Counter-Strike League Bans Hated Footwear And Will Fine Offenders

By Jason Collins | Published

Love them or hate them, the Crocs (the footwear) are undeniably excellent for a number of reasons: they’re comfortable, practical, have great ventilation and draining, and they’re easy to maintain. Unfortunately, there’s also a list of activities that can’t be done while wearing them, and attending the Counter-Strike League esports events, is apparently one of those activities.

Since the ESL deems Crocs as open shoes, competitors are banned from wearing the footwear.

According to Kotaku, in the latest updates to their rule book ahead of the competition in Germany, the ESL, a large Counter-Strike esports league, banned Crocs—a rather popular footwear brand with a distinguishable design. The reason why one of the biggest CS:GO competitive leagues in the world decided to ban one of the most comfortable and practical footwear brands is quite simple; Crocs are considered open shoes.

ESL deems Crocs, along with shorts, flip-flops, and any kind of headwear, inadequate footwear, and clothing for competitors.  


Furthermore, anyone in violation of these rules can expect to pay a minimum fine of $250, and they’ll have to change their footwear and clothing on the spot. ESL made sure to supply adequate clothing for those who aren’t following the rules but didn’t bring their own change of clothes.

The cost of adequate clothing and footwear provided by the organization will be subtracted from the prize money players might win.

Why Ban Crocs?

But why would a Counter-Strike league ban Crocs? Are they trying to promote a more professional and business-like atmosphere?

This could potentially be the case. Many sports critics have ridiculed and mocked esports competitions by stating that they’re not actually real sports. This measure by one of the largest Counter-Strike leagues could be a part of a broader strategy to underscore the seriousness of the event and shift the perceptions of esports from a leisurely pastime to a highly competitive, formal sporting occasion—which, in all fairness, it is.

But there are several other reasons for banning open shoes and other informal type of footwear and clothing.

Anyone in violation of these rules can expect to pay a minimum fine of $250, and they’ll have to change their footwear and clothing on the spot.

Let’s face it; most streamers must maintain appearances, which is why most of them take reasonably good care of their personal hygiene. But competitive gamers who melt in the sun are better known for their endurance in gaming marathons. We can’t allow body odor to be weaponized and used against the competition.

Of course, we’re joking, but many a true word is spoken in jest, and wearing Crocs and flip-flops poses more than just hygiene concerns—they’re a calling card for accidents and lawsuits against event organizers because people trip over cables.

For those who aren’t acquainted with the legendary open shoe, the Crocs were designed as foam boat shoes, as they’re comfortable, offer fantastic slip resistance, and they float, but even their designers thought that the shoes were ugly.

But, their aesthetics, or lack thereof, paled in comparison to their practicality and, above everything else, the comfort they provide. Unfortunately, it would seem that Counter-Strike competitors, at least those attending the aforementioned league, will have to wear them in private settings or events that don’t impose silly rules.

In other Counter-Strike news, Valve’s biggest game is finally getting a sequel.