The Dota 2 community is conflicted after Perfect World Gaming agreed to remove a leg from its anchor desk after fans complained that they couldn’t see a female host’s legs.
According to Perfect World Gaming’s original Weibo post, spectators were allegedly “dissatisfied” with the leg tables and claimed it affected their viewing experience of the Dota Pro Circuit’s China Division. The tournament organizers claimed that they had sawed off the “evil table leg” themselves. The joke is that the Chinese audience wanted a clearer view of one of the female host’s legs whenever they showed the commentator’s desk.
Here is a before photograph of the table:
And here is the table once the legs were removed by Perfect World Gaming:
A DPC viewer shared the post on Reddit, showing some closer photos of the woman’s legs before and after the table was modified. While it was intended as a joke, the original poster was surprised to see that many people in the Dota 2 community expressed concern with the situation.
Many fans called the joke a violation of the female host’s privacy and respect. Others called the behavior of the tournament organizer”disgusting.” Some Dota 2 fans expressed that they were uncomfortable with the situation. While others argued that the woman may have agreed to the joke, it was pointed out that she still could have felt pressured by her boss to play along.
On Weibo, Dota 2 fans seemed quite excited by the new table. They applauded Perfect World Gaming for removing the table legs and expressed that they are now more willing to watch the main stage. While some fans argued that “different cultures” have “different humor,” it just didn’t sit right with many who saw this as objectifying the female host.
That the joke was deemed inappropriate by so many may in part be due to the ongoing sexism that many women experience in the esports and gaming industries. It seemed insensitive to make a sexual joke about a woman’s appearance and have the focus of the broadcast be on her legs. Many felt that this was a troubling incident that could make other women in the industry even more uncomfortable with their place in competitive gaming.