I can’t say that in spite of my enjoyment of League of Legends, I’m not an active member of the LoL community in the least bit. I don’t participate in forums, and I don’t take “the sport” the least bit seriously. However, I admit that I’m more aware of LoL-happenings on a somewhat regular basis, because I do find enjoyment in LoL-related memes, and I frequent a couple sites that update fairly regularly and frequently, providing me some sometimes ok LoL-related content. However, amidst the funny pictures is the occasional nod to current events in the League community. Usually it’s something involving a professional player and their non-League activities.
But recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about a “pro-team” that consists of nothing but female members and is boasting that they’re the first all-female League of Legends professional team. But most importantly, they made this overly-produced promotional video of themselves, that the community has apparently taken a great amount of relish in ripping apart and making fun of.
They call themselves “siren” (all lower-case, because that’s feminine), and the video actually ironically humorously has each of the five members boasting about how “I am a siren,” amidst a whole bunch of micro-second long clips of supposedly them in-game, that don’t actually show any in-game talent. And then there’s a whole bunch of numbers and statistics pulled from previously seen infographics about how League is popular in the world, but that the vast majority of players and teams are all guys. And how they’re here to change all of that.
I wonder why they didn’t name themselves “siryn” with a Y? Were they afraid that they would get sued by Marvel Comics or something? Why not go “syryn,” with two Ys, and really drive home that they’re females!
But seriously, the crosshairs of the community is clearly on them at the moment, and there’s no shortage of criticism, flaming, white-knighting, and just general discussion about them. In that regard, they’re already somewhat successful, as long as they firmly believe in the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
But naturally, lots of it is revolving around sexist undertones, and is devolving into this pointless, nobody-wins kind of battle of the sexes. From what I’ve seen in sparse bursts of comments, just about everything’s been said about how none of them are really that particularly attractive, about how it’s phony, because they’re all dolled up and wearing makeup for what’s supposedly “just gaming,” and how they’re really not that good in the grand spectrum of LoL players.
Yeah, it’s a thin line when it comes to people trying to be critical without crossing over into boundaries of where it could be perceived as sexism, but as far as I’m concerned, it became a matter of sexism the moment these chicks felt the necessity to incorporate the tagline to their own team’s logo of how they’re the first all-female LoL team there is.
Personally, I couldn’t care of what the gender of the people I’m playing against is. I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten my ass handed to me by tons of women in the game, but at the same time, there’s a good chance that I’ve victimized a female player at some point. It’s not like it’s discussed in all-chat during the game on a regular basis. And as far as I’m concerned, if you’re better than me and beat the ever-living shit out of me in-game, you’re automatically a fat, no-life, mouth-breathing basement dwelling pub-stomper and are irrefutably a dude.
The thing is, I can kind of see why nobody is really giving siren any respect from what I can tell. From the onset, they’ve made their entire team about how they’re females first, and not League players. The fascinating thing about online arena gaming is the fact that behind computer screens, nobody has a gender and we’re all equal players until divided by level of skill. Under a vague pseudonym, nobody will ever know if you have a penis or a vagina, and in the grand spectrum of playing games, that information is irrelevant.
Just because the statistics say that 90% of LoL gamers and team compositions are all males doesn’t mean that the community goes around rubbing their cocks, giving each other cock-fives and boast about how great it is that they’re all men with penises, and how that there are no girls around. Yet in spite of that, siren felt what I think was an unnecessary need to kick down the door and turn this whole thing into a sexist matter. As far as I’m concerned, they’re deserving of most of the criticism that’s directed towards them, but I have to imagine they’re aware of the result, and as I said before, if they’re firm believers in the no publicity is bad publicity adage, then they’re getting precisely what they wanted – attention.
They’re like the WWE Divas. They go through such lengths to put their gender ahead of the occupation, and as a result nobody takes them seriously. It’s a (un)proven fact that Divas matches are strategically placed in the cards of RAW and pay-per-views so that people can go to the bathroom or at the moments where competing television programming might be at its strongest or weakest, where they can capitalize or take their foot off the gas. And then there’s the fact that their belt went from what was sure, a kind of bland-looking Womens’ Championship Belt, into this over-the-top girl-power Divas Title, that even a belt collector like myself wouldn’t even take for free.
If it hasn’t already happened, it’s only a matter of time before siren is put to the test and has to play against other competitive teams out there. If they weren’t doing this as an obvious ploy to garner a massive amount of attention quickly, they simply go about their business through the normal channels of arranging and creating their own team via the LoL team client, and work their way up with nobody being aware of their gender, and if they’re really good, they ascend into the pro-ranks where those who care could find out for themselves.
But instead, it’s as this point that siren has put themselves into a do-or-die position, where they simply must win and defeat reputable “professional” teams, or else be exposed as simply atypical attention-grubbing girls, trying too hard to be queens of shit mountain.
Either way, I can’t say I give a shit enough to care about what results of such would be, unless it were conveniently made available in my normal internet rounds. But it was still something that I felt like saying, because in cases like this, the sexism sure as shit is not one-sided.