After facing an insane amount of backlash, a League of Legends women-only tournament , called the Iron Solari, has removed its restriction on the number of LGBT players. The e-sports league, Garena Philippines, instated a policy saying that each team could not have more than 1 gay or transgender woman for the entirety of the tournament day.
Ironically, Garena said it had imposed the new rules to help ensure “a more inclusive environment where no one feels left out. The league also said that they instated this policy in order to add a level playing field for all, since “There are arguments and concerns from other participants who disputes that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered women members may probably have some unfair advantage.” Riot Games, the studio behind the increasingly popular MOBA game, said in a press release that all “LGBT players are welcome at official LoL tourneys. We’re working with partners to ensure consistency with our values across all regions.”
On their official website, Garena said that, “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 offense we caused to the LGBT and gaming communities.”
The message sent out by Riot Games is a part of their continuing war on toxic players. Riot began testing a new form of detection and banning for “extreme toxicity” including intentional feeding or racism, starting with small tests on one server at a time. They also positively rewarded their players who didn’t get a single ban during the year of 2014, and as of 11/13/2014, 95% of active players in 2014 have never received a punishment of any kind. Those players are set to receive a 4-win IP boost.
League of Legends is currently one of the most popular MOBAs, along with DotA 2 and Smite. The e-sport current boasts a huge online population of 27 million daily players, and a total of 67 million monthly players.