Team Liquid’s Pride Jerseys Spark Controversy at Riyadh Esports World Cup

Team Liquid’s Pride Jerseys Spark Controversy at Riyadh Esports World Cup

5. July 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

In a groundbreaking decision, Team Liquid’s esports teams have received permission to wear Pride jerseys at the 2024 Esports World Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This move has ignited both applause and debate due to the country’s stringent stance on LGBTQ+ rights.

Permission for Pride Jerseys

Despite initial uncertainty, Team Liquid has been allowed to don rainbow-emblazoned shirts during the prestigious event. Online reporter Rod Breslau confirmed that the organization has received the green light to wear Pride jerseys, even amid Saudi Arabia’s history of crackdowns on rainbow-colored items.

Team Liquid's Pride Jerseys at Riyadh Esports World Cup: A Landmark Decision


Significance of the Decision: Legal and Social Context

Saudi Arabia has a notorious reputation for its severe legal restrictions on LGBTQ+ activities and rights. Same-sex relationships are illegal, and there have been numerous reports of discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ individuals. The country’s legal system does not recognize or protect LGBTQ+ rights, making this decision particularly notable.

Modernization Efforts

Allowing Pride jerseys can be viewed as part of Saudi Arabia’s broader strategy to modernize and enhance its global image. The country has been investing heavily in sports and entertainment to boost tourism and improve its international standing under the Riyadh Season initiative.

Positive Responses

Many fans and advocates see this decision as a progressive step towards inclusivity. The ability to wear Pride jerseys is celebrated as a symbol of acceptance and a victory for LGBTQ+ visibility in a traditionally conservative region.

Esports World Cup

Concerns and Doubts

However, some express concerns about the safety and potential backlash against players opting to wear these jerseys. There are fears that the athletes might face repercussions, both during and after the event.

Team Liquid’s Performance

Team Liquid is competing in 13 titles at the Riyadh event, including major games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike 2. The organization has already made an impressive start, earning 60 points in the grand standings thanks to their Mobile Legends: Bang Bang team’s performance in the $3 million MLBB Mid Season Cup.

The Road Ahead

Most of the World Cup events are scheduled to begin in early July. The tournament, which succeeds the canceled Gamers8 series, promises intense competition and significant developments. The allowance of Pride jerseys is expected to be a focal point throughout the event, highlighting the ongoing struggle for inclusivity within the esports community.

team liquid given permission to wear pride jerseys in saudi arabia esports world cup events


The decision to let Team Liquid wear Pride jerseys in Saudi Arabia is a landmark moment for esports and LGBTQ+ advocacy. It underscores a complex interplay between progressive values and traditional norms, setting a precedent that will be closely observed in future international events.