After the initial shock publicity storm, we haven’t heard a great deal out of Team YP, the pro gamers sponsored by YouPorn. That seems set to continue, because ESL has severed all ties on grounds of its stringent, er, no porn rule.
“Advertising pornography is not legal in the markets we operate in,” ESL told Polygon, “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.”
That does seem a watertight argument. Team YP offered to rebrand entirely, but the presence of YouPorn as their major backer is an unavoidable issue. ESL isn’t the be-all and end-all of esports, but with many of the largest and most lucrative tournaments under its management, Team YP’s ambitions have surely been scaled back. Their Twitter account shows admirable fighting spirit, however.