Jake Lyon · @jakeow

22nd Dec 2021 from TwitLonger

Women's esports Tournaments

TL;DR: It would be great if they were not needed, but right now they are needed.

Lots of drama on the timeline right now, but in my opinion this is a pretty straightforward issue.

In the long run, the more people that participate in competitive gaming (at any level and in any format) the better. Not only will broadening the base of interest help to grow the business side of esports, it will push the pinnacle of performance higher.

In my view, the issue at hand is 'capitalization' to use a phrase coined by Malcolm Gladwell.

Capitalization is simply a percentage representation of how much *potential* talent is discovered and realized. If every person developed their potential, our capitalization would be 100%. 1/100 people given a fair shot -> 1% capitalization.

Right now esports is a very male space. The professionals at the highest level are almost exclusively male, and the fanbase heavily skews male (some cursory google searches showed 72% male which seems plausible enough).

If you agree with my first point that more participation in competitive gaming/esports is a good thing, it's an obvious conclusion that women presently under-capitalized in esports.

It's true that no group is even close to 100% capitalization and esports still has so much room to grow with every demographic group. Yet that shouldn't change the fact that the best strategy for increasing overall capitalization is to target the most undercapitalized groups first.

The reasons for these demographic differences are (in my view) pretty clear to anyone who has ever played online games with women (extreme toxicity/sexism/etc.). Unfortunately, these issues are very difficult to combat directly due to their distributed and cultural nature.

What we CAN do, is take positive action to show that not everybody wants to keep women out of competitive gaming.

What we CAN do, is create spaces that set a different cultural tone.

These actions do nothing to take away from the esports community overall because it's not a zero-sum game where every dollar that goes to a women's tournament is one that would have been spent on a mixed tournament. That mindset is just deeply misguided when it comes to how these events actually come about.

We ought to do what we can, because everybody deserves to feel welcome in gaming and esports and that's just not how the world is yet.

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