With GamerzArena hosting paid contests and tournaments we’ve carved out a niche environment within the realm of e-sports. We want to make e-sports accessible to everyone, and help bridge the gap between casual gaming and professional. With GamerzArena, anyone can compete and win and staying true to our brand means starting off on the right foot.
Women make up an astonishing percentage of overall gamers (close to half as reported in several sources) yet E-sports themselves, as a whole, haven’t been particularly kind.Just last year BBC reported that the top female earnings in e-sports are less than $200,000 while the top male earns around $2,500,000. This is in part due to the separation between women and men in e-sports which is a subject that has many people drawing their respective lines in the sand. Here’s why. E-sports give men no physical advantage whatsoever which is the main justification behind the separation of men and women’s sports. For this reason, many women find themselves unfairly split from competitions with larger pots, or placed in women only competitions where they stand to earn less. There is also something to be said about the fact that in e-sports, you aren’t just a professional gamer, you are a professional “female” gamer, which is never good enough by some measurements. In order for this wage gap, and equality gap to cease, women in gaming need to be offered the same visibility, competition invites, earning potential and respect as men.
What could be bad about that you ask?
While the argument is strong to combine men and women in e-sports there are advocates for keeping the women only tournaments and spaces alive. Take the experience of professional gamer Steph Harvey for example. “Online abuse has been prevalent in the gaming community for years. Notably, in 2014 and 2015, it played a major role in the so-called Gamergate controversy, when people on both sides of the furore complained of harassment.
Steph has even received online rape threats in the past: “The way I get harassed is about what they would do to my body, about why I don’t deserve to be there because I use my sexuality – it’s all extremely graphic.”
She has begun to feel despondent about the work she does for the gaming community and says she often thinks, “Why do I do this if my community hate me? Because I am a feminist, because I believe women have a place in gaming.”
Designated spaces for women in gaming provide support and encouragement with groups that understand just how rough the gaming community can be. With the large amount of time that we spend collectively playing video-games, choosing the right community is very important to healthy self-esteem.
Finding Middle Ground
As the gaming industry continues to grow, tournament organizers are going to have to reach out to new sponsorship sources in order to increase both the pot and visibility of women in e-sports. Traditionally, e-sports have always favored men, but a huge opportunity exists to promote equality in ways that others cannot due to extreme legislation and obstacles and become a positive example of change.
It’s also a stark reminder of how vicious online language can be against women and a reminder to tone it down. Women have to face threats in the real world daily that do not affect men with the same prevalence, only to visit spaces and hear the same threats and insults repeated online in spaces they considered safe so much so that even Twitch launched campaigns to tackle abuse on their platform.
With that said we’d like to promote a community dedicated to uplifting and providing support for female role models in geek and gaming culture. “Missclicks” highlights women killing it in both e-sports and gaming development and is worth a subscription. Their website and live-streams can be found at http://www.misscliks.com/ and their youtube channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/misscliks . Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back in with us for more on “Women in Gaming”. and join our contests at www.gamerzarena.com