The Electronic Sports League decided to prohibit the participation of Team YP at any further events due to them being sponsored by porn website, YouPorn.
The news has made its way around the web thanks to a report by VentureBeat. E-mails leaked to VentureBeat revealed that Team YP was willing to re-brand but the ESL directors were having none of it. Team YP has worked hard to try to separate itself from the YouPorn aspect of its logo but it’s inevitable that porn is just part of the package.
According to the ESL, the reason they enacted the ban against Team YP is because they didn’t want to grant sponsors platforms where they’re…
“widely known for pornographic … or other adult/mature themes and products,”
This has created quite the firestorm because a lot of gamers question why gambling sites and other gray-market sellers that have come under fire from publishers and distributors, such as G2A, are still allowed to sponsor teams under ESL broadcasts but not YouPorn?
In a Reddit thread about the topic, user Dxidaniel questioned how the ESL can stand by supporting adult-themed games like Counter-Strike: GO, which features killing, terrorism and gun violence but not allow YouPorn to sponsor an e-sports team, writing…
“ESL will run massive events for CSGO where the core of the game is planting bombs and shooting your opponents, but doesn’t want to allow a porn site sponsor. What is inherently wrong about porn that makes ESL not want to have them at events when as I said they’re clearly okay with broadcasting simulated killing? (not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but you get my point)”
TheDavv was more worried about the troubling gambling scene surrounding games like Counter-Strike: GO and the e-sports platforms enabling this behavior, writing…
“[I don’t] understand, are they propagating pornography? NO. But lets have 10 [ads] for betting sites that are illegal if [you’re] under 18 wtf. [I don’t] care that YP is banned who cares. Gambling is real thing [though]. [It’s a] shame that many tournaments are propagating gambling. Just saying i had experience when person ruined his live with that.”
According to PC Gamer, Dorby Gaming, a prominent gambling site in the Counter-Strike: GO scene, even ventured so far as to sponsor a team in the e-sports leagues. Dorby Gaming and other unsanctioned gambling sites contribute to a ring of gambling within the Counter-Strike community that can generate upwards of $12,000 a day for some betters, as noted by Vice.
The gambling and trading in games like Counter-Strike have become such a hot commodity that Valve reported that they were dealing with 77,000 accounts each month being hijacked so that those who scheme and set about nefarious plots can profit from those stolen accounts.
Others noted that most businesses will tolerate advertising from gray market sites like G2A, but YouPorn was a step too far for them.
According to theScore eSports, Team YP tried changing their logo and modifying their shirts to be more safe for work (although none of their logos previously have been not safe for work). Capcom even tried prohibiting Team YP from the Capcom Cup 2015 until they changed to censored Team YP logos.
Technically the team practically has no association with YouPorn for as far as their website and t-shirts are concerned.
Team YP’s manager Claire Fisher explained to Venture Beat…
“While for some, our participation in esports has been controversial, stopping our players from competing because they are sponsored by us, in spite of Team YP operating as a completely SFW [safe for work] brand, clearly separated from any adult content, seems unfair to say the least.”
ESL is basically looking to choke out Team YP from events to basically make the porn-sponsored e-sports team disappear from the ESL scene.
What’s bizarre is that Team YP also has a ladies division known as YP Ladies. Essentially if the ESL and other tournament organizers like Capcom have their way, they would be pushing out a sponsor who tried to bring more women into gaming.
And they say #GamerGate doesn’t want women in gaming? Right.
(Counter-Strike: GO image courtesy of oscur4’s)