WOMEN IN ESPORTS

With the growing number of ladies in the competitive world of esports its time few things change. In the past eSports has been looked at as essentially being a male only league however that attitude ...

With the growing number of ladies in the competitive world of esports its time few things change.

In the past eSports has been looked at as essentially being a male only league however that attitude is changing as more women take part and compete in professional gaming across the wide spectrum of games with a competitive eSports league. It's difficult to pin point exactly why there is a lack of professional female gamers but there are a few factors that have a huge influence on female gamers.

The biggest factor is the sexism that surrounds gaming as a whole; video games have been seen as a mostly masculine activity since they were first developed and as a result there's still quite a bit of stigma surround female gamers. This is certainly starting to dissipate as more females are starting to accept the label of 'gamer' than ever before but in many competitive online games females do still have to deal with harassment, negativity and general sexism; we would expect professional gaming to be better but getting past such negative experiences can be difficult and makes training for the needed skill level to find a team almost impossible for some women. There have also been cases reported in the news of women being insulted by their teammates while in play in an eSports match.

Sexism is a huge issue for gaming as a whole and needs to be seriously addressed in all online games, especially competitive ones. Video games tend to have a reputation for sexism and misogyny which can be off-putting for females and turn them away from the industry and the professions within it.

This 'innate' sexism surround gaming may even expand further still; data from SuperData Research showed that companies such as Intel or Coca-Cola invested towards “affluent young men” when it comes to gaming instead of the profession as a whole. It seemed to be that marketing strategies for eSports were focused on the main watching audience who are young men despite the increasing rise of female watchers. There are more all female teams than ever now and all major competing teams have sponsors and investors so this attitude seems to be shifting also.

While eSports is still male dominated right now, there are more female players and teams than ever before; sadly this doesn't seem to be too spread out across all the major competitive games. For example there is only one NA professional female League of Legends player in comparison to the high amount of females competing in Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Gender gaps in certain games seem to be much larger which may reflect on the community of the game itself, when this happens in games it's down to the developers to stomp down on the sexism that's rampant as this is causing potential players to avoid the game.

More women are competing in eSports now and the gender divide is certainly shrinking in most games but this doesn't mean the work is done; making the online communities of competitive games more friendly toward women encourages more players as a whole which is a very good thing for online games. Whether or not those females look to taking to a more competitive level of play is going to depend on how the community treats them and politer communities means a stronger player base.

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