“Lack of diversity” in PGL Talent lineup stirs conversation, but is it actually there?

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PGL Esports announced the talent lineup for the first CSGO Major in 2 years yesterday on Twitter. It features faces both new and old, and received applause from most of the community, especially because of the nostalgia associated with the names, not to mention the hype for a Major which CS has sorely missed in the past year.

But not everyone was pleased with the Talent announcement. There were no questions on the quality and capability of the members, but rather at the ‘lack of diversity in the lineup.

Ninjas in Pyjamas COO, Jonas Gundersen took to Twitter to express his disappointment or rather took a dig at PGL saying “At least there’s ONE person who isn’t a white Male.” He also called for a more inclusive space especially when the whole world would be watching.

Many other Twitter users agreed with this stance, but this begs the question: is the statement “Lack of Diversity” really true for CSGO? 

To counter Jonas’ statement, the lineup includes people from 9 different nationalities, from Serbia to India so can diversity be measured by the color of their skin alone? 

Not to mention the fact that James ‘Bardolph’ Bardolph, a black man has been present in the CSGO space for eons. The lineup also includes Sudhen ‘Bleh’ Wahengbam who’s from India and also Efren Chuon as an observer, who’s of Asian descent. So the NiP COO is really clutching at straws here.

Coming to the gender side of things, Counter-Strike has always had women working events, be it from the early days in 2013 or the very recent LAN at IEM Cologne. Heather ‘sapphiRe’ Garozzo, has been an observer for as long as anyone can remember and has worked 5 Majors already and has also been observing Valorant recently, such is her skill.

Frankie Ward and Freya Spiers are household names in the CSGO fraternity and anyone who’s watched a tier 1 event, knows how they excel in their work. They too worked at Majors previously. Frankie too clarified on Twitter about this marital journey and that how logistics might as well have been a problem, had PGL approached her.

Counter-Strike has always been inclusive of people no matter their gender or the color of their skin, they have always welcomed people from around the globe and continue to do so.

Be it the on-air talent, the people behind on the scenes, or the players themselves.

Picture courtesy: ESL

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