Esports league bans YouPorn-sponsored team

By Shabana Arif, Monday, 25 April 2016 12:26 GMT

Pro gamer Team YP sponsored by YouPorn has been barred from the ESL.

team yp

The directors of the ESL have ruled that Team YP are to banned because of their association with their sponsor, YouPorn.

The rules dictating this course of action have been in place for some time, and an ESL representative issued the following statement to Polygon:

“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 spoke to the manager of Team YP earlier this year and in that conversation we explained the situation and rules in detail, and offered to look for potential alternatives in a bigger group. At the same time, we are consulting with our legal teams about this. We will inform the team and the management as soon as we have any updates.”

Team YP have tried to appeal the decision, going so far as to offer to rebrand in an email to the ESL.

“If the division had to go through a rebranding and remove the YP for something else, if the sponsor is still technically ‘YouPorn’ but the YP is not actively present in the branding, would you be allowed to let my teams play? If the two letters are removed, our sponsorship will be implied due to the fact that we are somewhat well established as a sponsor at that point, but ESL would not be placed in a difficult position since you wouldn’t be promoting YouPorn directly at all since that would be removed.”

The ESL are sticking to their guns, citing their policy as the reason Team YP can no longer participate.

However, team captain Eril “YP_Nightwane” Djoehana told GamesBeat, “We feel like this rule has been implemented in direct connection to our sponsor’s efforts. It was only created after we started entering ESL cups and started getting noticed.”

Do you think the ESL is justified in holding this decision, in spite of the team’s willingness to rebrand? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.