Many of you will remember that last year, the site YouPorn began seeking an eSports team to sponsor and thus, Team YP was born. Unfortunately, not everyone is looking favourably on porn companies getting involved in eSports. More specifically, ESL, one of the biggest eSports tournament organisations around seems to have a problem with it and has banned YouPorn’s sponsored team from all future events.
This won’t just affect Team YP though, while they are the only porn sponsored team around right now, ESL doesn’t want any future porn-sponsored teams at its events either. Team YP has already tweeted out to talk a little bit about this decision: “We are disappointed by ESL’s decision to ban our esports team. We will continue to strive towards professionalism and transparency. Thank you everyone for your support. Team YP will overcome these obstacles and usher in an age of equal opportunity in esports for all.”
So why is the ESL looking to distance itself from porn-sponsored eSports teams? Well it all comes down to legal reasons. According to the ESL, advertising porn isn’t legal in the areas its operates in and many of the organisations business partners have strict ‘no drugs, no alcohol, no pornography’ rules drafted in to their contracts. In a statement sent to Polygon the ESL said:
“Advertising pornography is not legal in the markets we operate in, and the vast majority of partners we’re working with have strict “no drugs, no alcohol, no pornography” rules that we’ve contractually taken on board. These aren’t new rules, but ones that have been in our rulebooks for a long time.”
The ESL has been in talks with its legal team as well as Team YP in order to look at potential alternatives and explain the situation properly. However, for now it looks like eSports teams looking to take on a porn site sponsor won’t be able to partake in any ESL tournaments.
KitGuru Says: A lot of companies out there have contracts to prevent them being associated with things like drugs, alcohol and pornography, many of which likely work closely with ESL to put on tournaments. What do you guys think of this? Should a tournament organiser be able to ban teams based on their sponsors?