The country’s largest-ever e-sports event, the Malaysia Cyber Games 2015, will be taking place next month – and that only means the organisers are working hard to hype up the government-backed gaming event. With the winners of the Dota 2 tournament standing a chance to form the national Dota 2 team, what can go wrong? Well, as it turned out, MCG’s organisers almost hyped itself into a social media faux pas last night.
On its official Facebook page yesterday, the organisers behind MCG 2015 thought it was a fitting idea to have an official usher for the VIP guests, the Frankfurt Majors runners up, Team Secret. Somehow, it succeeded in checking every box in the “what not to do in a social media contest” checklist.
First, the organisers decided that the usher should be known as a “team nanny”, and thus the contest was called “The Team Nanny Contest”. Naturally, only women were allowed to join. Naturally, this had to be a popularity contest, asking interested parties to “post a nice picture of (themselves)” in the comments section. The top five entries with the most number of likes would then be submitted to Team Secret, whose team of five strapping young men would then choose one final winner to be their “team nanny”.
To add to the calamity, the fine print reads:
“The Team Nanny has to be available on the 13th of Dec, 2015, and arrange your own transport to Stadium Negara. We will then arrange for the Team Nanny to follow and show Team Secret around for the day!”
No mention of any form of compensation was made, implying that the opportunity to spend a full day with a professional Dota 2 team is rewarding enough.
The contest went live for a few hours, before the organisers attempted to rectify what was obviously a sexist, condescending and objectifying contest…by opening the contest for all genders. Then, sometime late last night, all promotional visuals for the contest – both for females and free-for-all – vanished from the Facebook page. It was later confirmed that the contest had been cancelled, with no explanation given.
If this sounds all too familiar, this is because the MCG organisers were not the first to craft such contests. A young, global tech startup hyped itself into a similar position in August 2014, prompting criticism on a global scale. Said company naturally cancelled the contest, and released a statement declaring that it was a tongue-in-cheek move that it made without considering the implications.
Thankfully, MCG 2015’s organisers removed the contest before it could draw any further criticism. This is, after all, not only the biggest e-sports event ever held in the country, but also one that is endorsed by the Youth and Sports Ministry.
The organisers may have thought it was a good idea (and an opportunity to save costs perhaps), but such casual sexism has no place for an industry that is already fighting to shed a “wasteful youth” identity spent in seedy cyber cafes.