The State of Women in Esports

The women in the competitive esports scene — or the lack thereof.

By Arielle Lok, Director of External Relations (McGill)

“Duo?”

See: Korean Woman Kicks Ass At Overwatch, Gets Accused Of Cheating. Image Credit: Robert Paul / Blizzard Entertainment

“The ‘bros before hoes’ thing is so ingrained even though they claim to be a meritocracy.”

(See: Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games).

Women in the esports scene are at a disadvantage even before they take the first step into the industry: they don’t fit the image of the ideal player. They aren’t encouraged to play video games (let alone go competitive), nor are they assessed to the same standards as their male counterparts. All together, this fosters a backwards way of thinking in which the “ideal” player — the ad nauseam model talent for e-sport leagues and fans — has to be a man.

Cloud9’s all-women Valorant esports team. Image Credit: Cloud9

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”

— The Legend of Zelda, 1986

Competitive gaming isn’t just a fad, it’s an industry here to stay. The scene is exponentially growing (and doesn’t show any signs of stopping), and esports is still in an early stage of development with much more room to expand. Professional gamers are role models to the new generations, wearing an esport jersey is a flex, and more than ever, people want to see themselves represented in mainstream media.

“You’re not a startup industry. And actually, if you really want to grow and be more profitable, you need to start diversifying every part of what you’re doing. And that definitely includes bringing voices that are different than the ones that are already there.”

— Kristen Salvatore, Cloud9

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