A nervous Pokemon TCG player claims he was disqualified from the Charlotte Pokemon Regional about he laughed while giving his “preferred pronouns.”
Makani Tran lost out on $800, two flights, and time off school after his time at the Charlotte Pokemon Regional was cut short for a bizarre reason.
In a Twitlonger, the youngster revealed that his weekend turned to tears before he could even make a move against his opponent, Alex Schemanske, one of the US’s best players, on stream.
According to Tran, as he walked over to the stream area, a judge asked him what his preferred pronouns were and seemed to fumble over his words. That’s when the trouble started.
In his post, Tran said that his nerves got the better of him when asked about his pronouns, leading him to respond, “Um he or him or uh.”
Tran claimed that he struggled to think of a third pronoun and felt embarrassed as he tried to do so, resulting in him nervously laughing a bit.
After Alex shared his pronouns without issue, Tran followed up by resharing his, but once again awkwardly laughed. This resulted in the Pokemon card judge taking issue with how Makani replied.
“Okay, just wanted to check to be safe. I go by they/them so don’t be a jerk about it,” the judge reportedly said.
A bit into the match, Tran and Schemanske were pulled off stage by the head judge and told that another match would be streamed instead.
It turns out, the way Tran had answered the pronoun question had caused some issues. After admitting to awkwardly laughing due to nervousness, he was disqualified.
“The judge said that while he believed that I had no bad intentions, it didn’t matter because at the end of the day, someone was offended and upset,” Tran added.
For his part, Alex Schemanske even noted on Twitter that he didn’t feel his opponent should have been disqualified, but added that judges are unable to share their side of the story.