The Counter-Strike players who were denied entry into a female-only ESL tournament were actually men pretending to be transgender as a joke.
BuzzFeed News reported last week a group of transgender women had their entry rejected to an all-female Counter-Strike tournament because they didn’t look “feminine” enough and were asked for passports to prove they were women. As it turned out, they staged the entire thing “for laughs.”
Sly Buehl Rigilio, who originally reached out to Buzz Feed about the story, told Infowars that they took measures over the past two weeks to “see if we could trick Buzzfeed into posting something that is fake,” and described how he and his cohorts lied about the story.
“We decided to pose as a ‘transgendered’ pro team, we made it as ridiculous as possible by uploading obvious troll pics to our profiles on the tournament’s website (pics of us wearing wigs, etc),” he said. “We knew we were going to get declined into joining the tournament, so once we did get turned down, I then sent an email to a Buzz Feed journalist by the name of Lane Sainty to try and bait them into making a story out of it.”
Hoax aside, the incident resulted in the ESL reconsidering its policies for female-only tournaments. In response to the initial Buzz Feed article, Anna Rozwandowicz, ESL director of communications, told Kotaku that the ESL would consider changes to be more inclusive in its policies.
“We believe that esports and gaming should and can be an inclusive,” she told Kotaku. “and I have taken steps internally to revisit the tournament rules and to align them with AnyKey’s recommendations.”