Almost half of the world’s gamers are female, yet women are struggling to break into esports according to a new report.
Professional gaming has come leaps and bounds in recent years. Tournaments pack stadiums and can easily turn professional gamers into millionaires. While we often cover the likes of Rainbow Six Siege, Apex Legends and Call of Duty which all have their esport tournaments, they aren’t even among the biggest. Dota 2 is one of the biggest competitive games in the industry, having awarded $235 million in winnings.
Yet despite the variety in games, no woman has ever lifted the cup for any major esports tournament. And of that $235 million, just an estimated $6,300 has gone to women. That’s 0.002%.
WHY SO LOW?
A recent BBC report highlighted the issue of there being not enough women breaking onto the professional scene. One was Bette Chai, a semi-professional Dota 2 player. Chai discussed some of the struggles she had faced trying to make Dota 2 into a professional career. Making deals with streaming partners was the only way she had made any sort of living.
A top earners report shared with the BBC revealed that you had to go all way down to 338th position to find the first female earner in Sasha Hostyn. The next female top earner goes even further down to 680th place.
One group trying to correct that report is Cloud 9 White. This group of female gamers have been dominating all other female teams on Valorant. And they have their sights set on the highest echelon of gaming.
Speaking with the BBC, Katsumi felt that the struggle for women lay in the misogynistic culture in grassroots gaming. She stated that playing video games as a women can be “really difficult” due to the constant stream of harassment. This is something Bette Chai reaffirmed, stating she was either obsessed over or given abuse.
Cloud 9 White is strongly against the idea of splitting tournaments into both male and female division. The team urges gaming organisations to give as much support to female talent as they do male. They think, given the support, they could usher in a wave of female professionals breaking into the esports scene.
Do you know any female esports teams you’d love to see lift a trophy? Let us know over on our social channels!
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Featured Image Credit: Cloud9