New Working Group “Women in eSport” of the eSport Federation Germany
Published by Giselle
June 10, 2019 4:57 am
At the Networking Breakfast for women at the Gamesweek, which took place two weeks ago in Berlin, 25 women met. They exchanged experiences and ideas to strengthen female gamers in the eSports industry. The ESBD (eSport Bund Deutschland) working group “Women in eSports” was founded.
The three spokeswomen who have the task of representing the working group are Jana Möglich, eSports spokeswoman at the IFSH funding initiative, Jin-A Shim, Influencer Manager, and Kristin Banse, a journalist at Freaks 4U Gaming. Saskia Esken, the member of the Bundestag, took over the patronage.
“An association of women in eSports is long overdue. The scene still consists mainly of men and therefore it is all the more important that women network and support each other. I am very pleased to be able to actively tackle the numerous ideas of the AG together”.
It was possible to add that the group wanted to make the best possible use of the inclusive potential of eSports in order to create a fair and pleasant atmosphere in which the players would be judged by their performance and not by their gender or appearance.
Jin-A Shim concluded by saying that eSports is characterized by a dynamic scene, which convinces through rapid growth and adaptability. This must be used to rethink existing structures and shape the future of the eSports landscape.
Together with the AG, the Influencer manager wants to promote the empowerment of women in eSports and create an inclusive environment for men and women.
Hans Jagnow, President of the ESBD, was positive about the initiative and said that it is crucial that women have their own voice in eSports and that their perspective is taken into account in the design of eSports. Structural integration into the ESBD was, therefore, an important step, which the Presidium clearly supported.
The tasks of the working group
Of course, there are already numerous initiatives that promote women in eSports. Nevertheless, the presence of women in the eSports world is still very low.
According to the spokeswomen, one of the tasks of the working group is to create further offers so that women can network better. Mentoring programmes for dealing with discrimination on the eSports platforms are also to be created.
Sexism in eSports: an experiment
Women, in particular, are exposed to insults in the eSports community. If a gamer wants to get more involved, sexist remarks or even threats often occur.
For this reason, many ambitious gamers have already had to withdraw. One example is the story of the player “Ellie”, who was introduced as a new Overwatch player by the American eSports club “Second Wind” in December last year.
Insults followed in the community and it was called to the “Doxing”. (Editor’s note: “Doxing is the collection and subsequent publication of personal data. This is usually done with bad intentions.)
There were rumors that “Ellie” didn’t really exist and that a top male player had played under this name. This rumor was later confirmed by Blizzard, the manufacturer of Overwatch. It was an experiment in which the eSports community showed its negative side.
Looking at professional eSports, it quickly becomes clear that the top positions are occupied by men. The 50 best players have been able to collect at least half a million US dollars in prize money.
Equal chances for all
With the gamers, however, it looks quite different. There are only two of the top ten players who have won more than US$100,000 in any discipline.
The player with the highest prize money is currently the Canadian Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn (26), who started her career in 2011 as a StarCraft II player in the Female-Only League, the NESL Iron Lady, which she won twice in a row.
She won a total of $323,533 in prize money. On the other hand, German Dota 2 player Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi has won over $4 million, leading the list of top paid gamers.
To motivate gamers to become actively involved in the eSports world, tournaments have been created that are only accessible to women. They should be given the opportunity to prove their skills in a safe and fair environment.
But do women’s tournaments really have to exist? Is it possible to create a level playing field for all tournaments? This is the declared aim of the ESBD working group “Women in eSports”.