On Saturday, the League Championship Series (LCS) posted a video to X where esports players explained what the league’s "Game Changers" program means to them.
The program, which returned for its third season in 2023, has the mission of "opening more opportunities for women and marginalized genders in League of Legends esports." The LCS is a competitive gaming league for playing League of Legends. The finals will be held in Los Angeles.
To be eligible for the program, players must be 18 or older, a resident of the US or Canada, be able to attend the full program, have up-to-date travel documents, and have the ability to submit game footage recordings.
Most importantly, to be considered for the program, players "must be a woman or of a marginalized gender."
Featured in the video were biological males going by the gamer names "Shapeshift," "Shysept," and "Heloisia" from the team Serenity, "Rhyle" from the team Arcana, and "Billy Worth" from the team Astrocats. The only biological woman featured in the video was "Avril," from the team Astrocats.
Avril said the program was a "light at the end of the tunnel, especially [for] women" saying that she’s dealt with "bad things in this community" that have pushed her away from it, and the program has allowed her to remain in the competition.
Billy Worth, who uses "they/them" pronouns, said "LCS Game Changers means uplifting women and people of marginalized gender and demonstrating how despite what people may think, we’re actually, like, very talented."
Heloisia, who goes by "she/they" pronouns, said, "I really view it as something to showcase what women and other marginalized genders are doing in esports. It’s not really something that’s on the forefront of a lot of people’s minds, but it’s something that’s really growing and ever increasingly important in the field because there is so much of a population of women gamers."
Notably, LCS hid replies on their post of the video, with the majority of replies being positive. Some users, though, were able to express their disdain.
"That’s a lot of hidden replied, what was the intent behind this league btw," one user wrote.
"Another example of overrepresentation of transgender women in all-female brackets," wrote another. "But it’s ok, all 'females' have equal opportunities in pro play."
"What do the hidden comments say," one user questioned.
Speaking in regards to the program, LCS said, "We are excited to work with SIDO, an esports research group and consultancy, that shares our vision for an equitable, diverse, and healthy esports environment. SIDO will be our operations and programming partner for Game Changers 2023 as we work together to create more opportunities for those who have been traditionally overlooked."
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