Why do competitive eSports separate the sexes?
It’s a hot topic that has caused ructions and stirred up eSports communities for many years.
Looking at eSports as a whole, I don’t see a real difference between girls’ and boys’ abilities to play any genre of eSports. They are all competitive environments in which both sexes are evenly platformed and neither gender has any distinct attributes that give an advantage over another in a gaming environment. In CS:GO there are no prerequisites for strength or power and that’s why someone like Freakazoid isn’t a better player than n0thing; CS:GO just isn’t wrestling.
I personally don’t believe CS:GO’s professional scene is male dominated because it is an inherently male sport. It’s not like Tennis where the sexes are deliberately separated under regulation. I think the professional tier is full of highly skilled players with incredible game sense, who are exciting to watch and just because they happen to be male, doesn’t mean that the professional upper echelons of CS:GO is for males only. It just happens to be that about 85%, if not more, of the player base is male. This is pretty typical of all FPS titles. If this is the case though, one has to ask, why separate the female scene from the main scene?
There are some highly talented female players in CS:GO: missharvey, Juliano, zAAz and many others are right up there. They may not be at the level of some of the all-time greats like f0rest or neo, they might not make it into a top tier team, but why not into other teams where they would be a perfect match? Also, why not have all female teams pitched into the main leagues, cups etc? If they don’t cut the mustard then fine but how great would a major upset be?
Some all-female teams are sitting just outside the top 100 teams in CS:GO. I can’t help but wonder if some of their star players could sit in a top 50 team? Bringing a new dynamic to that tier and perhaps more viewers and followers? Or is that it? Does the eSports industry have separate female teams to generate more revenue, to crowd an already packed competitive season with yet more matches and cups? Is it a money spin in which the all-female teams don’t see much of the money?.Has the female CS:GO scene become that awkward match with the girls in between WWE wrestling main events?
Further east, in the South Korean scene, it’s getting a bit of a shakeup, female CS:GO player, Park “Luminous” Hee-Eun, who is dubbed a new rising star over there put herself into a non-female only environment playing in the 2016 VSL Cup with team Nomad. Although they didn’t make the semis, it’s still great to see a mixed team playing at a high level.
In my long and boring history of competitive gaming (which started before Lord of the Rings even hit the big screen but was an equally arduous journey) I played with and against mixed teams. I’ll admit that it wasn’t super common but it certainly wasn’t rare, and some of these mixed teams were extremely successful. I even lost my place in a team to a girl who was not only a better aimer but had an intuitive game sense that others (myself included) lacked.
I’m not trying to steer everyone towards an egalitarian view where we should all be equal or balanced just for the sake of it, the best teams should have the best players, period, male or female, old or young, left handed or right handed…you get my drift. But as such a young industry we have the opportunity to steer the way things are done much more easily than the likes of traditional sports, do we want a separate gender divide? Is this segregation necessary?
In other news, last month saw Selfless sign the lineup from Team Karma which is possibly one of the strongest in the female scene. These brave new lions will be vying against the likes of Team Secret, Reason, eSuba and a host of others to establish the lion logo at the forefront of the scene. Let’s see if they can add some silverware to the organisation.