Chaos and Team Liquid Delay CSGO Match in Support of BLM Protests
The sports world was shocked when NBA teams began to announce that they would be delaying their games, led by the Milwalkee Bucks, in protest of the murder of Jacob Blake by police officers in Kenosha, WI.
This move was widely supported across the NBA, MLB, and MLS with several teams also announcing their solidarity, which led the NBA to delay games altogether that day. This move had had ripple effects that are even being felt in esports as today Chaos Esports Club and Team Liquid both announced their intention to delay their ESL One Cologne match in CSGO in a show of protest against the murder and support for the BLM movement.
Chaos Says the Time for Games Is Later
The thrust of Chaos’ statement was that of outrage and saying that the time for esports action is later, not now when focus needs to be on the protests. The BLM protests have been increasing in intensity in the United States in 2020, at a time when the world is facing crisis from the Coronavirus pandemic. These problems have been bubbling under the surface for quite some time and can be traced back to before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
“Now is not the time for games,” Chaos Esports Club said in a statement. “We are mad. We are exhausted. We know that gaming is part of the problem. We will not be competing in today’s ESL One Cologne 2020 match against Team Liquid in order to do our part to move the light where it belongs – on the protests against this country’s continued systemic racism and police brutality.”
Many in the community questioned Chaos’ assertion that gaming is part of the problem, but I ask you – when was the last time you were in a public lobby in a competitive multiplayer game and didn’t hear someone spouting racist nonsense in in-game chats? That’s the racism they referred to, not necessarily in esports itself, but where it was born from – gamers’ keyboards in public lobbies.
Team Liquid quickly concurred with Chaos Esports Club’s Greg Laird and issued their own statement on the matter, agreeing to postpone the match in support of the BLM movement. Much like the Orlando Magic and Bucks situation, they were not informed ahead of time, but did agree to the situation readily.
“This morning we received word that Chaos will be postponing today’s ESL: One Cologne match in solidarity with protests against systemic racism and police brutality,” Team Liquid said in a statement. “We support their decision and stand with Chaos. We believe competition is our players’ platform, and it’s their personal decision whether to use it as a means for protest. We appreciate and support players who do make that decision.”
Team Liquid continued, saying that esports teams need to use their platforms responsibly, but that they would not be forcing their players to comply with the protests.
“We feel that Team Liquid as an organization has an important role to play,” they continued. “Together with our partners and diversity advocates we are exploring ways to support the Black community. We’re going to continue to drive change where we can and feel that a focus on education and technology is the right approach for us as an organization.”
What Can Esports Fans Do to Support BLM Protests?
Instead of watching esports matches, fans may be wondering what they can do to support the BLM movement. First of all, just the fact that the spotlight is now being shone on the protests once more by the esports community is important – it raises awareness of the situation and can hopefully spark some serious conversations around racism and what folks can do to help fight it.
Secondly, if you’re looking for a more concrete way to contribute, you can consider donating to the hundreds of civil rights organizations in the United States that are fighting for systemic change. You can also attend BLM protests in your community, though with the way the police have been responding to these, those concerned for their safety or in poor health are understandably worried about going. You can also support black content creators talking about the issues on social media and on YouTube by sharing and commenting on their videos, thus ensuring more people see them.
The time for the community to band together and speak in one voice that this is no longer okay is here.