eSports has a serious gender diversity problem, with very few women being represented in eSports’ upper tiers. Most of this is down to the abuse the professional female players often get (Remilia, the first woman to make it to the League of Legends LCS considered dropping out because of this) and the fact that eSports’ overwhelmingly male-dominated industry can feel uncomfortable for these talented women.
One possible solution for this is to host women-only tournaments, letting female players get on with playing, with much less of the heckling that they get from playing in mixed-gender competitions. Paris Games Week 2015 is getting involved with that, as it will soon be the host of an ESWC (eSports World Cup) women-only League of Legends tournament.
Paris Games Week’s Women-Only League of Legends Tournament
There will be 8 teams showing off their stellar League of Legends skills and these will be split into two groups. Group A: Team Acer, GG Call Nashs, unKnights Ladies, and XenoDragons. Group B: Team ALTERNATE, Team LDLC, BX3 EK, Lamasticrew. The tournament takes place at the ESWC stage in Hall 1 of the Porte de Versailles, it kicks off on Wednesday, October 28 with the grand final set for Friday, October 30.
The organisers of the Paris Games Week tournament also explained that the event has been created in order to represent “a new acknowledgement for women gamers who are ever-increasing in numbers and enthusiasm“. However, some are against the idea of the tournament saying that there should be the same backlash to this as there was against the male-only Hearthstone world championship qualifiers last year, and that male-only tournaments should be allowed to happen too.
There are plenty of people in support of women-only tournaments like these, though, with Matt Weber, director of operations at eSports organization Team Liquid, previously saying that it’s “hard for up-and-coming women to get practice and have people train with them seriously” and that “women-only events help this slightly by both removing some of those barriers and fostering a community for an under-represented group to help find their place in the scene and establish a sense of togetherness for the people that fall into that group”.
It’s currently unclear how successful this ESWC event will be in terms of togetherness or community fostering but given that Paris Games Week is an incredibly high profile stage, if this does well we could potentially see more events like this happen in future.