Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn becomes the first female player ever to win a major StarCraft 2 tournament. Scarlett took home the crown and made history at the IEM PyeongChang 2018 event that is taking place ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Scarlett’s historic win comes amid growing conversation about how to get more women involved in esports and how esports can be made more inclusive.
StarCraft 2 Player Scarlett Makes History at PyeongChang 2018
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) February 7, 2018
StarCraft 2 player Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn made history with her victory at IEM PyeongChang 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. The female professional player won the tournament after defeating sOs, who is the highest-earning StarCraft 2 player of all time. Scarlett takes home a prize of $50,000; she has already been recognized as the highest earning professional female esports player with wins totaling over $200,000.
Scarlett’s win is historic for several reasons. Scarlett is the first woman ever to win a major StarCraft 2 tournament and as a Canadian, she is also only the second ever non-Korean player to win a major StarCraft 2 tournament in South Korea. Additionally, IEM PyeongChang 2018 is also the very first esports tournament to receive support from the International Olympic Committee, something which reflects the shifting definition of ‘competitive sports’ and the IOC’s desire to respect this.
Wouldn't be the winter olympics without a Canadian victory o /
— Sasha (@onfireScarlett) February 7, 2018
As esports has a growing involvement in the Olympics, there will be an increasing debate about how best to get women involved. Female esports players already face significant harassment, something which may only be magnified due to the scale of the Olympics.
There will also be questions of whether male and female competitors should have their own tournaments, like many of the physical activities at the Olympics or if they should be mixed gender competitions, such as IEM PyeongChang 2018.
These issues will all need to be addressed in the coming months and years. But for now, Scarlett’s victory is groundbreaking and is a wonderful way to begin esports’ relationship with the Olympics.
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