Women in eSport

From July 20 to 22, the Girl Gamer eSports Festival took place in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s an event where a total of 8 professional teams compete against each other in three different eSport games. Only women are allowed to participate in this tournament. But is this gender segregation necessary in order to see women in eSport?

Gaming behavior of women

If we take a look at the major tournaments in eSports, we rarely see female players in professional teams. Although more and more women are playing, eSport is still a male-dominated field with 71% (ESport Trend Report 2018, GlobalWebIndex) of active competitive players. But regarding all players, from pro to casual, the industry association „Game“ shows, that women are with a total of 47%, almost as well represented as men. We can find well-known examples where women can occasionally be at the top, for example in League of Legends, Counterstrike or Starcraft II. Nevertheless, even these exceptional talents can usually only be found in pure women teams.

Physical requierements

In contrast to traditional sports, men have no obvious advantages over women in eSport due to biological differences. Neither the reaction times nor the fine motor skills of one of the sexes are at a disadvantage. Some of the female players can easily keep up with the men or even outdo them.

Gender Segregation

The gender segregation, which is common in traditional sports, is currently also becoming apparent in eSports. On the one hand, women teams and tournaments are a good way for female eSports players to gain experience, self-confidence and to motivate other female players to participate in eSports as well. On the other hand, this creates a parallel tournament structure, which might continuously be overshadowed by men’s big eSports stages.

Playing together for a successful inclusion

In order to avoid such a separation according to gender, the professional team „Cloud 9“already starts in the promotion of young talents. At this point boys and girls play and train together right from the beginning. For this reason, there is no separation according to gender. Especially now, in the early phase of eSports, this example should be followed to avoid a gender division. ESports should convey equal rights, in which women and men alike have the chance to establish themselves.