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PGL’s talent roster announcement was met with an immediate backlash from the esports community for the absence of women and people of color. Although the roster features non-White talent in analyst Sudhen “Bleh” Wahengbam and caster James Bardolph, there is not a single woman among the group of 17 men.
Jonas Gundersen, the Chief Operating Officer for Ninjas in Pyjamas, was one of the first to call out PGL publicly. He condemned the lack of diversity and called the PGL’s decision “disappointing.” Responses to his tweet were divided. Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill, one of the casters confirmed at the Major, suggested Gundersen turn the same lens on his own, all-White NiP Counter Strike: Global Offensive team.
Why don't you have more diversity in your CSGO roster 🤔?
— Chad Burchill (@SPUNJ) October 4, 2021
Other community members spoke out with perspectives more in line with Gundersen’s tweet. Lauren “pansy” Scott, who casted Tier 1 CS:GO tournaments for close to a decade before transitioning to primarily working in VALORANT, criticized the absence of women in the roster, tweeting “you almost have to go out of your way at this point LOL.”
Eefje “sjokz” Depoortere, a freelance host who has worked in CS:GO in the past, made it clear that she was still available to work as talent in the esport. Meanwhile, CS:GO production mainstay, Frankie Ward, was unavailable for the Major since she is on maternity leave. Other notable female broadcast talents, like Freya Spiers, were not invited to participate in the Major.
Lets be honest, its not hard to hire one woman for an event.
Like you almost have to go out of your way at this point LOL.
— Lauren Scott 🎃 (@pansy) October 4, 2021
The 2021 PGL Stockholm Major is set to run from Oct. 26 to Nov. 7. Twenty four teams will compete in the Avicii Arena to reach the Champions Stage, where a winner will be crowned and receive the bulk of the $2 million USD prize pool. The last Major, 2019’s Starladder Berlin, saw Astralis become the first ever team to win three consecutive CS:GO Majors.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.