Gamers argue Overwatch League has a representation problem

No matter what you’re seeing up on the screen in this inaugural season of the Overwatch League, chances are really good that the people controlling (and almost all of the casters, it seems) are guys. This is because the League’s teams are completely male, a situation that none of them can really seem to address when asked point-blank about it.

Case in point: Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon is widely seen as one of the best players in the competitive scene… and she has yet to be signed on to any of the competing teams, as Kotaku points out in its long piece this week (though apparently Geguri herself believes it’s not sexism keeping her off teams – thanks Loopy). You probably remember her from back in 2016 when gamers and pro players were harassing her and claiming she wasn’t real/was a cheater until she shut them down with a video of herself kicking ass.

When asked about why she (and other women) hasn’t been snapped up, in spite of her participation in other leagues, several teams hemmed and hawed over the fact. It would be funny to read all of these responses if it wasn’t so disheartening. Our favorite? Having to fuss with co-ed player housing.

“There is absolutely no reason that she couldn’t do it,” said Overwatch League Outlaws general manager Matt Rodriguez. “I think she knows that. I know she’s had a lot of trouble. I’ve read a lot of articles about her having hard times, and that sucks. But that’s the hurdle.”

For all of the noise that Blizzard has made this past year about diversity and inclusiveness and anti-toxicity, the lack of female representation within its premiere e-sports league seems a glaring issue.

Check out the entire article on Kotaku for all the mini-interviews with different organizations.

Source: Kotaku
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Hikari Kenzaki

Well, lot of comments here and while I don’t think we’re going to resolve all the world’s gender equality issues in the MOP comments section, please allow me to take a moment on this one.

So, these are the principle reasons I see in the comments for potentially excluding women:

1) Protecting the Women from being harassed.
2) Protecting the Men from false claims of harassment.
3) There just isn’t anyone good enough.
4) Slippery slope, I identify as a toaster.

4 is just an old troll meme and you know it.

3 is objectively untrue. Even if the example given by Kotaku is not interested in being on a team, there is likely someone who is just as good as some of the men riding an off-slot on a team. I’m sorry, guys, the argument that 99.9%, 90% or 70% of gamers are men, just isn’t true.

So, we are left with 1 and 2. Are this justified reasons for not having women in an esports league?

This brings up a lot of parallels to real sports and various other analogies. So, let’s discuss the validity of those.

Now then, keep in mind, this isn’t people playing in an amateur setting for a modest prize. These are professionals. It’s a job.
Also, keep in mind that there is no verified difference between the potential skill of a male or female player. This is not physical sport where men and women are usually (but not always) separated based on overall physical advantage. (Though there are plenty of successful women in traditional male only leagues).

So it comes down to this is a job. Something a person is hired to do.
Is it acceptable to not hire a woman in ANY industry for reasons 1 and 2? Or any of the other reasons brought up below.

TL:DR:In every job I’ve ever worked at (across multiple industries), none of the reasons in the comments below would be a reason for not hiring a woman.

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Melissa McDonald

If she was pinup/centerfold material I have no doubt she’d already be signed to a team with a big contract and highly touted as the “face” of Overwatch esports.

But she has more resemblance to Velma than Daphne – and there is nothing wrong with that – just stating a marketing truth.

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Arktouros

I see this as our standard case of people inventing problems that don’t really exist.

Is there a lack of gender diversity on these teams? Absolutely. However that, in itself, isn’t really a problem. Instead what we see, and was mostly indicated by the responses, was that you have focused teams of players who have been playing together and coordinating with one another for a while now. From what I understand people throwing around millions of dollars here, no one wants to go to messing with team coordination or planning at that point regardless of gender.

An actual problem would be is if you had teams or people discriminating or disparaging on women as eSports players. While the living arrangements thing gets pretty close to the usual tropes on the different biological make ups of the genders but seems kinda like reaching given the rest of their response. There’s really nothing here to indicate that a mixed gender team or even an all female team would be an issue for anyone.

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Jacobin GW

Its likely that 99.9% of the top tier competitive players are male so it follows that they fill the limited number of roster spots.

The living situation argument is dumb but I kind of get how a woman may not want to live 24/7 with 4-8+ guys and why a team would be hesitant to go there moreso for morale reasons.

The team house concept in esports is outdated as being around the same people constantly can lead to a toxic environment. They need to do what real sports and any other job does which is live separately and have a central practice area.

Of course this can’t happen because the salaries for all but the 5-10 top tier players can’t afford it.

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Tia Nadiezja

Of course she says it’s not about sexism. You know what happens to the careers of women who say it is?

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mysecretid

And this woman clearly doesn’t want to be caught in the middle of the hatred and harrassment yet again.

the_gaardian
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the_gaardian

Just identify as a woman….Problem solved.

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Bruno Brito

Funny.

Yangers
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Yangers

So, their isn’t a single female overwatch player in the whole world that’s good enough?

I find that hard to believe.

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Arktouros

There most likely are, but that isn’t the issue at hand.

The issue is none of those women that are were on a team or working with a team at that level of competition.

Estranged
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Estranged

Why would it be OK for gay and straight men to live together? Same concept. Conflict? Just asking dude bros.

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Lights and Music

Why would it be OK for gay and straight men to live together?

?

Not sure that’s how being homosexual works… Gay dudes don’t fuck straight guys generally… You drunk already?

Estranged
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Estranged

Lights – the girls could be lesbian. The guys could be gay. Others might be asexual. Lots of assumptions.

People aren’t just straight, that is my point.

Should we assume any of these people would want to have sex?

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Nathan Aldana

Also assuming people living together automatically leads to sex is basically romance movie logic that doesnt really pan out to the real world at all.

Estranged
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Estranged

Nathan, yeah, I have plenty of platonic female friends. Generally, I get along with women better. They also often look at life differently, which I find interesting.

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Nathan Aldana

Same. My best friends at work, and a few of my friends from my D&D group are girls and we’ve never once brought up the idea of even attempting to date. Almost like one can have relationships with the opposite sex, or gay people of the same gender without it inevitably leading to asking them to bone.

Shit, for one thing I know I’m not the type for the couple gay buddies I have.

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Lights and Music

Not sure I follow you – if you’re asking if it would pose the same problems for multiple homosexual individuals living and working together I would say, yes.

Seems to me you’re suggesting there would be an issue with gay and straight people living and working together, and I also think that would be a terrible work situation, but not one unlike those that currently already exist in gamer houses i.e. where the risk of being sexually harassed or romantically involved is minimal

My point is, from a management and/or investor perspective, workplace relationships are generally a bad idea – they are even worse idea when the people involved in those relationships now also live in the same place where they work – and it becomes even more problematic when you consider that the people involved in said workplace relationships are not fully mentally or emotionally developed, and when you consider the extremely high cost of initial investment.

With that in mind, why would an esports team elect to place itself in a position which would encourage workplace relationships?

Estranged
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Estranged

Lights – nah, I just think people are more complicated than their sexual urges. Any type of person can live, work and have fun together.

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Lights and Music

Any type of person can live, work and have fun together.

Can you give me an example of a company that operates its business this way? Or did you just mean theoretically?

Estranged
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Estranged

Lights – it is the law. Restaurants are a classic example.

Ah, wait, we are misunderstanding each other.

I’m just saying people can live/work together and not have a sexual relationship.

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Lights and Music

Dude what? What restaurant you know has employees living together?

Just to be clear, I wrote a big long post about workplace relationships being a bad idea, you replied that “Any type of person can live, work and have fun together.”

I asked you to name an example of a business that operates with employees living and working together, you reply

“Restaurants” (???)

harbinger_kyleran
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harbinger_kyleran

Cruise ships

Estranged
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Estranged

Misunderstanding.

People can live together and not be animals. The end.

harbinger_kyleran
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harbinger_kyleran

Ask the US Military how well that is working out for them.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_assault_in_the_United_States_military

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Lights and Music

People can live together and not be animals. The end.

I agree. Would you care to risk your $20M investment on a gamble that these particular college-aged employees will be able to maintain a professional working relationship?

You’re a riskier investor than I am.

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Nathan Aldana

Mcdonalds.

Unless you want to tell me we must segregate the male and female mcdonalds employees lest they have sex on the counter.

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Lights and Music

Mcdonalds.

Mcdonalds employees work AND live together? Could you cite that claim please? Because I think you are lying.

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Nathan Aldana

Oh. live and work together. gotcha.

Astronauts.

Deep sea scientific dive teams.

The Navy, the army, and all other armed forces, unless you want to tell me every single base is inescapably controlled by their penis.

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starbuck1771

In the military males and females don’t share bunks. They have their own barracks. As for the navy it took almost a century to let women serve on submarines and there are very strict restrictions on interaction with the opposite sex while deployed.

If you do your research you will see the military has it’s fair share of sex scandals.

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Nathan Aldana

aware of this. Also pointing out, that , once again, the idea that women and men will inevitably devolve into sex-crazed orgies because they live together is the sort of insane delusion that only someone who has never lived in a co-ed situation believes.

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Lights and Music

LOL you got me there, esports athletes and astronauts, two peas in a pod.

The Navy, the army, and all other armed forces, unless you want to tell me every single base is inescapably controlled by their penis.

Not sure if you know anything about the armed forces, but they are not renowed for their fair and equitable treatment of genders. I find it silly of you to choose this as an example of a place where opposite genders successfully work and live together productively.

You might as well have said: “Hollywood Directors and Actresses work together just fine and they are opposite sexes.”

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Nathan Aldana

I’m aware of the reality.

I’m also aware thats because of people who refuse to hold their heads to the proverbial guillotine and just excuse it as “well, you cant control men around sexy women hyuk hyuk”

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Nathan Aldana

Thats my point.

if you’re not willing to hold esports athletes to the same standards of professionalism as elite astroscientists, then you’re the problem.

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Lights and Music

if you’re not willing to hold esports athletes to the same standards of professionalism as elite astroscientists, then you’re the problem.

You are literally insane if you think these two professions should be held to the same standards. Should esports athletes be able to not sexually harass coworkers? Absolutely. Should kids who stream video games and meme on twitch be held to the same professional standards as fucking astronauts, literally the best and brightest we produce, no.

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Nathan Aldana

Then what standard should they be held to? Does esports give you one free pass to embarass yourself and your coworkers or two?

I’m not asking for pristine gleaming PR, I’m asking for conducting yourself in a mature manner and not pretending 25 year olds are children who arent responsible for their own actions.

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Lights and Music

Then what standard should they be held to?

That of your average employee? Seems pretty obvious to me – they are employees just like everyone else and should be held to standards as such – are you honestly trying to say that you think astronauts are held to the same standards as janitors?

I think we’re done here

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Let’s just end it right there. It’s long since stopped being civil.

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Nathan Aldana

This.

Just because someone is a woman living in the same house as a man doesnt inevitably lead to them wanting to have sex. And if it does, as long as theyre emotionally mature enough to handle a relationship, i don’t really care.

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John Kiser

I think it is viewed more as a potential distraction to the male players in the minds of the people forming the teams.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Likely. And even if that weren’t horribly sexist (on their part), it also shows just how team owners think of their players, how they intend to do their best to own your whole life and make sure you’re all gaming, all the time.

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Jennifer Yaner

This is why I never wasted money on a microphone. Rather keep my identity confidential.

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Knox Harrington

Yeah guys get this infection called GOTIS. (Girls On The Internet Syndrome). As soon as they find out you’re female, they immediately change their behavior. They either get all pervy flirty or they start white knighting for you. Both are forms of unwanted advancements. If I was female, I certainly would not let it be known because I wouldn’t want all that extra attention. I’d rather be judged by my skill as a player and treated as such.

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John Kiser

Some guys do, yes. Not all of us are like that though. I never give females special treatment online. I’ll help anyone online try to reach their end goals in a game or whatever, but they are only getting the equal treatment I give to any other person, though that may be because I can control myself and the like.

Some of it is down to life circumstances. Are they a virgin, have they had much interaction with females in general, how they are taught to treat women by their parents, media, and the like. These factors all sort of come into play when guys tend to deal with women period (not just online).

If you get treated a diff way online it is a good chance that factors are at play. Maybe steer the guy in the right directions then too. A lot of guys are taught when they are kids to protect women, treat them like princesses and all this other crap and often if they haven’t had enough interaction they do just that. They figure that is what they are supposed to do.

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Jennifer Yaner

I know quite a few guys who are very cool about it and treat you like another person. Not trying to male bash or anything, just generally have a bad experience most of the time. Tend to stick with a group of friends and avoid the public.

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Bryan Correll

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Sushi Maru

It doesn’t matter how good she is, or why she isn’t chosen. The people who are in charge didn’t chose her. End of story. They could have any reason they want. You know how many people in the world, male, female, black, white, whatever…didn’t get a job even though they “deserved” it? Life isn’t fair, and trying to make a stink about it to “force” people to be fair will never, and has never worked. Oh enough bad press and people will buckle unfortunately, but have fun being the forced hire on the team…

Yangers
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Yangers

So, just never do anything or try to make things better.

OK!

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Bruno Brito

> It doesn’t matter how good she is, or why she isn’t chosen. The people who are in charge didn’t chose her. End of story.

It does. It’s against the LAW to not hire someone you would hire for any other reason if not racism, sexism, etc etc. If it’s apparent you would not hire such person because of racial/sexual/gender issues, at least here in Brazil, you’re in deep crap.

> They could have any reason they want. You know how many people in the world, male, female, black, white, whatever…didn’t get a job even though they “deserved” it? Life isn’t fair, and trying to make a stink about it to “force” people to be fair will never, and has never worked.

Except that when you deserve it, you’re good enough, actually better than anyone and the white/cisgendered/whatever gets the job even being worse at it than you because of racial/sexual impacts, that’s not a “life isn’t fair” issue. It’s a “SOCIETY should be fair” issue.

> Oh enough bad press and people will buckle unfortunately, but have fun being the forced hire on the team…

Hence why these things should be on the spotlight.

You sound deeply hurt by people who fight for their place.

Estranged
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Estranged

Bruno, yes, this is against US law as well.

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Bruno Brito

We got our answer then.

Just so it’s clear: i AM in favor of businessmen having almost total control over their businesses. That’s a non-issue for me. I am NOT in favor of their personal tastes and prejudices traslating to the workplace. Everytime that happens, people suffer.

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Nathan Aldana

ah yes “Life isnt fair, ”

Also known as “hi, the only defense I can come up with for these people is to tell everyone on earth failure is their only option”
‘also i will casually ignore that this position benefits one group by telling all other groups to give up”

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Mathew Reuther

Anyone who watched the Shanghai Dragons play on Wednesday already knows that there HAVE to be women better than some of the men playing in OWL. They got utterly destroyed by GLA.

I’m rooting for the Gladiators, so good for the home team as it were, but you can’t tell me that there’s no room for “stunts” like bringing a woman or a team of women into the league when a full team of Chinese players is in the league sucking as bad as they do.

Early days and maybe the Dragons do improve, but the same could be said of any woman or team of women who came in and didn’t play as well as some of the other players/teams.

The “reasons” given for why women (and in specific Kim Se-yeon) weren’t signed are awful. Co-ed living? Yes, men and women have never in the history of the world lived under one roof… Communication? There are 100% Korean teams, so Korean women would have no communication issues there, and the teams which are mixed nationality (up to 9 on one team, I counted) have apparently found SOME way to work around that.

Beyond that, there are teams carrying loads of roster slots. Why not give one to one of the better female players and just don’t field her unless the map/strat favor her strengths? Yes, you pay 50k plus benefits to hire her, but if her skills with one hero are what make a strategy work, you potentially move up the ranks and get more bonus money. Pro teams pay for role-players all the time. It’s why people walk out to the plate to pinch hit in the 8th or 9th inning in a close baseball game.

Finally, and MOST IMPORTANTLY:

Co-ed living is not an issue unless you signed players who are not capable of behaving. You don’t deny women opportunity because your team is a bunch of young men. You simply hold everyone accountable as the professional they are. It’s WHY you have coaches and managers. Their job is to ensure that the players work together and respect each other.

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John Kiser

God the one round i was watching before bed. Genji goes to chase mercy instead of staying on the point and just loses the round for his team. Was just god awful.

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Nathan Aldana

I cracked the code guys of why this is so hard for the people.

boys living in a private house with a private chef, free room and board, exercise equipment, their own rooms, and jetsetting around the country to represent their team colors.

Am I describing an esport team or a group of rich frat boys.

Estranged
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Estranged

Frat boys have to clean their own house. This is worse. They also pay rent.

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Nathan Aldana

Fair.

Estranged
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Estranged

Hey, I doubt the team has frat level parties. lol

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Bruno Brito

We don’t have those in Brazil.

We have Calouradas tho, same level parties but no one sleeps on a frathouse. Some of them pass out on the place, some go home in a uber with their chosen partners, and some go home by drunkdriving.

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Knox Harrington

The comments section for this article is not going to go well

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Armsbend

I really don’t get why these people have to live together in the first place – is it a reality show?. One reason I’d never become a professional gamer is that I would never want to live with the cretins the sport employs.

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Bruno Brito

Eases the process of bonding/creating sinergy. Makes training easier, scrimming easier, easens the process of making a schedule, and diminishes ping issues.

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A Dad Supreme

Doesn’t even have to be cretins. Some people just hate living with other people in a “roommate” type situation anyways.

You get tired of asking “who drank my Dr. Peppers?” or “Please stop making all that noise so I can get some sleep”.

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Rumm

Mofos leaving dishes in the sink and taking all the toilet paper.

Estranged
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Estranged

When you watch their HotS tournaments, the same applies, basically.

Dude bros, without social skills – can’t deal with girls. Who would have thunk it?

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Bruno Brito

Hell, they almost can’t deal with themselves.

luxundae
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luxundae

Wow but wow, those Kotaku interviews are not great…
—-
Hey folks, we would stop being so misogynist but, you know, coed housing is a *hard problem* and we just don’t have any ideas. Maybe someone could launch a startup to fix the coed housing thing and *then* we could add women to our roster? Our, like, could the blockchain fix this somehow?
—-
So, guys, we just wanted someone who would mesh with us. It’s not her skill, you understand. We think she’s plenty skilled. We just wouldn’t take her because of who she is. Because *mesh*, you understand? You can’t blame us. Blame the mesh.

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John Kiser

Well to be fair on the last bit, personality does matter particularly when you are all living together. If they don;’t mesh together, if she doesn’t try and be part of the overall community etc. She has to show people up online when called out sort of stuff comes into play and there is some “drama” surrounding her because of it all can play a factor even if she was a male player.

Also co-ed housing CAN be an issue and a distraction. Particularly for certain types of gamers really any female in the house would be a distraction for some as they are young, have high libidos and lets be real here probably little social interaction with actual females as they sit there playing games all day every day. How many have girlfriends etc?

Many pro gamers are focusing on the gaming, practicing etc. They don’t want any distractions period and any potential distractions are going to be moved out of things. Even if they have a girlfriend the girlfriend can’t be living there etc. While I think it is silly that some people can’t control themselves enough for co-ed housing to work in the pro-gamer spectrum I can also see how it might be a problem to some.

She herself has stated she doesn’t think it is out and out sexism. Maybe the guys are better players than her etc. There just aren’t a lot of teams either so the pool is probably larger than you’d think vs her as well. She may be good, but doesn’t mean the rest aren’t better. Also some of these players are first time pro players as far as actually doing tourneys and the like which is why a good deal of em are choking when actual pressure is applied to do well.

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Soy

When I saw the title I thought it was about not being many American players.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Yep. London and New York teams are both full South Korean, and live there when not competing in Los Angeles. Another team, I think Florida, is almost all Swede. There are a few mixed teams but for the most part, even the teams with American management still have nothing to do with the cities they “represent.”

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Armsbend

The whole thing seems contrived. They have cities but no one is from the cities themselves.

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Knox Harrington

That’s their way of trying to make it seem like a professional sports league but it just reeks of trying too hard.

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mag

I imagine having a female team member would be incredibly beneficial to a team’s reputation in today’s social climate. It would increase the interest in that team and hence their fanbase, with all the advantages that brings such as: sponsorship and merchandising, not to mention the fact that Blizzard would absolutely love it and would no doubt give very favourable coverage. When Remilia (a trans woman for those that don’t know) joined the League of Legends team Misfits (later known as Renegades) it generated a massive amount of hype and positivity for the team. There were some trolls who didn’t like it but they were in a minority. As for this controversy, I would like to wait to hear more about this before I grab a pitchfork for yet another ‘sexism in gaming’ witch hunt.

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Mathew Reuther

The first team that signs a woman is getting a purchase of her jersey from my family. I don’t care what team, sign a woman and there’s a sale. Probably increased viewership as well, because instead of just watching GLA and catching whatever else, we’ll have another team to plan viewing to root for.

Representation matters. My daughter is an ice hockey player and deserves to see women compete.

We spend money on female-driven and inclusive properties.

I know for a fact that we’re not the only family that feels this way.

Estranged
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Estranged

Yeah, it is not only fair, it is good marketing. Everyone wins.

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Bannex

Then make a female overwatch league too. Honestly, I bet that would get as much if not more views.

Then make a gender ambiguous league, then make an ai only league, then make a hamsters with laser pointers league, then make a bdsm ham sandwich league…

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Knox Harrington

Sign me up for the bdsm ham sandwich league

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A Dad Supreme

Then make a female overwatch league too.

I don’t think they need a female Overwatch League. A female Overwatch team of awesome female players should do it.

The problem is they are being looked at as ‘a female gamer on a male team’.

When they are all females on the same team, then that need to compete not only with other teams but people on their own team is removed, they’ll start getting more respect from the male teams and conversely, this issue will die over the years.

You also could have a female go the “Jackie Robinson” route, but in 2018 I think it’s a lot easier for an all female team to get loads of sponsorship, especially from companies that market to females.

Once they have the funding, then they just have to produce the wins and then male teams will start poaching the female players to be on their teams.

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Bannex

I will say that the notion that girls can’t game as well as boys is a [dumb] one and is most likely perpetuated by internet trolls.

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A Dad Supreme

I will say that the notion that girls can’t game as well as boys is a [dumb] one and is most likely perpetuated by internet trolls.

It would be nice if that were true, but the fact that this article even exists shows that’s completely an untrue thought.

I can’t imagine ALL the male teams thinking “Sure, we think that females game just as well as males, but we haven’t found any good enough to make our squads that we’d offer spots to them”.

Until internet trolls are in control of these gaming teams, then it’s obvious it’s more than just a few people behind computers trolling who think this in the actual leagues.

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starbuck1771

I think the problem is that they don’t feel comfortable having girls share the same living quarters with young men. Do you think it wise with the current sexual harassment and rape claims issue going on lately?

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Nathan Aldana

Hint: the answer to the recent rape/harassment issues is to hold men fucking accountable, not exclude women from shit to protect them like widdle fragile glass dolls.

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mysecretid

The correct answer, Nathan. Thank you, sir!

It occurred to me last night that a lot of the arguments offered against co-ed gaming teams (e.g. “what about the team housing situation?, “what if some of our star players have their performance/concentration negatively impacted?” et cetera) are some of the same arguments floated in opposition to racially-integrated major-league baseball teams all those years ago.

The legacy of Jackie Robinson is trying to tell us something, I suspect. I wonder if anyone will hear it in time?

Cheers,

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Correct, solved problem.

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starbuck1771

Yes however if you most of those statements most of them say it happened 20 , 30, and even 40 years ago and just saying it is what happened with no proof. So you get a young woman in there saying x happened yet there is no proof what then? I also remind you harassment can go both ways and doesn’t require an action just a comment and I remind you we are talking about young gamer’s.

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Bruno Brito

Dude…No.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

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Lights and Music

Not sure why you’d dismiss his comment – it may be unpopular but he has a valid point. In a world where NFL teams won’t sign players because they kneel during the national anthem, is it really so outlandish to think that companies with a $20 Million investment on the line don’t want to take a chance on Timmy the esports pro being able to act professionally around females?

No one is arguing this is an equitable or fair situation, or that it’s the potential victim’s fault in any way here – but… you honestly can’t see why an esports company might be wary of placing it’s 18 y/o socially questionable employees into co-ed living situations?

I challenge you to name a profession where you believe it would be beneficial for 18-25 year old coworkers of opposite sexes live together.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

The problem with the original comment wasn’t so much the first line but the followup, which was posed to justify the status quo described by the first line. There’s more in following comments, as you can see.

But since you asked, I don’t think the industry should be exploiting pro gamers by using ‘gaming houses’ in the first place. The fact that they help keep it male-only is merely one of their problems. These players are not in the military where close quarters are a way of life. Pro gamers can bond and train without literally bunking together, just like athletes.

That said, co-ed dorms in colleges are extremely common. Not every co-ed situation devolves into instant degeneracy.

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Lights and Music

But since you asked, I don’t think the industry should be exploiting pro gamers by using ‘gaming houses’ in the first place.

I agree gaming houses are stupid and should go, but how could the reader possibly discern any of this from your comment “…” ?

Moreover, since the reality we all currently inhabit does involve gamer houses, until that changes, they remain a relevant part of the conversation. So back to my actual question, do you think it’s a smart investment for new esports teams, in a new league, with a price of $20M to get in, to have a team of coworkers aged 18-25 of opposite sex live together?

That said, co-ed dorms in colleges are extremely common. Not every co-ed situation devolves into instant degeneracy.

I don’t think “the gaming house could be like a college dorm” is the best supporting example for a place that doesn’t participate in sexual harassment.

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John Kiser

Co-ed dorms also tend to differ as it is oft that you aren’t sharing a room with someone of the opposite sex directly. While you may have a mix living in the dorm itself you in your room are not directly living day in and day out with that person and you are unlikely to see them all the time either. They do differ massively.

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Nathan Aldana

My position is that if timmy the esports pro cant handle being around women, then fire timmy.

He doesnt get to have extra money and fame and glory just because we cant guarantee we can protect other people from him.

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Lights and Music

My position is that if timmy the esports pro cant handle being around women, then fire timmy.

Pretend your the owners. What are the potential benefits to female gamers living with male gamers? Now what are the potential negatives?

Why on earth would you take that sort of risk with your $20M? The risk-benefit ratio is horrible. Say you sign timmy and suzi and timmy turns out to be a creep – now you have to publicly fire timmy, explain why, and sign a new player.

What about this sounds like something that you would want to invest in? The potential for timmy to fuck up is extremely high

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Nathan Aldana

I’m not the owners though. I’m a male living in a country where i’m rather sick of people worrying so much about the precious feelings and futures of manipulative , abusive men who get away with figurative murder because they always get grandfathered in by coddling ideas like “boys will be boys” or “Its just capitalism”

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Lights and Music

I’m not the owners though.

WTf are you talking about? The entire point of the discussion is why there aren’t females in the OWL.

Who gives a shit what you (or I) think – what’s important is changing the minds of the owners/investors/Blizzard – if you can’t see a reason why the owners would want to do this, then why on earth would they ever do it !?

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Nathan Aldana

They won’t. CEOs are scum of the earth.

There is literally nothing good about CEOs and never will be.

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starbuck1771

Just getting it out there as it is a current issue and the fact that the team members do share living quarters. As you noted in your story she has already had issues with harassment and putting such young women in that situation would be a deathblow to the league if it happens. As someone who plays Overwatch I can tell you the Harassment is just as real there as with any other game.

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Nathan Aldana

it is, yes. But if you’re playing overwatch for money you better be held to a professional standard of behavior, not given a pass just because you’re famous at videogames.

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starbuck1771

Hence the reason to remove that factor. I remind you professionals are being accused of such things basically everyday now.

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MagmaFist

I was thinking the same thing too. Maybe they don’t want to place themselves anywhere near the situation, i.e. traveling together, being in the same hotel, where they can be accused, falsely or not, of inappropriate behavior because we know in today’s climate, you only have to be accused. Social justice does not wait for the outcome of a court decision.

The only thing that prevents me from fulling believing in this is someone that young thinking that far ahead. Or maybe their parents convinced them. If I had a professional career as a male and made a lot of money in today’s society, I would definitely be wary of being in any situation where I was alone with a female. you can try to avoid the events that may place you alone with no alibi, constantly have a chaperone, make sure someone trustworthy is documenting your whereabouts, etc, but the safest bet is just not be in that situation at all. Sorry if this offends anyone but that is my male perspective of why even take the chance despite the proposed benign reasons mentioned.

Edit: and please do not confuse this as me saying these people should be let off the hook if guilty. Nothing could be further from the truth and I hate that I feel the need to add this last comment.

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Nathan Aldana

Yes,. And those professionals should be thrown out of their respective industries.

Not the victims.

If you think throwing out the victims for their own protection fixes anything you’re either being intentionally obtuse and malicious, or you’re more interested in preserving the status quo than actually doing anything about how terrible culture treats victims of harassment.

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starbuck1771

But who decides who the victim is if there is no proof?

I could say he/she touched me somewhere or made suggestive comments to me (to get them removed for revenge for x reason). Playing the role of the victim and that would basically get a possibly innocent person fired like what is currently going on.

You have to realize harassment usually happens in area’s where there are no witnesses or are loud and overcrowded where there is no proof it happened. When you have one person saying it happened and one saying it didn’t when there is no evidence who do you believe? You can feel sympathy for one of them but did it actually happen or did you just fire an innocent person?

So do I want to preserve the status quo? No but at the same time I don’t want to see an innocent person persecuted over a lie either.

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Nathan Aldana

Translation: “I believe the males until otherwise noted and am just trying to pretend to care about women’s safety while still handing all the opportunities to potentially chronically immature manchildren”

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Bree Royce

Remove the “factor”? You mean remove harassers from the professional scene, I’m sure. How better to ensure male and female pro gamers can focus on their work.

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starbuck1771

Yes remove harassers if there is evidence it happened. Remember there is two sides to every story. A person could just be claiming it happened for revenge.

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Bree Royce

None of which is remotely relevant, unless you are genuinely suggesting that women be kept out of e-sports not just because some dudes are rapey but because men need to be protected from some hypothetical avalanche of top-tier female pro e-sports players who would inexplicably ruin their own teammates (not to mention themselves) with fake harassment claims. Absurdity.

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starbuck1771

Yes however it’s not out of the question. The last I checked the rule of law was innocent until proven guilty in America. And No I have no problem with women in E-Sports as there are women in it already however the Overwatch League is just starting.

Forcing this subject straight out of the gate without knowing all the facts could do damage to the agenda. After all she said it wasn’t due to her sex so maybe she was offered a spot but declined it. We may never know.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

It’s not even about her.

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starbuck1771

In a way it is. It’s about women in E-Sports however she was explicitly named in the story which makes her a focal point of said story. Do we even know how many women actually went to the team tryouts? Team spots are not just given out. There are many questions that need to be asked.

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Knox Harrington

I thought all Overwatch players were trolls since all I ever hear about the game is how toxic it is.

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starbuck1771

Frankly that’s every game that’s multiplayer. I have seen it even in childrens/family games like Freerealms , wizard 101 , and Hello Kitty online adventures. Toxicity is just part of every day life.

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Bruno Brito

> Toxicity is just part of every day life.

Not an excuse to accept crappy behavior.

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Alex Willis

Right. Because BDSM Ham Sandwiches are in the same category as 51% of the human population.

Not sure you’re appreciating the problem here.

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Bannex

The point is, where do you draw the line of representation?

I knew there would be at least one that couldn’t see beyond the words

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Alex Willis

Oh, I fully got your point.

The point is, where do you draw the line of representation?

This is not a “slippery slope” fallacy. If you think involving women is a “dogs and cats living together” situation, then you’re still not getting it.

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Bannex

I think forcing the issue especially when it’s involving somebody that doesn’t want to be involved is absolutely a slippery slope.

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Mathew Reuther

If you are a professional who is signed to a team you should know what is expected of you. If any team signs a woman every single man they signed previously has zero room to complain about not wanting to be part of that.

You join the team, you’re there to do a job.

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Loopy

The female gamer in question is disputing the report:

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Alex Willis

Thanks for the context.

This is one of those weird circumstances where one person has become emblematic of a greater problem, and we expect that person to somehow be a spokesperson *for* the problem. But that’s too much weight to put on one person’s shoulders. So: just because she does not feel comfortable representing all women in this case (who would?) doesn’t mean it’s not incumbent on the rest of us to keep focusing on the problem.

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Lights and Music

So: just because she does not feel comfortable representing all women in this case (who would?) doesn’t mean it’s not incumbent on the rest of us to keep focusing on the problem.

Is anyone suggesting that? Or is this just a random comment into the ether to remind everyone to be nice to one another? I don’t see anything suggesting that we stop focusing on the problem in anything @Loopy posted.

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rafael12104

Hmm. Is the media putting the cart ahead of the horse here?

I do worry about this because the zeal for social justice may make matters worse and negatively impact the problem that needs to be solved.

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Bree Royce

Yeah, she’s always been really unwilling to be a spokesperson about women in gaming, probably because of the extreme harassment male gamers and pro players subjected her to (and to be clear, I don’t blame her for that decision). There’s nothing to dispute, anyway. Kotaku wasn’t definitively saying this is what happened to Geguri; they were using her as an example of a pro gamer as good as the boys to refute the idea that women can’t do it, and then letting the teams interviewed basically let their often sexist “reasoning” for not hiring her or other women speak for itself, which sadly it did.

Thanks for the link; we’re adding that in for context.

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Nathan Aldana

Yeah. Its fine that geguri herself doesnt want to be an emblem , but really, I’ just sick of esports always having the exact same bullshit argument every time

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Bruno Brito

Honestly, doesn’t matter much. Geguri is the example here because she’s pretty much the only example. “Oh, the female players!!!”

WHAT female players?

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massop1

1. You assume she doesn’t want to be a spokesperson because of extreme harassment from male gamers.
2. You state that you don’t blame her for this made up assumption as if it justifies your opinion.
3. You assume the teams didn’t select any women because they are sexist with no proof at all.

I’m not saying it’s not possible, there are no women in the new e-sport so it’s possible. I think it’s unfair to present such a biased opinion as fact. Seriously, even if there was some proof of one single person being sexist it would still be silly to condemn the entire league. I guess what I’m saying is that I disagree with this type of thinking in an environment where an accusation is just as good as a conviction.

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antheriel

Have you read anything about implicit bias? A group of people can be deeply prejudiced without any one person engaging in overt prejudice. This kind of prejudice often affects even the minority members of the group (that is, bias against women is often as prevalent among women as among men, and strategies for remediating the problem must be applied to everyone, not just a scapegoated worst offender). We are all prejudiced to different degrees on different axes. The idea is not to root out one or two people for whom there is definite evidence of egregious discriminatory behaviour, but to address the problem in the entire community.

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Nathan Aldana

3: I assume we;ve heard these same excuses in every esport from every esport team owner for years.

You’d have to be naive to believe any of them ever intend to do more than lip service, especially when people will give them the benefit of the doubt like you’re trying to.

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Bree Royce

Regarding 1 and 2, that’s not assumption – have you read anything about her? Regarding 3, that’s also not assumption – it’s all in the Kotaku article, words coming directly from the mouths of the teams.

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massop1

I read the article (good read, thanks!)

Alright, lets make it real. I’ll tell you what I tell ballplayers who are upset with not being being selected/playtime. “Who should she replace?” I honestly don’t know enough about the players to answer this question. I’m curious how many other league players is she better than.

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Brendan Drain

It’s not even about replacing someone. The pro Overwatch teams have coaches, people who help with training, development talent, and substitutes who can step in if someone on the main team can’t play or they need a highly specialised player to counter a certain enemy team or strategy.

Kim Se-yeon was probably the best Zarya player on the planet, and there are several viable team comps right now involving Zarya. I don’t know if nobody has offered her a position specifically or even if she would accept one, but she’s definitely more than qualified to take a spot on a pro team.

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massop1

Article said something about her being top 100 on Korean servers, didn’t know she was the best Zarya player in the world. I hope she has better luck getting on a team in the future.

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Brendan Drain

She was definitely one of the top Zaryas (and I personally think probably the best in the world) when all the drama about her kicked off in 2016. She was so good at that point that many pro players were accusing her of cheating, I haven’t kept up with her career since then but am very surprised that she’s not signed to a team.

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ihatevnecks

She *has* been signed to teams. Twice. At neither point did she (or her teams) make great showings. Note that there is a difference between being an awesome player in online match rankings, and actually being part of a competitive league team.

Her first team, EHOME Spear, managed an APEX qualifier but that was as far as they ever got. Overall they were fairly sub-par, both as a team and individually. After leaving that team she joined ROX Orcas in August ’17, and after failing to win a single match (in the least-competitive group), their team was dropped from its org.

I have no doubt there are female players out there with the talent and capability of playing in OWL, but I don’t think she’s really shown herself to be one of them. It’s unfortunate she’s been dragged right back into the limelight with this issue.

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Nathan Aldana

Thats the thing though. You’re assuming that 1: the team managers are perfect judges of skill, and 2:, that they truly would only consider raw skill in their assessment of who to hire for their teams.

Humans arent nearly that rational

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Brendan Drain

Humans arent nearly that rational

Correct. Some people need to be forced to act like reasonable human beings, and exposing their irrationality via the media is a pretty good way to do that. Some of the excuses the teams came up with for not looking for any female talent in that article were ridiculous.

The Houston Outlaws were worried about the hassle of co-ed housing and concerned that hiring a woman might lead to PR about them hiring a woman. Their top DPS Jake suggested it would be difficult to hire a woman because people would always be doubting and judging her. So.. what, they’ll only hire a female player who’s so good she wouldn’t make mistakes?

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Nathan Aldana

i mean. hes not wrong that people will always doubt a womans skill..but thats more indicative that gamer culture when it comes to women is inherently toxic in its current form and inherently considers women inferior and selectively filters information to back that up.

it also doesnt excuse at all perpetuating it.

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Brendan Drain

i mean. hes not wrong that people will always doubt a womans skill

There’s also a big difference between using that fact to determine any unique support or publicity a female team member may need and using it as an excuse to just not hire female players. Denying someone an opportunity because you think they’ll be harassed is as unethical as the gaming culture that carries out that harassment.

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Nathan Aldana

Agreed.

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Vorender

No female players? Shocker. Come on boys, girls can frag too!

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Greaterdivinity

Saudi Arabia hosts chess tournament with rules hostile to female players, causing some to drop out entirely: “HOW DARE THEY! THOSE REGRESSIVE MEANIES!”

Supposedly progressive, western esports teams and developers have an opportunity to integrate some of the top players to their massive budget, corporate sponsored teams, who happen to be female: “It’s not the right time”

Two sides of what are essentially the same coin.

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John Kiser

Maybe there is no one that ranks high enough that is a female? Stop trying to force diversity in something that tends to be dominated by males because of a lack of interest from females. The person not on the team here isn’t a great player in competitive stuff in the past and others have seen her play before on other teams. While she may be good zarya being in the top 100 in korean servers literally means jack all (korea lost to the Florida team made up largely of swedes).

Past performance, current performance, her world wide ranking. Being top 100 in korea again means jack all unless the teams are made up of 100 or so Koreans are all on teams. Then are we going to have a discussion about the entire league only being korean? She has come out saying it is not about her gender at all. Maybe it is due to drama/harassment surrounding her previously or maybe it is because she isn’t as good as kotaku wants to make her sound vs other people that did make the teams.

Kotaku has been sort of pushing too hard for some stuff particularly since gamergate happened. I think more women should get involved in gaming, but I also want people to stop trying to force diversity. She may not of been as good as the rest of the people that made teams period and you jump to the conclusion that because no females were on that they were automatically as good as the guys that were put on teams and it’s this whole sexist agenda. Maybe just maybe for once it has nothing to do with that and has to do with past mixed gender teams, past performance of players in actual head to head competitive arena type situations (maybe she chokes with a large audience?) etc.

We need to stop jumping the gun that it is automatically about sexism.

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Greaterdivinity

Maybe there is no one that ranks high enough that is a female?

We already know this is objectively false in many cases, and my comparison to Saudi Arabia and chess included a world champion not going due to ludicrous requirements on female competitors there.

I’m not attacking dudes or trying to “virtue signal”, enhance your calm, bro.

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KumiKaze

I’m not sure how co-ed housing is an issue.

First, players need to be 18 to compete in the league, so right off the bat the players are considered adults.

Second, if teams are worried about privacy or some other issue, put key card locks on each player’s room like dorm rooms have, assuming the team is housed in the same place.

Third, if the guys on a team can’t handle a woman on their team, they need to be removed from the team. Doesn’t matter how good that player is. When us as a society continue to allow men to put down and undermine women without consequences, nothing will ever change.

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Lights and Music

I’m not sure how co-ed housing is an issue.

You don’t see how putting a bunch of 18-25 year olds of opposite sexes in the same living quarters and forcing them to be coworkers could possible result in a bad business investment from the company? You don’t see any way that could possibly result in an inappropriate workplace environment?

Were you ever 18-25 years old?

Third, if the guys on a team can’t handle a woman on their team, they need to be removed from the team.

I agree. And in the mean time your team gets to be known as the team with sexual harassment problems (good luck with those Public Relations!) AND you get to lose a player from your roster.

What about this sounds like something that an esports company would risk their $20M investment for?

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Nathan Aldana

yes, I was. I lived in a Co-Ed dorm at college at that time too, at age 25 cuz i went to college late.. I never once harassed any of my female dorm-mates because that would have been immature and stupid.

so dont give me any of this “oh, young people are inherently unable to control themselves” stupidity.

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Lights and Music

I never once harassed any of my female dorm-mates because that would have been immature and stupid

But I bet you had sex with them, right? How’s that gonna go for team dynamics? Hope no one breaks up, or feels alienated, or fucks multiple people on the same team, or does anything that might upset an 18-25 year old, whom we all know to be very emotionally and mentally stable people.

You honestly can’t imagine how having college kids live and work together in the same place might end up bad for business? Really?

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Nathan Aldana

No, i did not actually.

I said hi to them in the hallways, or in the kitchen when I was cooking some ramen for myself. College isnt a sex and booze fuelled constant party, dude.

And sure, i can imagine it. But this isnt a college dorm room. Its a professional sports team with supposed professionals. Theres higher standards of conduct for working professionals than for literally what is an apartment complex.

Did people drink ad have sex in college? sure. But they do that at an apartment complex on their off-hours from work in a city too, because thats regular human behavior off the clock. if you’re living in an esports complex you are NEVER off the clock.

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Lights and Music

No, i did not actually.

You missed out, and were in the minority.

But this isnt a college dorm room.

Functionally, it is though.

Its a professional sports team with supposed professionals

What planet do you live on where esports players are actually professional? An OWL team missed the entire preaseason because they couldn’t get visa issues worked out, one of the highest profile players in NA just got suspended last month for being an asshole and toxic – you think these entry-level employees working in an unregulated, exploding, and (relatively) new industryare going to uphold the same professional standards I do in my suit and tie? Wake up to reality.

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Nathan Aldana

No, it isnt functionally a college dorm room. Its functionally a military barracks,. Dorm rooms dont regulate when you’re awake, when you’re eating, what you’re eating, if you show up to class/work, or your entire schedule.

relatively, dorms actually treat you like a functional adult who has big enough pants to make decisions for themselves, and that you think college dorms are supposed to be some magic 100% nonstop party of debauchery tells me you either never lived in one, or missed out on a lot of what else college had to offer.

Honestly I kinda pity you.

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Lights and Music

Its functionally a military barracks,.

ARE YOU SURE THAT’S THE REFERENCE YOU WANT TO MAKE FOR A SAFE CO-ED WORKING ENVIRONMENT? THINK THIS ONE OVER…

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Bruno Brito

Lights, i don’t know if you know this, but if i well recall, the TSM Manager for LoL is a girl, and she lived with the boys.

From what i heard, she was never mistreated or such. Reginald runs that damn team like a business, he would never allow for such. With all the crap the guy actually gets, he’s been a impressive team owner.

That’s the whole issue here: As long as we permit players to be manchildren, and owners to be fanatical e-sporters, we’re NOT making this scene any better.

If this is a business, then, let the damn business adhere to the codes of social conduct we ALL follow nowadays. And that is: “STOP MISTREATING PEOPLE FOR WHATEVER REASON. GROW UP.”

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Lights and Music

Lights, i don’t know if you know this, but if i well recall, the TSM Manager for LoL is a girl, and she lived with the boys.

I’m not saying this negates your point, but in fairness, Leena is Reginald’s girlfriend. I’m in no way suggesting we not hold these kids to basic standards of decency – I am suggesting that from a business perspective, it’s a risk. And it’s a risk that can be avoided, which is always a difficult thing to sell to the investors and frankly makes for an easy excuse to not have female players on the team.

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Bruno Brito

> I’m not saying this negates your point, but in fairness, Leena is Reginald’s girlfriend. I’m in no way suggesting we not hold these kids to basic standards of decency – I am suggesting that from a business perspective, it’s a risk. And it’s a risk that can be avoided, which is always a difficult thing to sell to the investors and frankly makes for an easy excuse to not have female players on the team.

Irrelevant. She’s a woman in a men’s home.

Also, what do you mean by “risk”? Are you saying that to have good business, you have to go for the lowest denominator and accept that all your players might be pirates, lowlives and the scum of the earth towards their fellows?

Because, if you mean by risk, that businesses don’t do stuff that may harm them, well…i know some workers that worked 16h per day and put their children on it as well that would love to talk to you.

Again: Social code conduct. This is not something you simply declines to do. You either adhere to living in society as a decent person, or, nowadays, you’ll get shamed through your ass. It’s shitty? Yeah, it is. i don’t like it either. But it IS the consequence of the silent treatment that minorities been getting for CENTURIES.

They’re now dealing the cards, and people will have to adapt. I’m sorry.

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Lights and Music

To be clear I think the obvious answer is to just do away with gaming houses and then hire whomever without concern, but here we are.

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Lights and Music

Also, what do you mean by “risk”? Are you saying that to have good business, you have to go for the lowest denominator and accept that all your players might be pirates, lowlives and the scum of the earth towards their fellows?

No, I’m not even necessarily assuming anything negative – consensual workplace relationships are bad for business, as most companies will attest. While it’s certainly possible that a bunch of 18-25 year olds could work and live together and maintain a healthy, productive, work appropriate, relationship it’s also possible that preaching abstinence as a form of birth control will be effective, but I wouldn’t bet on either. And I certainly wouldn’t bet the fate of my $20M investment on it. That’s just me though.

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Bruno Brito

> possible that preaching abstinence as a form of birth control will be effective, but I wouldn’t bet on either. And I certainly wouldn’t bet the fate of my $20M investment on it. That’s just me though.

Invest in condoms, antipregnancy devices and education. Realize you just educated people to have sex while protected. Profit.

Abstinence isn’t the best of examples, since you should not equal the people working together and living together as two horny monkeys. They’re not feeling the draw to have sex by rule.

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Nathan Aldana

This. if esports wants to be considered professionals competing in a professional sport setting, then their players should not be treated like middle school football players who couldnt know any better.

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Nathan Aldana

Its a perfectly good one given i also think the Military needs to have a lot of sexist assholes thrown out of it if they actually want to live up to the ideals they claim to believe in.

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Bruno Brito

Well, the Military lives by creating killing machines that hold other killing machines built for killing.

I don’t think they’ll uphold the ideals they claim any sooner.

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Nathan Aldana

if you havent noticed, culture in general excuses anything done by white dudes in their 20-30’s as “theyre kids”

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

True, but you’re not going to find many white dudes in this league; they’re nearly all Korean players :P London Spitfires? Most (if not all) of that team has never actually set foot in London, possibly Europe in general. Same goes for most of the others.

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Bruno Brito

Well, it depends. If there are EU and US teams, you can bet they’re mostly white.

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John Kiser

The florida team if i recall beat the seoul team and the florida team was made up largely of swedes

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ihatevnecks

You would think, but not necessarily. Like I said, London is EU and they’re all from South Korea. New York? All from South Korea. Boston Uprising? A couple guys from the US and Canada, one Russian, rest South Korean.

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A Dad Supreme

There is a female player named Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon who is widely seen as one of the best players in the competitive scene……

…the lack of female representation within its premiere e-sports league seems a glaring issue.

If they are specifically keeping women off teams because they are female, that’s unacceptable and deplorable. We know that females are many times just as good or better than male gamers across the genre.

That said, the one thing I would ask is the most obvious… why aren’t there any all-female teams competing in this league or at least women attempting to form a team to compete?

It seems to me they shouldn’t have any problem getting multiple sponsors simply because they’d be a unique team right off the bat that could appeal to a different demographic, and any sponsor would have extensive marketing potential that all male teams wouldn’t be able to compete in.

Then there’s the empowerment advantage they’d have not having to be the only woman on a team of all males who might feel she has to constantly prove to them that she’s “worthy” of being there. I’m not saying they should get other women and start their own league which would be silly and offensive.

Lastly, there’s the potential for zero sexual harassment issues stemming from the usual male/female history of gaming’s recent years.

But think of the possibilities that could come from having a team or three made up of the top five or ten women players in the world competing in the same league for the same dollars.

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Greaterdivinity

why aren’t there any all-female teams competing or at least women attempting to form a team to compete?

Because almost every time a team has attempted this it’s been little more than a marketing ploy for some “fanservice”. There were a few LoL teams that tried to make a splash with this years back and they got thoroughly mocked by the community because they were awful, to the point where they were getting shown up by pro-players playing duo’s in pug games, while the women were more streaming “themselves” than their gameplay. Still remember HotshotGG wrecking one of them hard when he and one of his friends came across them in higher level play and laughing about how bad the team was. I felt bad for the women in a sense, but at the same time it was painfully apparent that they weren’t remotely good enough for proper competitive play as a team given their extremely underwhelming performance.

That’s not to say there aren’t extremely talented female players in LoL, because there totally are and I’d love to see them joining pro teams more often (IIRC a few have played temporarily with the teams in tournaments), but all too often these “all female” sponsored teams end up doing more damage to the image of women in competitive tournaments than good, and appear to be cynically motivated rather than honest, genuine attempts.

As to why there aren’t more organic attempts I couldn’t say (neither a lady nor do I play any games at remotely close to high levels of play), but I imagine there are a lot of social/community issues surrounding it (including the aforementioned “all female” sponsored teams).

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John Kiser

How about because many female gamers in the past just haven’t actually done all that well in competition? Including Geguri there. The furthest she has gotten in actual competition has been qualifiers and that is it. She did horrible in the weakest league for other stuff recently too. Gaming at home is different than gaming when you have a crowd, lights, cameras, people making noise etc. The same goes with any sports really.

I’m good at backyard football even against actual football players, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be good enough to go to the NFL or shit like that. Can we stop making this about sexism when it is unproven that any of this has to do with sexism? Female and mixed gender teams have NOT competed well in the past period. Female gamers do well when it is done on a full league of women, but most of the time they have no done well in co-ed competition or when teams are mixed genders.

I think all girl leagues would be great to get them into gaming a bit more. Maybe do some cross promotional stuff with the main leagues now and then. I think trying to shoe horn them in unless they are as good as all the players picked is silly as hell and show me that any female passed over is actually better or on par with the people that were actually selected. None can actually show that is the thing and yet they call it sexism simply because there isn’t a pool to select from that may not drag down the respective teams.

Any professional team for anything is going to go after the best first. They are going to look at past performances if they have done pro leagues for other games before as well. Geguri has not done well in the past even so far as in the last 6 months.

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A Dad Supreme

Because almost every time a team has attempted this it’s been little more than a marketing ploy for some “fanservice”

…but all too often these “all female” sponsored teams end up doing more damage to the image of women in competitive tournaments than good, and appear to be cynically motivated rather than honest, genuine attempts.

Then this sounds more like a problem with the women on these teams allowing it to turn into this.

It would be the as if Black players were told to play in whiteface or “coon it up” or an all Asian team to come out with chopsticks saying “Ahhh soo”. There’s plenty of evidence of groups doing that in the past in society when they didn’t have any power to affect any change to represent themselves the way they wanted.

I can’t imagine a team of smart, strong women letting “fanservice” be the main point of their league team unless they wanted it to be in 2018.

There isn’t any way for a man sponsoring to say “Hey, wear these sexy clothes or we won’t give you any funding” especially now that the “Me Too” movement is so large.

If there are truly talented female players out there who are good enough to compete, now is the time to stop trying to be “accepted” on all male teams; make your own teams, beat male teams, get that respect and compete in the same league for your audience so that the “male/female” thing can die.

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Nathan Aldana

allowing it? Ten bucks says theyre told to go with it or else not compete at all.

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A Dad Supreme

Yeah I highly doubt that is happening. There hasn’t been any proof of that kind of accusation anywhere with these leagues.

Again, with all the women speaking up about the harassing climate in gaming (and society in general) you’d have a crapload saying the same thing by now.

Yet, I haven’t even heard of one woman saying that they’d been pressured into “fanservice” of any type, let alone several others corroborating it.

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Nathan Aldana

I mean have you ever seen twitch? Theres no such thing as a stream with a female streamer where at least the occasional troll doesnt demand to see their tits and harass them if they dont, so the pressure is there.

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A Dad Supreme

But we aren’t talking about Twitch. But since you’re going off topic…

It’s societies in general, not just internet trolls, lol.

NFL owners wouldn’t hire Black coaches but would say “Oh, we think they are just as smart as White coaches”. Same with Black quarterbacks.

Police forces, fire departments and even the military said “Sure, women are just as strong and capable as men” yet still see many places not even passing 10-15% hire rates for women.

This attitude is just how many men and a lot of women think because of thousands of years of conditioning, not just internet trolls.

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Nathan Aldana

Agreed. And my personal feelings is people who perpetuate that need to be punished for it.

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Alex Hyer

I bet the worst fanbase and most toxic community in gaming history is going to handle this maturely and fairly.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

Having to fuss with co-ed player housing.

Just when you think that nerds have shed the worst of their antisocial reputation…you learn that fear of cooties are still shaping their primary interactions with the opposite sex.

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Lights and Music

Name one profession where you think it’s beneficial for 18-25 year old coworkers of the opposite sex to cohabitate. I’ll wait.

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Bruno Brito

Musicians in tour.

Maids and Butlers.

Military personnel.

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Bruno Brito

Astronauts.

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Bryan Correll

Maybe female gamers aren’t willing to live in these conditions:comment image

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Ravven

It’s one of the reasons I didn’t watch. I love Overwatch and watched a lot of the World Cup matches, but Geguri’s story really irritated me. A lot of women play this game, and although they are probably in a minority there’s a pretty wide range of players there. I am a book cover artist so I follow a TON of writers on Twitter, and I am continually surprised by how many of them love this game – some (like myself, actually) well above the age range that you would expect. Blizzard really needs to step up and encourage a more diverse face to the game, and address the high level of toxicity that exists. I would totally support any team that had a female player, I would buy jerseys and so on to show that support.

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John Kiser

Maybe you should pay attention to how she feels about the league situation? She says herself it had nothing to do with her gender. And a lot of women playing doesn’t mean they are as good as the people selected for teams period. We are talking under top 150 players world wide in the league here basically. We can’t just shoe horn people into teams that might drag them down simply because we want “diversity” to pop up. I think it horrible she got harassed and called a cheater, but that doesn’t mean she deserves to be on a team either. Yes she’s good in competitive in the comfort of her own home as Zarya and is in the top 100 on korean servers as Zarya, however she has never done well competitively in any type of pro gaming situation (she’s been on two teams and the furthest she has gotten is qualifiers)

I think more women should get into gaming, but lets be real. The number of them that are actually at pro level that will do well in an area setting is slim, hell even some male players whom there is a larger pool of at the pro level will choke or do stupid shit. Seoul lost a round last night because their genji instead of staying on point decided to bugger off and chase a mercy.

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Zora

I was reading elsewhere about a couple girls who were actually partaking in this event with their team of friends. I take then there’s tiers as it seems to be implied in this article that it is the top league or however it’s called lacking female participants, correct?

No clue how teams composition is managed, who decides what, but if it’s the business-oriented angle they are going for with their newfound e-sport obsession, I wouldn’t expect much other than lip-service to whatever ideal they claim to be promoting.

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Nathan Aldana

yeah, basically a whole bunch if hemming and hawing about how theyd love for lots of women to be on these teams “at the right time”.

spoiler: it will never be “the right time”

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Zora

I think despite the wild investments, these gentlemen are being very cautious in their approach and sticking to what they might (possibly correctly) perceive as a predominantly male-dominated audience.

To them, it’s business first and foremost. So if we crave to see any change, it’s up to us girls to “show them the money” and fatten their audience with our presence. I very very much doubt they understand any other language, regardless of any posturing for the media…

That’s what they mean when they say “the right time”. When we feel there’s enough of you to milk :P

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Bruno Brito

But…there is…If i well recall, Women are like 43% of gamers. The problem is the market is already established towards men, and if you do that you said, and show there IS a demand, you get harassed for it.

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Nathan Aldana

slightly different gamer market, but trus facts, last gaming convetion i went to, damned near half the attendees were women who loved D&D and Shadowrun and board games and magic the gathering.

anyone who tells you women don’t game or are fake gamers is delusional.

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Bruno Brito

It’s a cultural issue. Women doesn’t have the same tastes as us mostly because we made it that way.

The ones who have end up getting harassed, and become discouraged to keep with the hobby.

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Nathan Aldana

Yeah. ive heard all the fun horror stories if girls going into stores for dice and having to bring a male friend just so they dont get harassed

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Nathan Aldana

I mean. when literally some of the best women gamers in the world get the mealy mouthed “well, we’d love to have a female gamer on our team or im sure one day female gamers will be everywhere” pep talk but then the same pro teams do absolutely nothing about it, expecting someone else to do it for them, you get the feeling nobody is going to step up because that would require them actually making sure the male members of their teams arent the sort of awful people who generally are male players of competitive gaming.

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John Kiser

Geguri isn’t one of the “best women in gaming” though. She’s never done well in league settings period. The furthest a team she is on has ever gotten has been qualifiers. What about that to a e-sports team owner is going to say “hey this person is a reliable pick for my team” also while there may be many good female gamers realize that there are only 11 teams in the overwatch league. Outside of coaches and some stuff there really just isn’t a HUGE amount of players. We are talking like under 150 people making up all the teams. Are these females in the top range worldwide? Have any of them proven themselves in past league play for other games ever?

Female games vs male gamers in league have really never done well nor have many mixed gender teams. It has nothing to do with sexism when they just haven’t done well. Should the opposing teams just roll over because “diversity” ?

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Hikari Kenzaki

This is probably the crux of the problem right here. They know 1 or more male players they want to recruit won’t tolerate her and/or will harass her.
Totally excluding the wrong person in that scenario.

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