BBC’s The Women Challenging Sexism in E-Sports

A quick one to share today:

Apart of their 100 Women of 2016 series, a series of videos and articles about influential women in varying industries, the BBC has put together a video and accompanying piece about women in the world of competitive gaming.

Stephanie Harvey and Julia Kiran, two of the most prominent female gamers in the world of competitive gaming, speak out about the challenges they have had to overcome and the hurdles that still exist in the gaming industry.  Issues of pay gap between males and females and consistent harassment plague the industry, so it’s great to see issues brought up.


7 thoughts on “BBC’s The Women Challenging Sexism in E-Sports”

  1. ”Issues of pay gap between males and females and consistent harassment plague the industry”
    You actually think someone would pay the salary of . . lets say Patrik Lindberg aka F0rest, a living legend of counter strike to anyone with a shitty aim ? It’s not about genders, it’s about how good you are at the game.
    Harassment? Grow up, its the internet with anonymity, everyone gets it to an extent. s1mple, get right, dosia, jw or flusha the list goes on of people mocked for their looks. Then there’s people like bogdan, smithz, hunden or shaara who are mocked for their performances. Although it’s true, being female makes you an easier target and can get you both disproportionate adoration or hate.

    The only thing you are doing with this post is to give a false reality of the E-Sports community

    1. I can tell you’re passionate about the E-Sports community, however merely dismissing such claims is detrimental to the community you’re defending. Harassment in online communities is a problem across all lines, but that doesn’t mean we should shrug it off or accept it as a reality, especially to those who are disproportionately targeted. As for “it’s not about genders”, you’re dismissing considerable research that points the a large gender bias within the gaming industry in both content and design. It’s naive to think that it’s all about skill. If you want to back up your claims with more than antidotal evidence and unsubstantiated statements, I’ll be happy to consider editing my post to include them.

      1. What research? I’ll make an easy explanation of how big E-Sports competitions work to make myself clear. Such as ESL Cologne, DreamHack or ECS
        First. Some Tier 1 teams are invited (Sk, VP, NiP) Then other teams, it doesnt matter if they are popular, or anything (all males, all girls, mix) they have the chance to qualify for it. How is this done? You play in an online league such as ESEA or Faceit and you compete against other teams for a spot in the qualifier. This leagues dont care about gender, all you need is a team of 5 players and that’s it, you are in. After lot’s of matches if you prove to be good and end up first in the ranking of the league, you then have a chance to play a LAN qualifier for the tournament.
        I tried to make myself clear, this is only in counter strike, other games might be different. So saying that there is a gap in genders isn’t a true statement. If females dont have the level to compete against males in online tournaments how you expect them to play against Tier1 teams? They created this ”only female tournaments” but they are not improving, how can you achieve this if you lock yourself in an un-experience inviroment?

        I dont need to write to back up my previous comment, since it’s all in this blog in HLTV

      2. From my point of view I think that we can both agree on the fact that harrasment is the main cause for this call ”sexism” in E-Sports, making female competitive gamers less encourage to play, leading to such low levels of active players.
        As i said before, every player in no matter what game he or she, I even include myself on this, was or is, victim of this ”trolls” that only criticises and looks to harm others. However this doesn’t mean that you need to quit playing something you enjoy because of others, or even the most creating only female tournaments, you dont actually help yourself. I understand why female only tournaments exist from a business pov, but you can’t have it both ways. Juliano has been open about the negatives of this before.
        Indeed harrasment needs to be stop so an equal community can be achieve, but it doesnt mean the media has to give unsubstantiated statements which can confuse an average person.
        I want to apologize if I gave you the idea of me thinking that the main focus of the article was to create hate, I do not. But i got really angry on the statements such as ”Not one single female player is nominated at this years Esports industry awards” This is the link for the winners of this years:
        Now why is there no female player? Because of the lack of them in the competitive scene. Leading again to what I said before, due to harrasment and toxic people that only discourages them.

        So basically yeah, the seek for an equal enviroment for all gamers need to be achieve, but it can only be done if we can accept player as they are, equals, cutting lose to all those who just look to harm others. But the media shouldn’t make false or miss-understanding allegations to the competitive scene with-out giving real reasons.

    2. That was absolutely what I was thinking! You know I included “gamer girl” to the title of my website to check the theory of “sexism”, “harassment” and discrimination and it failed. To tell you the truth, I really am a girl of 24 years. I’ve been playing games since I was 6 years old and I have never (even after all “shygamergirl” thing) felt like I am not a part of the gaming community. I write about games and boys read my posts and tell me I am right, they may even ask for an advice. My voice is heard and NOONE ever cares whether I am a girl or not. Also, I have never said: “I did great in the game no idea, why they say I sucked…”. Cause, if I suck I go and play more not to suck again. And If I am good everyone confirms that.
      And the last thing. All this “I am a gamer girl and I don’t feel like I am a part of my community…” makes me sick. Go ahead and prove you play better than men, go girl and I’ll applaud. Until that time that sounds pathetic and, maybe, you are a part of a different community.

  2. Thanks for expanding on your thoughts. I respectfully disagree with a lot of what the blog post presented argues, but we’ll chalk that up to differences in opinion. The thing that I think you’re overlooking is that the starting point for female gamers in competitive leagues isn’t the same for men. As the article points out, less females go into competitive leagues because of issues of gender bias in the industry and disproportionate harassment; if a general industry has shown bias against women, you’re less likely to see women continue and subsequently reach the higher levels of it. The article cites 5% of competitive gamers being women; you don’t find that incredibly low? This low number is without a doubt tied to the genderization of video games, an issue that has had profound effect across all facets of the industry (lack of females in game design, lack of females in online communities, etc.) Again, it’s naive to think that female gamers aren’t disadvantaged when it comes to competitive gaming.

    The article is highlighting people in your community trying to push back against the perceived norms in hopes of a more inclusive community, one that starts with making the community more accepting. I don’t think it should be perceived as the all-out-attack on E-sports that the blog post seems to be painting. Fighting for inclusion and equality isn’t analogous with hating the community.

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