Devs Address LGBTQ+ Issues at Apex Legends Event in Saudi

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Respawn reassured the queer community regarding LGBTQ+ issues at the Apex Legends event in Saudi Arabia this summer.

On April 12, the Esports World Cup announced that the first stage of the tournament would be held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, in the summer of 2024. The news immediately sparked a flurry of concern from the LGBTQ+ community on Twitter (X). However, Respawn assured players that no Legend or Cosmetic would be banned from this tournament.

Saudi Arabia is known for its discriminatory laws against women and LGBT people, including the death penalty. No wonder, Apex Legends fans were outraged by the host country of the tournament, which in theory, puts all queer players and guests of the competition at risk.

The Esports World Cup has been criticized in general because it is funded by the Saudi Arabian government. Although Saudi Arabia officially welcomes LGBTQ+ tourists, as stated on their website, in reality, this may not be the case at all. And so, Twitter users began asking in the comments whether there would be restrictions on Legends who are LGBTQ+. After all, there are many queer Apex Legends present in the game, some of them are in the meta and are popular among tournament players: 

The game developers soon reassured fans and players regarding LGBTQ+ rights. Respawn has confirmed that they will not be restricting Legends or Cosmetics in any way at the upcoming tournament in Saudi Arabia.

The news portal Kotaku received a comment from the developers of Apex Legends: “We are not changing the game — all Legends will be playable,” Respawn stated. “No Apex Legends content, Legend or Cosmetic, will be restricted at the EWC event.”

We hope the tournament organizers really take care of the safety of players and audiences in Riyadh this summer. After all, Apex Legends is perhaps one of the most inclusive online games of our time. Not only does the game have a ton of well-written LGBTQ+ characters of all types, but it also features a Rainbow Flag Badge that players can place on any character’s Banner.

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Alex Rainbow
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