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Addressing the Gap: Gender And Diversity in the Professional Esports Community

The e-sports industry is expanding at light speed. Beyond its growing popularity, the current e-sports universe is affected by a significant factor: the lack of gender diversity. It might look like a secondary element in this industry, but the lack of diversity comes with various problems. One of them is that many female gamers and fans are quitting the e-sports realm to turn to other games wherein they are represented.

This article focuses on the gender diversity issues influencing the current status of the e-sports industry in the world.

The World’s Richest Esports Players

It’s not a surprise that the world’s most successful e-sports players are, more often than not, male. In the list of the top-best and richest esports players, there are two Arab talents, such as Amir Al-Barqawi and Maroun Mirhadj. Al-Barqawi holds Jordanian and Polish citizenships and owns an estimated wealth of $4.8 million, including a World Championship title in 2017. Lebanese Mirhadj won the World Championship in 2017 and grew a wealth of about $4.2 million. Both gamers play the game Dota 2. 

Non-Arab e-sports players in the top-ten list include Johan Sundstein, the first-ranked gamer of all time. He owns about $7 million. Second to Sundstein, Jesse Vaeneca won three consecutive titles in 2018, 2019, and 2020 for $6.5 million. Third-ranked in the list of the world’s richest players is Anatham Fam, famous for Dota 2. Fam won two titles and gained about $6 million at only 22 years old.

Initiatives For Gender Inclusion A female e-sports team

The top-ten list of the best e-sports players doesn’t include any women. Gender diversity is a big issue in this newborn industry, where gender parity still looks far to reach. However, the rise of the problem generated the need for a solution. WiSE is a new women-oriented initiative to help women succeed in e-sports. WiSE has partnered with the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). E-sports experts expect such initiatives to multiply and expand in the future, helping more women participate actively in e-sports events.

Lack Of Women Content Creators

The lack of female e-sports players isn’t the only problem in the industry. The significant lack of women as content creators goes hand in hand with the lack of female players. The current e-sports universe is a male-dominated realm with male creators for male players. Equity in the e-sports industry is widespread at all levels. That’s why more initiatives like WiSE are welcome at each stage.

Role Of Education

Women haven’t the same opportunities as men in the video-gaming industry. In a male-dominated industry, talented women can’t find a chance, as e-sports and gaming companies don’t hire women at the same rate as men. That explains why the industry seems short of career opportunities for women. The gaming industry is highly competitive: it demands yearlong trainings to succeed as a player. Educational structures and organizations should open up to female talents and offer them the chance to access proper gaming education to pave their way to success.

Final Thoughts

Despite its growth, the e-sports industry displays significant gender discrimination that needs solving. WiSE is the first women-dedicated initiative to help more women enter the e-sports world. However, the lack of chances to access gaming education and the lack of role models are still obstacles to remove in order to create gender equality in e-sports.

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