A controversial eSports tournament meant to be hosted by the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) in Castle Hill has been cancelled. The RSL is a support organisation for Australian Defence Force Veterans, and the game proposed for the tournament was in bad taste. This decision was made by the gaming minister after a local liberal MP filed a complaint.
So, why did the government need to get involved? Well, the tournament would have featured a game known as Call of Duty. This game is famously based on real warfare, including the events of World War II. However, featuring this game at a club for veterans and their widows is in bad taste. Especially because a cash prize of AU$300 was sponsored by the Castle Hill RSL. The Liberal MP, David Elliot, claimed that allowing the tournament would bring across the wrong message for members.
Castle Hill RSL Apology
Following Elliot’s complaint, the tournament was cancelled and the Castle Hill President, Warren Glenny, has apologised. He also gave a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald where he claimed that no complaints were brought to him during the three weeks that the club had been advertising the event. Glenny also said that: ‘If any member does have concerns about eSports tournaments held at the club, they are urged to contact the club directly.’
Not all members of the RSL are veterans, and anyone can join for a small fee. These clubs host restaurants, bars, gyms and poker machines. Their proceeds go towards hosting Anzac Day events and, of course, supporting veterans.
The now-cancelled tournament was proposed by the Video Games League. It was meant to be the first Call of Duty tournament to be hosted by an RSL club. However, in light of recent events, this will probably not be suggested again. David Elliot, as a past director and patron of the club, also said that he could not condone ‘the use of war for entertainment purposes.’