The caster has come under fire for his comments

Semmler on ESL Impact: Allowing [trans women] to compete defeats the purpose

The caster and content creator commented on the inclusion of transgender individuals competing in ESL Impact.

ESL's Impact League has wrapped up its Season 2 Finals in Jönköping over the weekend, where the American sides fell short after being favorites to go deep in the event. Nigma Galaxy ended up as the second consecutive winners of the league as they continued their dominance in Europe and the International stage.

After the conclusion of the event, comments from Franco-American caster Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat emerged where he criticized the inclusion of transgender women within the ESL Impact League. Semmler stated in a YouTube comment, "I'm afraid that you've been misled into believing that men can become women and vice versa. Men should not be competing in a female league."

Many within the esports community have criticized Semmler's comments as being transphobic and unaccepting of individuals who have either transitioned or in the process of transitioning. In a Twitter post, Semmler confirmed his stance that transgender women should not participate in an ESL Impact League event.

Yes, I care about the integrity of the league for the female players. If the female players want to have a league to compete amongst themselves, they should get it. Allowing men to compete in that league defeats the purpose of the league.

ESL's rules on transgender inclusion at Impact events are very clear, as laid out in the publicly available rulebook. According to ESL Impact Rule 2.7.6: "Due to the specific restrictions of the ESL Impact competition, only teams with 5 women (cis or transgender) players are allowed to participate. ESL reserves the right to verify and confirm a participant’s gender by requesting additional documentation. This could be a government issued ID or a doctor’s note."

In addition, there are two transgender women participating in the ESL Impact League right now on top women's teams, both of which featured in the ESL Impact League Season Two finals in Jönköping. Olga "Olga" Rodrigues and Anna "garden" Gutierrez, who compete for FURIA and EG Gold, respectively, are currently playing at the top level in Americas organizations.

There has not been widespread opposition to the inclusion of transgender women in other women's specific leagues like VALORANT's Game Changers by other women participating in the league. Riot Games specifically used gender-inclusive language to welcome non-binary, genderfluid, and transgender individuals into the league when it first began. With that inclusion, there have been several successful transgender individuals within that league, such as Erika "KP" Lytle, who used to play CS:GO in the North American ESEA circuit, but is now a top-level player in VALORANT and recently finished as runner's up in the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Game Changers Championship.

Semmler's position regarding the integrity of the league has come into question after it was pointed out that the caster made several posts questioning the authenticity of the league just late last year. Semmler even went on the mock the concept of a womens-only league by sarcastically suggesting that a men's only league be created.

The ESL Impact League was created by ESL as they were looking to "attract more women into the game through a safe environment to compete in." Allowing transgender individuals into the league was also seen as an important step in promoting further inclusivity.

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#1(With 1 replies)
November 28, 2022 11:58AM
Dust2 Birthday cake!
It's disheartening to see how many people arent able to understand that they needed a league of their own in order to get better. At the same time a lot of the community is really supportive of the league and it's rules which has me hopeful for the future
#11(With 0 replies)
November 29, 2022 11:01AM
Hopefully there can be more discussion about transgender inclusion in the future. We hope to talk more about this subject!
#2(With 3 replies)
November 28, 2022 12:06PM
if you were in his shoes, you would understand what he's saying, but similar to college sports, there should be certain criteria before a trans athlete could participate in eSports
#3(With 2 replies)
November 28, 2022 02:57PM
There are criteria and its up to the discretion of ESL who organizes the event.
#16(With 1 replies)
November 30, 2022 02:14AM
No one said it wasn't up to ESL what they can do with their event. It's just that some people disagree with the criteria set by ESL as it could be potentially very harmful for the female scene and could lead to abuse by men to take spots that were meant for women, leading to money and organisational support that was meant for the female scene helping disingenuous men instead.
#19(With 0 replies)
November 30, 2022 08:34AM
ESL have strict rules regarding transgender people playing in events. A man who has been acting as a man for years could not suddenly enter into the event on a whim. They have to prove identification, name changes, and even doctors visits. It is a difficult process.
#4(With 3 replies)
November 28, 2022 03:15PM
Dang, Semmler is just the king of being a L person.
#14(With 2 replies)
November 29, 2022 10:16PM
This is a common Semmler W
#17(With 1 replies)
November 30, 2022 02:58AM
Nah transphobia is definitely a L homie.
#18(With 0 replies)
November 30, 2022 07:54AM
he has an opinion that makes sense, it might not be technically right but for him to say a hot take like that in public isn't an L person
#5(With 1 replies)
November 28, 2022 04:16PM
I definitely get his point but it is unfair to those who identify as trans. He says for them to create their own league. It that is unrealistic and I think he knows it. I think something like that could be great but until then the most fair option would be letting the person decide where they play mens league or women’s league
#15(With 0 replies)
November 29, 2022 10:17PM
there is no men's league
#6(With 0 replies)
November 28, 2022 04:39PM
common semmler L
#7(With 0 replies)
November 28, 2022 07:49PM
Highkey just a bad take. The whole premise is dumb lol. These dudes make it sound like men who couldn't make it in T2 are just suddenly identifying as women and winning these tournaments, which isn't true at all. Afaik, all the trans people in the league were woman-identifying before they played cs competitively. Also, it's not like trans women are forcing people who were born female out of the circuit. There's a relatively small trans minority and no trans women are on the team that is dominating the circuit afaik. The "trans athlete" argument is literally just a paper thin mask to hide transphobia, and it's even dumber when applied to esports
#8(With 0 replies)
November 28, 2022 09:56PM
These comments are actually great and make me have alot more faith in the CS community also common Semmler L
#9(With 1 replies)
November 29, 2022 05:00AM
Anyone disagreeing with him is just an attention-seeking virtue-signaller.
Either that or mentally ill.
#12(With 0 replies)
November 29, 2022 10:14PM
#10(With 0 replies)
November 29, 2022 10:38AM
I just hate the vitriol pointed at each side. Both sides have a point, it just comes down to what way you parse the mental gymnastics. And the true irony is, I have trans friends on both sides of this argument.

If your fundamental question is: is this league for women? Then non-binary/trans peoples should not be allowed in.
If your fundamental question is: is this league for women and those who identify as non-binary? Then yes, absolutely they should be allowed to play.

So what is ESL impact? Is it a league for women, or a league for non-binary and women. Once again, if so, fine. That's totally cool. But it (can be viewed) as disingenuous to call something a "women's league" that is not specifically for women. Once again it all comes down to how you parse it. But once again it comes down to what ESL claims it is. If we all agree it is for women AND non-binary (and that is how they market it), then by all means lets have an inclusive play space. But like I said, let's figure that fundamental question out first.
#13(With 0 replies)
November 29, 2022 10:16PM
There is no men's league. There is a women's league. If the transgender people are good enough they can play good csgo in the regular league. Why take spots away from women in their own space?
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