There was an issue that popped up last week regarding the new announcer pack for Heroes of Newerth, among the games that launched out of the style of Defense of the Ancients. Gay-Nerds pointed it out, examining how the announcer pack used very stereotypical imagery and voice-bits in what S2 had labeled its 'Flamboyant' pack. They themselves were split on the issue, with paranoia taking umbrage with the pack and its stereotypes, and Raiden not really seeing an issue. We've certainly discussed this often enough, and you all seem split on such issues yourself.
Now, to be clear, this announcer pack is bought in their shop, and then is something your opponent hears. Therefore, the flamboyant pack is an overly flamboyant male taunting your opponent.
With the first post, they did receive this response from S2 Games directly:
The flamboyant pack is one of many voice pack options that will be available for HoN 2.0 players. The intention of offering a wider range of voice packs is to bring a broad representation of personalities to HoN that let gamers express and differentiate themselves.
As the issue picked up a bit of steam, and was posted on Kotaku, there was an even further response from Pu Liu, a senior game designer there, in the Gay-Nerds forums. He explained he was straight and considered himself a diva, even going by DivA online. Therefore, this fit his personality and what he wanted to get across when he gamed. He wanted to rub it in his opponents' faces. As such, it was supposed to be an alternative to the constantly serious, dark, and overbearing tone the rest of the game could have at times. I would likely point out that the inherent joke still comes at the expense of the feminine being seen as an insult--in this case being taunted by an ultra-feminine male is supposed to be a further insult somehow.
Jason Morales, a former employee of S2 Games explained differently, once again to Gay-Nerds.
Apparently the issue was more one of the developers wishing to directly confront the vision of the owner of the company. To quote:
I can say that the intent of the "flamboyant" announcer was absolutely unambiguous. The terms "faggoty" and "queer" were used to describe what he wanted the announcer to sound like. Expectedly, this was met with varying degrees of discomfort, but unfortunately nobody was feeling ready to jump on that grenade at the time. The shop was still a long way from actually being implemented, so I personally wrote it off as a battle for another day.
Morales himself is no longer with the company, so that other day never particularly came up with him. In such a scenario, it would also likely be an issue where I see a lot of people just shrugging and going on to pick different battles at different days, something I believe a lot of us do in varying degrees.
In the realm of e-sports, and competitive gaming, it is hardly a surprise that the most base and superficial insults are made, or are used to insult others. Listening to my former roommate get fed up with people in CoD:MW2 was enough to confirm my suspicions that I was glad I rarely participate in such.
My own thoughts tend toward the realm that I do not see flamboyant as a negative, but it is when it's the go-to representation for gay persons out there, or used as a way to theoretically heighten an insult. Unfortunately, since this was just to be an announcer, there was no way for them to telegraph that other than going by media stereotypes that are quite old at this point. NaviFairy had the same concerns earlier over Monday Night Combat's use of its mascot, who could be seen as such.
However, the entire thing seems a bit suspect once we get Liu's statements trying to explain how it was not meant as such, versus Morales's that state they were unambiguously meant as such. Again, the use of the flamboyant pack will have us gay gamers and supporters on both sides of the fence, but the handling of this issue seems to be rather poor.
Many thanks to the folk at Gay-Nerds for staying on top of this issue.