When it comes to Esports and competing at the highest level, the most important things are teamwork and putting in time and effort towards a goal.
A group of 4-7 individuals will work together towards the goal of refining their skills, climbing the ranks, and ultimately winning a championship. However, as it stands, the vast majority of teams that compete under a major Esports title are male with no women on their roster.
For the most part, women either have their own leagues or compete on their own. This is how it’s always been with life, sports, and now Esports — always putting women in a separate or side league or division. But as we all know, women’s abilities are on par with men when it comes to competing at the highest level, especially in Esports.
The primary things holding women back, or preventing them from competing at a higher level and earning more money, is public perception and the overall toxicity of the gaming community towards them.
In December 2021, eFuse held a “Women of eRena” Fortnite tournament, where the whole event’s integrity was called into question simply because it was all female. Women were getting harassed by teammates and spectators simply because they were women competing in a gaming tournament. Little to no action was taken for the people’s hate and sexism towards them.
When it comes to women accomplishing great and amazing things in Esports, their abilities are questioned, they’re often accused of cheating, and men are given the credit — despite the fact that they put in the work, study their opponent’s stats, and master their craft.
Men constantly make excuses for women’s personal accomplishments in the industry. Most men chalk up women’s success to their appearance or underplay their abilities because of their gender. If a female gamer shows any support towards a male player on stream, men take this as showing romantic interest where there often is none.
If a female plays with a male, people assume they’re automatically dating them or participating in extracurricular activities with them. The gaming community makes it incredibly difficult for women.
On the other side of the coin, any time a male Esports player/streamer comes to defend a female or play with them, they are also assaulted with equivalent toxicity, call them “simps”, that they are whipped, or they have an alternate motive behind their actions.
Women in Esports are just as capable as men to compete at the highest level, and should be able to compete for the same large prize pools that men do.
There shouldn’t be any exclusion or harassment from the men. Women should be able to compete in the same leagues that men do, and have an equal shot at the top rosters for CS:GO, Valorant, and any other big-name Esports title.
They shouldn’t have to be in their own league or on a team that is solely women. They should be able to battle alongside their male counterparts and have the chance to hoist those big trophies and be proud of their hard work and accomplishments.
The talent is there and there are women that are very successful in their own right. If you go to esportsearnings.com you can see the top 500 female players that have competed over various titles and have won some substantial money, and that doesn’t even include streaming.
There are top players like Sasha Hostyn, Li Xiao Meng, and Katherine Gunn that have won over six figures from Starcraft, Hearthstone, Warzone, Dead or Alive 4, and other games. Despite them making so much money, they are only ranked in the low 200’s for overall esports players’ earnings, and there is no reason why more females can’t be in the top 100 or even higher.
Different Esports organizations across North America are moving in the right direction to get more women in tournaments so that they can showcase their skills. For example, there are various tournaments for Call of Duty that are either hosted by women, are for women only, or have women battling alongside top male CoD players in high purse search and destroy tournaments.
Just recently, Team Summertime (TST), who is a part of OpTiC Gaming, hosted a $150,000 Prosim Invitational in which Holly Barlow was a team captain and won the entire tournament with the team she selected, securing $30,000 for herself.
There is also GuhRL, who is the number one ranked woman in the world in the highest division in Apex Legends (and that’s not an easy task, I myself can barely get a kill in that game). But those are just a few — there are countless other female streamers and pro players in the Esports world that are representing themselves to the highest degree and showing young girls that they too can enter this industry and thrive.
There need to be more opportunities like these to showcase female talent, to secure big paychecks, and have a crack a Call of Duty League roster.
If they have the skill, patience, time, and dedication to do it (which they do), then there’s no reason why there aren’t any females in the Call of Duty League or any other major league with million-dollar prize pools. Who knows, one day there could be a female at the top of the Esports earnings rankings one day.
Until then, women will continue showcasing their amazing talent and grinding with streaming or smaller tournaments until given equal opportunity.
It wouldn’t be an ORG taking a “risk” on a female, it would be an ORG providing an opportunity for an Esports player that is very capable of fitting into their roster, no matter the role. I hope to see more female streamers, content creators, and especially pro players next year and years to come, because it would be amazing for Esports, amazing for the younger generation, and just overall good wholesome feelings that humankind is moving forward in the right direction.