Apex Legends reinstates team with trans player after disqualifying them from $100k tournament

Jacob Hale
Catalyst in Apex Legends

An Apex Legends team which claimed that it had been disqualified from a $100,000 tournament due to one of their players being transgender has been reinstated by organizers.

HER Galaxy is hosting the $100k Apex Legends Open women’s tournament on Saturday, May 20, with qualifiers having taken place and teams already qualified for the event.

After qualifying for the upper bracket, Team VEXXX were looking forward to attempting to make a good run through the Open, but less than 48 hours before matches started, were told they could no longer compete due to the identification of one of their players, Gab.

Taking to social media to explain the story and seek a resolution, Gab’s teammate Rkxine directly addressed Apex, EA, and HER Galaxy, describing what had happened.

“Team VEXXX was eliminated from the HER Galaxy $100K Apex Legends Open Women’s Tournament, less than 48 hours before upper brackets, which we qualified for, because our teammate is transgender with the following pronouns: she/they,” she explained. “We all passed verification upon presenting ID. We played in both rounds of pre-quals and have been participating in all HerGalaxy scrims/tournaments.”

She continued: “A known transphobic member of the Apex community reached out to the Admins to spread rumours and false statements about my teammate’s identity, post-verification. This person has always had a hateful nature towards everybody around them, and 95% of the Bracket participants can agree and attest to this.

“What they did was very characteristic of prejudice and discrimination … EVERY SINGLE organization has been so welcoming towards my teammate – highlighting her moments and encouraging greatness just for us to fall victim to a decision entirely based on transphobia/hateful intent + action from a bigot.

“Gab, my teammate, has never had the privilege to come out to their immediate family due to poor living situation, and therefore is not able to make legal changes to their government identity. This was discussed and verified with the HerGalaxy admins – yet did not affect eligibility whatsoever upon the initial verification process.”

Other users then posted clips of the accused, calling her out for “openly displaying malicious and transphobic hate.”

Those in the comments demanded she is removed from the tournament entirely and allow VEXXX to compete.

Following everything being shared on Twitter, Gab posted a tweet promising a statement “in the morning” of May 19, but thanked everyone for the mass support they had received.

After investigating the situation further, HER Galaxy reversed their decision, and put out a statement on Twitter confirming that Team VEXXX was back in the competition and apologizing to the team for the original disqualification.

They said: ” Following today’s events, we have made the decision to reinstate the team in question to the HER Galaxy $100K Apex Legends Open. The HER Galaxy $100K Apex Legends Open was created to provide an inclusive, welcoming space for women and trans women.

“This is a teachable moment for us, and we will continue to improve our processes so this does not happen again. We apologize for any hurt or confusion this caused.”

They also said that another team had been banned due to discriminatory behavior that came to light as part of their investigation.

“Independently, as part of this investigation, we have unearthed discourse that violates our code of conduct. We have a zero-tolerance policy for discriminatory behavior and have disqualified this team from the HER Galaxy $100K Apex Legends Open.

“Education and rehabilitation are a priority for HER Galaxy, and we hope this team can join us in building a more inclusive and supportive space.”

Apex Legends itself is a game that features a number of LGBTQIA+ characters, including trans Legend Catalyst among others, with developers Respawn promoting more inclusivity through their characters.

Dexerto has reached out to HER Galaxy for comment.