Digital Media Concepts/Women In Esports

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Electronic sports aka Esports is a known activity that has been widely popularized amongst the current generation from around 2010-currently and has started earlier with the previous generation as well. The sport is vast and very diverse in genres of games and ways to compete. There are prizes you can win ranging from in-game items or currency, merchandise, and real money. In Esports, the competition is not always head-to-head/1v1 as you can compete in teams to attain these prizes. Esports is a scene by the public with many key people as their "Golden boys" or faces of Esports which for the most part are male, some examples of the most well-known leaders in Esports are Nadeshot, Bugha, Ninja, Notail, Faker, and many more. The men have led and catapulted Esports to where it is today yet the females have been amongst them from nearly the beginning.

League of Legends World Championship

Men's Dominance in Esports[edit | edit source]

In Esports there is a lot of debate on many topics regarding women and if they are treated fairly in comparison to men in the same industry. One of the topics that most have their eyes peeled on when it comes to women in Esports is equality within. From a viewer’s perspective, you see male dominance when it comes to competition ranging from Fortnite to CSGO to Overwatch. One reason to believe there is so much dominance in the sport is that the majority of Esports is made up of men and only a small percentage of women. Adam Rorke explains in his article[1] one prime example is Overwatch, only 0.001865% of people make it pro in this Esport and from that portion take only 12.5% of that player base and that is the possible women who will likely to make it pro. This example shows that it is very hard for females to enter the scene because of the scarce amount of people.  

Female growth in gaming and diversity[edit | edit source]

In the gaming industry, the majority of those who play games are men and in terms of Esports, the gap becomes larger. A video from BBC [2]states "According to gaming analyst Nuzu, 'nearly half of the gaming industry is now women''. Although there are many women who play games casually it tends to reach only to a certain extent as women do not tend to dive further and explore the option of competing. The route for women to get into the Esports scene is becoming easier as there are more females leagues being created. In the CSGO scene, there are many organizers that have created high-profile tournaments only for women to expose the public to the idea that there are opportunities for women in the industry. Some of the organizers that want to build this community by hosting such tournaments are Face-It[3], IEM (Sydney), and Melbourne Esports.

Valorant Women's team Cloud 9 White

Leagues[edit | edit source]

With there being no restrictions for women to compete in any type of league, tournament, or competition their is not much of a reason for women to feel as if they have been but to the side or pegged down. In the Video by BBC News 'Why are there so few professional female gamers?'[2], they interview members from the organization Cloud 9 white. In the interview, they express that they are not able to compete on the same level as the males at the current moment and would need years to reach the same level as they are currently. Although they do not believe they are not on the same level as the males one of the females from the C9 organization brought up that they would not want to compete if it were to only be girls vs girls as they want to grow and reach new levels of competition. As for others, some women want there to be women-only leagues with their own prize pools so it is a more level playing field. With the current state of women in success in Esports, it looks as though it would be beneficial if they were to have a women's league with a prize pool yet they have the ability to enter high profile competitions without restrictions. One idea that was introduced by the Formula 1 Esports division[4], was to allow one guaranteed spot for a female individual in all major tournaments. This can be good or bad if it were to be implemented among all Esports as it would knock off one competitor who may have worked endlessly but a guaranteed spot may have ruined for them. Another quote from the video states, "No female Esports gamer has ever won a world championship", it would be tremendously hard for a female to break this but it is completely possible as there are many more females entering and evolving in the Esports scene.

Prize money[edit | edit source]

In regard to the prizing and amount paid to the female gaming and Esports industry, it is not on the same level in comparison to male prizing. A prime example is the earnings from the game Dota 2 as it has the largest prize pools, a statistic brought up by BBC News was that among the 235 million dollars provided to those who competed and won tournaments, women only won .9 percent of the earnings which is 2.3 million. This is not the only place where it shows the major gap of earnings between the men and women in Esports, according to esportearnings.com[5] the first lady to make it onto the list is placed at 352, the next being around the 700th spot. With there being such few women competing in Esports and succeeding it is hard to bring in many other females or sponsors for that case.

Optic Gaming Winning Call of Duty World Champs

Sexism[edit | edit source]

A big factor that leads to many women not engaging in the industry of Esports is sexism and due to the hardships that come along with the journey to reach the heights of other competitors, it is another reason why a woman would pull out. In the video by BBC News' Why are there so few professional female gamers?'[2], Kazumi and Alexis from C9 white state that the Esports scene is very hard for women because they receive more online abuse than males because they are female. She also goes on to speak how the environment that they play in is hard to stay positive and thrive since it is filled with toxic comments which belittles them and can affect emotions. This is an unfortunate daily occurrence that is being brought to light by successful female Esports players and organizations that are working on the way towards a better environment for women to enjoy and participate in competitions.

  1. Rorke, Adam (2020-04-16). "Are female-only leagues good for Esports?". Stevivor. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Why are there so few professional female gamers? - BBC News, retrieved 2021-10-13
  3. "Women in Esports launches women-only tournaments with FACEIT and separate community Discord". British Esports Association. 2020-11-25. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  4. "Women's Wildcard: Formula 1 announce female-only qualification route for F1 Esports Series Pro Championship | Formula 1®". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  5. "Top 100 Female Players - Esports Player Rankings :: Esports Earnings". www.esportsearnings.com. Retrieved 2021-10-13.