Buzzfeed broke the news last week that tournament organizer Munich Finest Gaming rejected several transgender players from the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive “5on5 Female Open Summer 2017” event that was hosted by ESL. The original action was taken because the players could be potentially penalized for “faking their gender” and that their applications were rejected based off photographs of the players and that they “failed to submit female passports,” according to the article. ESL confirmed this by stating that they did so in order to comply with German law.
Now after receiving much scrutiny from the media, the eSports community, fans and players alike, ESL is now working with the diversity-focused group Any Key to revise their rules moving forward. Any Key briefly spoke with Kotaku on the issue, which sounds promising on the surface but only time will tell what changes are made to the format. As for the CS:GO team that went through the rejection, team member Sly Buehl Rigilio also commented to Kotaku that it has likely made members reconsider going to future tournaments for fear of dealing with the same level of harassment and rejection they receive from ESL. Which is a shame to hear that a team has already decided to call it quits without even showing people what they can do on a major stage. A painful reminder that there are still areas in eSports that have a long ways to go when it comes to equality.