“In a game against Vaevictis, team ROX banned 5 support champions during the pick/ban process. Although it is not technically against the rules, both Riot Games and the broader League of Legends community took this as a sign of disrespect towards the Vaevictis Esports team.”
First of all, based on the Reddit and League forum posts, I'm pretty sure the broader League of Legends community took Riot's warning against ROX as a sign of disrespect. Vega Squadron's warning was fair, although I think Riot should never have allowed Vaevictis to form their team in the first place.
Vaevictis, imo, was not formed with the intention to promote diversity. If it was, they would've mixed in some males, or found some other higher elo females who don't all play support. I have difficulty believing that in all of Russia, those five were their only female options, but I did notice that these girls are fairly attractive. In other words, I believe it is a publicity stunt offering these girls as eye candy, which basically confirms the egirl stereotype.
Riot whiteknighting these girls just makes it worse, as some may take this as a "preferential treatment" sort of thing, when most of the girls I play with (including myself) just want gender to not play a factor in this game. If they have an issue with the five support ban, they should speak up themselves and bring it to Riot, instead of having the company take sides. Riot acting as they did just enforces the idea that girls are pansies who can't use their own voices.
Riot has made some pretty progressive changes. Varus is 2/3rds gay men. Neeko is a lesbian. Illaoi is a buff dark skinned woman. They've got a plethora of body-types (Gragas, Yi, Illaoi, Vi, etc) and racial representation (Ionia seems to be East Asia, with champs like Yasuo, Irelia representing China/Korea/Japan, you got Lucian and Sena, I've heard some First Nations say they feel represented by the Vastayans) but sometimes they go too far.
Remember the event where Riot hosted an event only for women/trans people? And how a Riot employee called dissenters highly unprofessional terms in an effort to defend their actions? There is a fine line between supporting and representing the minority, and whiteknighting them.
Supporting/representing: Releasing a pudgier female champ
Whiteknighting: Coming to a woman/the LGBTQ community's defense without thinking about why they're being "attacked"/criticized, and without the person/group they're defending express the feeling of being attacked.
Female diamond support players versus challenger players does nothing but enforce the stereotype that girl gamers are all horrible support mains.
Representation in esports is good, especially when the most notable female League players are literally the stereotypical e-girl, but only if the representation meant to shatter stereotypes doesn't conform with it.
Now addressing the topic of the bans, how in the world is it disrespectful? By issuing a warning to ROX, Riot themselves are sending out the message that they believe most females only play the support role. Also, as several of them main supports, it wouldn't make sense to allow them their best picks. Their entire fucking team is unorthodox and as far as I know, unprecedented, so this "odd" banning phase is to be expected. Hell, if Bjerg and his entire team were to ban five midlaners against Faker, people would say they're showing respect and fear towards Faker, by denying his niche picks, although perhaps being a bit dumb by ignoring the rest of Faker's team. This is the exact same situation, except in this scenario, it's even more valid.
Now, how the fuck are Thresh and Braum "egirl champs"?
They're not cutesy or particularly low skill cap, and are a serious threat if the player has the right mechanics.
Riot's warning against ROX makes women look like sensitive pansies who are hurt by every single fucking thing, in a situation where ROX's actions were valid. Vaevictis should not have gotten a pass into esports with a full team of diamond players into teams of grandmaster/challenger players just based on their gender.