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Major Pro Gaming League Bans YouPorn's Gaming Team, Here's Why

ESL cuts ties with adult website's pro gaming team because it does not support advertising pornography.


[UPDATE] The ESL provided multiple statement on the matter to GameSpot, explaining its policy and the recent decision to ban Team YP from official events.

"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.

"We have spoken to Team YP manager earlier this year and in that conversation we've explained the situation and rules in detail, and offered to look for potential alternatives in a bigger group. At the same time, we're consulting with our legal teams about this. We will inform the team and the management as soon as we have any updates."

A representative for ESL also informed GameSpot that its "no drugs, no alcohol, no pornography" rules are not new and that Team YP is only just now going public with its side of the story. In addition, Team YP has not participated in any of ESL's pro leagues, including ESL One and IEM, we're told.

"The rule has been put in place and enforced since more than a year and a half ago, and there are more examples of situations where Team YP has been either asked to change name or warned they won't be able to play/qualify for event under the Team YP flag," the ESL representative said. "However, discussions with the teams have been going on for a long time so it is not like we just decided to enforce it now, they just made it public now."

The original story is below.

Major eSports organization Electronic Sports League is severing ties with adult website YouPorn's professional gaming team, Team YP. This is being done in the wake of an new existing rule that blocks sponsors who are "widely known for pornographic … or other adult/mature themes and products."

That's according to an email that ESL management sent to Team YP, according to a report today from GamesBeat.

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According to GamesBeat, Team YP tried on numerous occasions to alter its branding and messaging to appease ESL, including changing its logo and name to say YP instead of YouPorn. Additionally, the organization adjusted its SEO so that when people searched for Team YP on Google, they wound up at a safe-for-work Team YP site and not the XXX site.

"I am disappointed that Team YP's growth is being stunted by this decision, not to mention the effect that this will have on our roster of players," Team YP manager Claire Fisher told GamesBeat. "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 brand, clearly separated from any adult content, seems unfair to say the least."

The ESL has not responded to GamesBeat's request for comment, while GameSpot was also unable to reach the company at press time. For lots more on this story, head to GamesBeat to read the full report.

Team YP runs teams for games like Mortal Kombat X, Evolve, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II, and Ultra Street Fighter IV.

Writing on Twitter, Team YP said it hopes it can overcome "these obstacles."

Thank you everyone for your support. Team YP will overcome these obstacles and usher in an age of equal opportunity in esports for all.

— Team YP (@TeamYPOfficial) April 23, 2016


— Team YP (@TeamYPOfficial) April 23, 2016

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