The Distress of Female Gamers in eSports
Anybody who keeps up with eSports knows CS:GO team Astralis rank number one in the world. However, what I (and perhaps a majority of gamers who aren’t into eSports) didn’t know was that there was a female-only tournament. In fact, it was Team Secret’s second win at the Intel Challenge Katowice title, meaning there had to be a first one. I guess I was living under a rock all these years.
Why isn’t there Much Coverage of Female Tournaments?
I stumbled across this subject accidentally. I was looking for a written recap of the IEM Katowice Tournament, and one of the results led me to a recap of the Intel Challenge instead. Afterward, I tried searching for more coverage about the Intel Challenge in the CS:GO news sites, but they were about the IEM Tournament. I didn’t dig in too deeply, which is my point, but I had to search for news about it. Why is that? Was I looking in the wrong places?
Is it Practice or Something Else?
From what I’ve read (I’ll admit it’s not much) is that the lack of female presence in eSports isn’t because of the lack of practice.
If anything on Liquipedia is genuine and there’s no omission of facts, the Astralis team has a range of 2-5 years experience playing Counter Strike. Team Secret, on the other hand, has a range of 2-5 years, not counting ‘zAAz’s impressive eight years of practice.
For another perspective, I got the average of Astralis and Team Secret’s player’s CS:GO playtime recorded in Steam. Astralis average is 5,549.2 hours of playtime, while Team Secret average is 5,460.5 hours; there’s an 88.7-hour gap, which is close to a four-day difference. Well, that’s not too much of a difference in practice, is it? If it is, then that’s a gap that Team Secret could find difficult to fill. Unfortunately, I didn’t even get to add one of Team Secret’s members to the average because I can’t find her account. Depending on her hours spent, it could push their average closer to Astralis. Also, consider that Team Secret doesn’t have a coach. On the other hand, Team Dignitas female squad has an average of 4,570 hours, and they’re the ones who faced off against Team Secret in this year’s Intel Challenge. So, possibly there is some truth in what I’ve discovered.
Is it the lack of practice or are we just really biased against females? Now I wonder: if an all-female team does get into the top tier tournaments, what will the rest of the world call them? Cheaters? Only got through because they’re girls? Bribed the other team?
A mixed unit of males and females is somewhat better but can be a bit problematic. If there’s only one girl, they might call her the load. If there are two girls, they could say, “There are too many males in the team.” With three or four, they’ll probably tease the male. However, this could open more females to eSports, either as audience or players. It would also increase the market for CSGO skins.
My Final Thoughts
Based on my brief research, Team Secret is up to par with at least mid-tier male teams. I’m not sure why they are not. Did they buy CSGO accounts? Perhaps the problem isn’t gender. Maybe we’re caught up in the “games are for boys” mindset that we subconsciously reject the idea that girls can play too. Trying to satisfy everybody is challenging. I guess that means there’s no real answer to this problem, but to please the majority to get respect. I’ll admit that in the gaming scene females are the minority. Also, my methods are rudimentary. A bigger comparison is necessary. Lastly, I’ll confess that I am somewhat ignorant to this topic, so please tell me what I have said wrong. As I said, I live under a rock.