League of Legends Team Siren Disbands: Valuable Lessons Learned
Team Siren, the infamous all-female League of Legends team with aspirations of making it to the top of the professional gaming world, was recently confirmed to have disbanded after having only lived together for less than a month.
The team was comprised of five of some of the top-ranked (Platinum & Diamond level) Solo Queue women on the North American server: A Little Jenny (Mid), Christina (AD Carry), ilysuiteheart (Jungle), Solvanas (Support), and Yoonie (Top). These ladies had all played together for 5 months prior to moving into their gaming house, and were by no means unfamiliar with the League of Legends scene. With a desire to "empower women" in the world of eSports, the team was strongly determined and committed to winning. So, what exactly went wrong?
rip team siren— itshafu (@itshafu) June 19, 2013
What Went Wrong
The Promotional Video
Team Siren rose to infamy after the release of their promotional video on their official Youtube channel which introduced the players of the team. They were instantly put into the spotlight, but there were some major flaws that were clearly overlooked before the video was released to the worldwide public: the message.
Team Siren was essentially trying to prove that an all-female League of Legends team could compete on the same level, as "equals," as any all-male team in the professional gaming world. While this idea could have been intended to serve as a positive image for other females wishing to break into the eSport scene, the execution of Team Siren was poorly delivered and has tarnished the image any prospective all-female teams can expect to receive in the future.
The promo video did not show any of the achievements these "high-ranking" players had accomplished thus far; yet, this new and inexperienced team (which only sat together at a Gold Division I ranking...far from the Challenger division of the professionals) were already proclaiming their right to victory with their now infamous quotes, "Losing is not an option. I'll bait you and outsmart you." The video became negative publicity for the team right from their very start and created an outlet for ridicule by followers on their streams.
According to a post made by Christina in the League of Legends forum, there was more to Team Siren's disband than just simply "bad publicity" from the promotional video:
"Team Siren disbanned, not because of the bad publicity, but because of how negative Jenny was towards the team. I actually left before the video got released. I left because Jenny was a very toxic and terrible friend/leader. A lot of things were hidden under the surface. Whenever a bad match ended she told us to mute all our streams so she can bash on every little mistake when she did not acknowledge hers. Her calls were terrible most of the time and would not let anyone try to make calls. She pretty much tried to replace everyone on the team at one point. It was hard living under the same roof as someone that hates you."
The team's leader, A Little Jenny, created a negative environment for the team with her poor attitude. Considering League of Legends is a game that requires great communication and teamwork, a negative attitude (especially from your leader) can bring down the entire team.
But, that's not to say the entire team was any better. Team Siren's leader was certainly not the only one who displayed unprofessional behavior as witnessed in a team match between Team Siren and Team OmgRankedFives, featuring Challengers HotshotGG and WildTurtle:
Team Siren literally trash-talked the opposing team during the entire match with what could technically be considered harassment (and still lost). For a team that aimed to become professional, the lack of maturity and unprofessional behavior within the in-game chat alone shows that this team lacked more than just skill to make it to the top.
What Have We Learned
It's Not About Gender, It's About Skill
When it comes to professional gaming, nobody really cares about whether you're male or female. It's about skill--and you need a lot of it if you wish to compete at a professional level, not just sex appeal. By creating an all-female team, the priority of getting women to be seen as equals in a male-dominated world was contradicted from the very start and further distanced their sense of equality. Instead of being seen as equals, the team was simply trying to prove that they could beat all-male teams and essentially be better than them by virtue of being female, but proving your worth is not the same as proving your skill.
The main issue was NOT just creating an all-female team, it was the emphasis of gender alone as the main factor in driving the fame of this team forward and the attitude along with this physical factor. In being female (and disregarding actual talent), Team Siren felt entitled in taking on the professional world of gaming without actually having to work their way up from the bottom like every other professional team. Just because you are female does not give you the right to automatically be allowed to compete amongst professionals that severely outrank you and have worked hard to get to the position that they stand.
Personally, I would much rather see girls playing alongside guys as teammates rather than against one another because this truly shows me that male and female pro gamers can play together at the same level, as equals. Let the skills do all the talking.
How We Can Respect One Another
Team Siren may be gone, but female LoL players and aspiring professionals should not give up in making it to the big leagues if they so desire. But, females need to feel more comfortable in the gaming world, and that all starts with one word: respect.
Ladies! Serious female players should take the game seriously, and by that, I mean that streams should be professional at all times! It's hard to take a female gamer's stream seriously when the webcam's primary focus is on your revealing chest and not your face (or even your gameplay for that matter). As much as you may want to attract guys with your sex appeal, you will not be taken seriously as a professional gamer if you don't fix this little mistake first. No boobs, no ditzy behavior, and no bitchy attitude. You need to be intelligent and informative about the game because that's a lot more enjoyable to watch. You are only going to be a target of harassment in your stream's chatbox if you aren't acting professional on purpose.
Guys! You need to respect these females gamers who wish to stream! This means no sexual harassment, no misogynist jokes (keep your "kitchen" jokes to yourself), no insulting comments about physical appearance or anything that you wouldn't say to your grandmother, sister, girlfriend, or close female acquaintance for that matter. It's immature and downright rude, and, unless you are a diamond-tier or professional player, you have no right to judge any player on their skills during their streams (regardless of gender).
It's unfortunate that Team Siren couldn't better represent female gamers during their debut, but the world of professional gaming has certainly learned a lot from them during their short-lived rise to fame. Making mistakes is the first part of learning. Team Siren should have built more credibility and experience together as a team before rushing to make it big, but unfortunately their dreams and arrogance got the better of them. I hope we can someday see female players make it to the LCS.. but alongside their male counterparts as teammates and friends.