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Since its inception, Team YP has gotten somewhat of a hesitant response from the corporate side of gaming; while the team was formed for the same reasons any competitive team was formed – specifically, a desire to compete in the video game sector. On the other hand, however, the teams sponsor it an adult entertainment giant.

So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the team has been banned from competing in the Electronic Sports League (ESL) strictly due to the fact that their sponsor is the widely known YouPorn. The ESL, which holds tournaments and ongoing pro seasons for a number of games, has enacted a new rule that prohibits any sponsors “widely known for pornographic … or other adult/mature themes and products,” according to an email that ESL officials sent to Team YP.

What is somewhat surprising, however, is that the ESL has refused any negotiations with Team YP, if reports are to be believed. Apparently, YouPorn has offered to remove any and all team materials that refer to the company, even offering to change Team YPs name in order to get the team back into the competition. (Team YP has competed in the ESL for several years now.) According to a number of commentators on social media, this may be an effort focused on getting Team YP out of the competition, despite the best efforts of YouPorn to make the team as safe for work as possible, with many pointing out that casual fans wouldn’t guess the affiliation hadn’t they already known about it.

Team YP manager Claire Fisher spoke out about the teams removal from the Electronic Sports League in an interview with GamesBeat, and claimed that the removal was “unfair.” Speaking to GamesBeat, she said:

“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. 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 [safe for work] brand, clearly separated from any adult content, seems unfair to say the least.”

While the ban may be a set back to the team, it seems that it’s not going to affect them for too long, with many other competitions set to begin in the coming months where Team YP are still eligible to compete.

Luke Luby

Luke is a journalist and marketer based in Cork City, Ireland.