Aa quick shout-out to Laura Sitter for alerting us to the latest updates this morning as both Buzzfeed and InfoWars have confirmed that the transgender team we wrote about yesterday have now been confirmed to be fake. Buzzfeed was the first to originally run the story, which InfoWars investigated deeper and learned that the members of the "team" did it for laughs. Here's a quick snippet from the InfoWars investigation:
"Over the past 2 weeks we set up a plot to see if we could trick Buzzfeed into posting something that is fake, for the laughs," Sly Buehl Rigilio told Infowars.
And it worked. BuzzFeed fell right into the trap.
"There was a female only tournament hosted by a company known as ESL (Electronic Sports League), for a game called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We decided to pose as a "transgendered" pro team, we made it as ridiculous as possible by uploading obvious troll pics to our profiles on the tournament's website (pics of us wearing wigs, etc). We knew we were going to get declined into joining the tournament, so once we did get turned down, I then sent an email to a Buzzfeed "journalist" by the name of Lane Sainty to try and bait them into making a story out of it," adds Rigilio.
Now as of the time we post this article, the story is still ongoing as both news companies are reaching out to organizers to get their take and reaction. But as cruel and foolish as the intentions were of the men involved, a bigger point is going to get swept under the carpet that shouldn't. Are you going to see a lot of stories from people saying "Buzzfeed got fooled" today? Of course, you are. That's how the internet works. But please keep in mind that these guys didn't make up an email chain or falsely pose as organizers to get Buzzfeed's attention—they actually applied as a transgender team to an all-women CS:GO tournament and got rejected.
You can praise them for getting Buzzfeed to chase down a fake story all you'd like, and you can also condemn them for trivializing transgender rights in Germany for a laugh. But part of that story was based on a fact about eSports that rarely gets addressed, and that is there needs to be a change to the rules when it comes to gender. The team may have been fake and these guys may be world-class idiots/heroes depending on who's side your on, but the situation about where transgender eSports athletes stand when it comes to playing in gender-specific games is a real thing, and shouldn't be treated as a careless byproduct of a joke. Keep that thought in mind as you watch the next 24 hours of news on this story quickly turn into a giant "Buzzfeed sucks" rant on Twitter.