Professional gaming is on the rise, and sees a massive amount of money generated and won in competitions each passing year. Last year, porn website YouPorn raised a few eyebrows when it announced that it was going to sponsor its own professional team of players. It now seems they have run into a few problems, mainly from the Electronic Sports League.
The Electronic Sports League want to make professional gaming more available to fans and competitors around the world, but it seems it doesn’t want to have anything to do with the porn industry or any affiliate of it. While somewhat understandable in certain contexts, Team YP have been very particular about how they present themselves, even in the name of their team itself.
Recently, ESL adopted a new rule that disallows any sponsors “widely known for pornographic … or other adult/mature themes and products.” Team YP definitely gets caught red handed in that category. No pun intended.
According to Appy Gamer, “YouPorn was careful in its sponsorship – its TeamYP gaming website declined to promote the YouPorn brand or adult entertainment. And while Fortune reported back in September that YouPorn hadn’t “had any negative reaction from leagues or publishers to date,” that has since changed.”
The bigwigs at Team YP even offered to change their branding and name in order to let their players continue on with what they do best, but the Electronics Sports League were having none of it.
“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,” Team YP manager Claire Fisher told GamesBeat. “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.”
“In the end, this is mostly impacting the income of gamers who want to be sponsored,” said Fisher. “Without which, esports wouldn’t be able to operate in the way that it does.”