Public Backlash on New Female League of Legends Team Siren


siren

Little Jenny, team captain and support (Diamond I, S3); Yoonie, top (Solo Queu S2 ELO ranking: 2200); ilysuiteheart, jungler (Platinum 4, S3); Christina, adc (Diamond I, S3); Solvanas, mid (Diamond IV, S3)

Team Siren is a new League of Legends group composed of five high-ranking North American players. Last week, Michael Roud Productions released their introduction video. Within the first 10 seconds, Team Siren claims to be the first all-female LoL team, which is not only false but takes the wind from the sails of countless other female gamers who just want to play and aren’t focused on becoming famous before proving themselves in professional tournaments. This resulted in public backlash from sites like Elohell, MMO Champion and Reddit.

There are dozens of female groups like the Kitchen Bandits, the Mystical Angels, as well as several PMS clan members in the co-ed LoL division. Someone on Reddit even requested a match between Team Siren and the Kitchen Bandits.

The majority of comments posted on the Siren Facebook page are from people who are upset that they promote sex as their selling point. One person stated that it’s not important that they’re women, no one is going to look at their faces. People watch replays of LoL matches to see the game. About half of the comments are people cheering them on while the others call them out on being false representations of “feminist heroines.”

“The next time an actual serious girl tries to come on the scene, all she’ll hear is jokes about Siren. This is what I’m most pissed off at.” — Reddit user NovaCrystallis

There’s also speculation that Team Siren is a marketing ploy. The team’s owners, Craig Ostrin and Michael Gluck, work at research firm VGMarket. Their clients include Square Enix, Capcom, Ubisoft, Zynga, and many more. Could this be an experiment to see how far a group of women can make it professionally in a male dominated game? After all, these players were only grouped together in the “Siren House” after having been approached by VGMarket.

Team Siren, who claim to be the women pioneers of LoL, aspire to be role models. They write on their blogs about how they have taken on a task greater than themselves: standing up for women in competitive gaming. Ilysuiteheart wrote, “I am not worthy of this opportunity, but I am sure as hell grateful.”

That sounds passionate and sincere. But how do they act during matches?

little_jenny

Little Jenny on the front page of video game streaming website Twitch.Tv on May 30, 2013

In a recently recorded game with Hotshotgg from CLGaming, Little Jenny constantly trash talks in all-chat. “Next leveled bitch buff transfer complete u can collect ur panties at the door”, she said at seven minutes and 56 seconds then a couple minutes later, “Hot shot the world wants to know how does little Jenny dick taste?”

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of intense banter in all-chat in. It used to be horrible until Riot enacted the Tribunal system  in May 2011 where players could help make the community more enjoyable by allowing summoners to discipline other players who trolled, rage quit or had a negative attitude. However, there’s a difference between a competitive attitude and bad sportsmanship. If a Siren or any player calls herself a professional gamer, then she should know by now that there are ways to win and lose gracefully.

ilysuiteheart

Siren Afterhours” where they put the focus on their facecam instead of gameplay.

All and all, I hope they don’t quit because of the LoL community’s negative reaction. People make mistakes. I just hope Team Siren realizes soon that they don’t have to use sexism as a gimmick or trash talk just to get noticed in the industry.

Will the Sirens ever go against top teams like TSM or Dignitas in the competitive scene or will their 15 minutes of paid fame fizzle out?

Update: June 26, 2013 Team Siren has disbanded according to Christina.

Svenna is a writer and the Public Relations Director for Girl Gamer Vogue. For more from Svenna, check out her Twitter Twitch and YouTube Channel.

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