Fake News

Conservative blogs have been having themselves some lols at the expense of Buzzfeed and transgender people.

A right wing troll named Sly Buehl Rigilio and his trolling group Rigatoni Family tried to enter the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 5-on-5 Female Open Summer 2017 tournament hosted by ESL and conducted by Munich Finest Gaming.

They received an email:

No males are allowed. Please take care, [faking] your gender can be penalized.

Rigilio told Buzzfeed:

When I saw this I almost broke down in tears," Rigilio continued. "Here I am thinking we finally have a shot to shine and show our true colours to the gaming world, and then we get shut down based on our looks, because we didn't look 'female' enough for them.

Tournament rules require each active member of the team to submit a passport identifying them as female.

As female tournaments are meant to help develop and support the female esports scene. We are extra careful to triple-check that those who want to participate in female tournaments are also eligible to do so.

For the record, I am not saying that we think the team in question is trying to troll us – I am saying that the extra checks we performed on them, we performed on everyone else to ensure the competitive integrity of the tournament is safeguarded.

--Anna Rozwandowicz, ESL

it turns out that Rigilio and his team was acting in bad faith -- specifically, they're a bunch of right-leaning YouTuber trolls operating under the alias "Rigatoni Family." Per their interview with infamously far-right publication Infowars, they'd deliberately targeted ESL to provoke controversy and trick publications into writing about, well. Fake news.

The AntKey Organization was founded by ESL and Intel and is "committed to a long-term vision of a gaming community that is welcoming to all players, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, religious belief, background, or physical appearance."

They issued this statement:

Regardless of what it says on your passport or ID, or what judgements people may want to make about who they think you are, at AnyKey we believe in a policy of “you are who you say you are.” This means that anyone who self-identifies and lives as a woman should be able to participate in any women-only tournament.

But there is a rather clear silver lining. The actions undertaken by ESL, with AnyKey's consultation, still leads to a more welcoming environment for trans gamers. Rigilio's attempts to perpetuate harm against them may ultimately just serve to make their lives easier.

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