Buzz about the pornographic website YouPorn showing its intention to sponsor a team to major eSports competitions finally became a reality. However, it was then barred by some of the largest eSports leagues due to an existing ruling that prohibits the brand to participate.
Major pro gaming league Electronic Sports League has announced that it is severing ties with YouPorn’s eSport team “Team YP,” an eSports team sponsored by pornographic website YouPorn. This was due to an existing rule that no drugs, no alcohol and no pornography are allowed to be advertised by the league and the team.
YouPorn has tried to change the team’s name and even alter the branding, from logo to the SEO results of searches. When typing Team YP, users will be redirected to the safe for work website of Team YP instead of the not safe for work YouPorn website.
In an interview with GamesBeat, Team YP manager Claire Fisher made a statement.
“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 brand, clearly separated from any adult content, seems unfair to say the least.”
ESL has made an official statement with regard to banning Team YP.
“Advertising pornography is not legal in the markets we operate in, and the vast majority of partners we’re working with have strict ‘no drugs, no alcohol, no pornography’ rules that we’ve contractually taken on board. These aren’t new rules, but ones that have been in our rulebooks for a long time.
We have spoken to Team YP manager earlier this year and in that conversation we’ve explained the situation and rules in detail, and offered to look for potential alternatives in a bigger group. […] We will inform the team and the management as soon as we have any updates.”
Among the events that Team YP players participated in include “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “Evolve,” “Mortal Kombat X,” “StarCraft II,” and “Ultra Street Fighter IV.”