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The ESL has revised its bylaws and now it is finally clear: Whoever wears Crocs as an e-sports pro not only has an aesthetic problem.

Some questions have occupied the brightest minds on earth since the dawn of human history. Are there universal truths? Has the tree really fallen if no one notices? What would the world have looked like without a ninth season of Scrubs? And more important than all these questions put together: Are Crocs actually considered open-toed shoes?

The Electronic Sports League, or ESL for short, is now clarifying this. And not a second too soon, because the big tournament IEM Cologne is still scheduled for 2023!

In a revision of its own competition bylaws, the ESL clearly states: Crocs are considered open-toed shoes – and are therefore forbidden!

In the (revised paragraph on clothing) it now reads:

Players must ensure that they all appear in team clothing of the same colour with long trousers and closed shoes (for example, shorts, flip-flops and Crocs are not permitted). Any form of headwear is prohibited. A minimum fine of $250 will be imposed for a minor violation of this regulation, and in serious cases (for example, offensive slogans, team colours of other teams) team members will not be allowed to participate in the match until they have disposed of the problematic clothing. If possible, ESL will provide suitable replacement clothing.

ESL Rulebook 2023

Crocs are thus not quite as bad as a T-shirt with a peeper on it, according to the ESL, but participating athletes will still have to pay at least $250 in fines if they rely on the plastic shoes. Teams will also be charged for the appropriate replacement clothing or have it deducted from their prize money. Uff.

Why exactly open shoes are problematic is not further discussed.

What exactly are Crocs?

Crocs usually refer to special plastic shoes made by the US company Crocs Inc. which see themselves as descendants of classic wooden shoes (clogs). In the 2000s, Crocs were widely considered to be a rather unaesthetic plastic thingy, but in the meantime the public perception has become noticeably more differentiated. Since stars like Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande were seen wearing the – as we now know – open footwear, there are also ardent advocates of Crocs. Now you know.

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