Controversy surrounds all-female pro League team

League of Legends Continental League team RoX banned five support champions in the draft phase against all-female opponents Vaevictis Esports, a sexist joke that drew attention to how problematic the team was to begin with.

Even though Vaevictis seemed amused by the joke while on stage, an ensuing Reddit thread about RoX’s stunt was locked due to “an overwhelming amount of sexist comments.” Before the lockdown, a Reddit user noted that RoX had achieved a 10K gold lead at just 13 minutes, and a “flame horizon,” or a 100+ CS lead in top lane, at 15 minutes.

Vaevictis Esports is currently at the bottom of the LCL, losing in under 20 minutes to Dragon Army and losing to Vega Squadron while trailing in kills by 52-2.

While it’s often a joke that women only play support roles in video games, Vaevictis Esports’ roster is curiously comprised entirely of support mains. The players are also Diamond Elo, while most professional League of Legends players are Grandmaster or better. It’s unclear why Vaevictis would put together a roster that is almost guaranteed to fail, but many people are calling the team a publicity stunt.

“It’s time to experiment,” Vaevictis said when announcing the all-female team.

The organization went on to say it would like to find out just how competitive the women’s team would be on the professional stage, and how the team might progress. This doesn’t account for the team’s players playing off their standard roles.

Women are underrepresented in esports, which has led to some questionable marketing ploys to make up for the lack of female pro players. This can include singling women out in an attempt to overcompensate, like when Riot aggressively highlighted the inclusion of female streamers at League of Legends All-Stars 2018.

Meanwhile, Riot has been embroiled in controversy regarding an alleged sexist work environment.

Despite viewers being amused by RoX’s support champion ban, most of LCL’s followers do not seem entertained by Vaevictis Esports’ experiment, accusing the organization of not taking the league seriously.