’t read too much into it unless it is being specifically used in a vulgar or demeaning fashion.

          • jrodman says:

            Because frequency is the primary indicator of completely unrelated qualities.

          • Distec says:

            Was that a response to me? I’m not sure I understand.

        • pepperfez says:

          I assumed he meant that XX chromosomes make one a literal avian. It was every bit as coherent as most of the other True Bio Facts being bandied about here.

          • Serenegoose says:

            I can’t believe that you’d imply that biology, that has in a thousand trillion divisions over a thousand million generations over countless million years, never produced a single variation upon anything, might be prone to producing more than 2 possible outcomes.

    • twig_reads says:

      Only that is not that easy. There are women with XY chromosomes. They were supposed to be boys by ther chromosomes by mistake the thing kicking in male features (fetuses are sexless in the beginning) didnt activate, meaning we have women, who only are only different from XX females that they are sterile. Yes, technically they have XY chromosomes but I doubt anybody would call them males when they dont have any the features and have actually been raised as female (even when you argue that is only genetics and physiology that sets gender).

      • jrodman says:

        It’s more frequently a symptom of “failure”. I use that word in quotes without animus. A variety of problems that can be encountered in early development of male anatomy result in a sort of “escape route” to female. It’s in our genes quite explicitly as a fallback. Last I checked, the presumption was that this was because the development path of ovaries was simpler in the unborn as compared to testicles. That may be wrong, or outdated, but anyway there are several known problems that can occur in XY fetuses that results in female phenotypes.

        It’s one of the reasons (there are several) that women are a majority of the population from birth onwards.

    • wu wei says:

      If you have two ‘X’ chromosomes you are a bird, if you don’t you are a bloke, it’s that simple people.

      Well, no it’s not, because you’re totally wrong.

      After you’re done reading that Wikipedia page, you might want to look up “Dunning–Kruger effect” too.

    • Sam says:

      “Females aren’t less aggressive than men due to their awareness of social stereotypes, they are less aggressive because they are physiologically and psychologically different.”

      No, you cannot draw that conclusion from that study. We know that women who play games on average score their “ability to kill” as slightly lower than men who play at the same skill level. We have no data on why that is the case. You can say bro-science things about testosterone and behaviour, but that’s an extremely complex system with many more inputs than what gonads someone has.

      Neither your claim that it’s due to physiological differences nor this article’s claim that it’s due to gendered socialisation is backed by research.

      We’d need some pretty extreme experiments to find that causation. Bring up a few thousand girls as if they were boys and see if they turn out to be as aggressive video game players as boys brought up as boys. But it would be extremely hard to do as parents and carers exhibit gender-specific behaviours towards children even when actively trying to avoid it. Also unlikely to get it past an ethics board, or find funding.

  21. Pantalaimon says:

    “any player who self-identifies as female will be allowed to participate”

    I still don’t think they get it…

  22. childofthekorn says:

    I bet there are absolutely 0 women that are wondering why their competitors have penises in an all women tourny.

  23. Rosveen says:

    As a woman, I feel women-only video game tournaments are pointless at best and insulting at worst. As a lesbian, this particular tournament is a disgrace. But I’d really like to know how they were going to enforce those rules. Check each player’s genitalia? How do you even prove someone is a lesbian? It’s all quite mind-boggling.

  24. namad says:

    this article seems to sidestep the issue of…. are women only tournaments a good thing or a bad thing? hosting these women only tournaments might encourage a few women attending but… for all the women who don’t even play because they feel like they can’t? hearing the headline that women compete in separate tournaments only reinforces the idea that they can’t play with the men.

    we need more of a jackie robinson figure more than a wnba because the average woman being shorter than the average man and having less average jumping power is irrelevant.

    • Bishop149 says:

      Indeed, whilst the article is pretty spot on in term of what it tackles, doesn’t having an “[insert binary gender here] ONLY tournament” encourage the impression of a disparity where none actually exists?

      I get that women might be put off by the idea of playing with immature sexist idiots, but then surely the rule should simply be “Anyone acting like an immature sexist idiot will be kicked out”.

  25. triclops41 says:

    When will your bigotry end? It’s LGBTQIA! Why do you hate queer, intersex, and asexuals?

    • cederic says:

      Surely the T and the I could stack with the others too?

      I’ve always been confused with the T being lumped in with the LGB. You could be T and any or none of those.

      But good call on the A. I find society terribly discriminating against people that just can’t be arsed getting laid.

  26. Riley Lungmus says:

    “Their revised stance is simply what should have happened in the first place.”

    Well, good. I’m glad they’re learning.

  27. Vandell says:

    Reminds me of the issues faced by the women’s MMA scene, where transgender male-to-female (except less violent). There was a large kerfuffle when one of the woman fighters said it simply wasn’t fair during their shit-talking, because you can take all the estrogen in the world but you can’t change how you’re built. And biologically, men are simply primed for muscle gain and a strong bone structure; so they can take a hit, and dish one out.

    I assume some people feel the same about this, though I suppose there’s a bit less of an issue with it since men and women are more mentally comparable.

    • Vandell says:

      where transgender male-to-female athletes were allowed*.

      The lack of editing is disturbing..