It is only natural that in any large field that is dominated by men, questions are raised on why there is a lack of women.
It is a topic that must be carefully maneuvered. Speak too openly and conflict is sure to follow. Don’t speak at all and you don’t solve any problems.
When it comes to gaming and esports, the lack of women professionals is a strange topic. Statistics tell us that a good chunk, around 42 percent, of gamers are women.
Surely it would make sense to assume that that same ratio should be present in the professional scene.
However, that is not the case. While there are plenty of female gamers, women are almost completely absent from the professional gaming scene.
Overwatch League’s lack of female pros
Many saw the launch of the Overwatch League as an opportunity to correct this imbalance.
However, in my opinion, organisations shouldn’t be trying to correct it.
Overwatch League teams have already stated that they have no issue with females competing alongside males on the professional stage.
Those complaining of inequality in the Overwatch League seem to want something other than just representation. Women players shouldn’t be brought in solely because they are women, but because they have earned their place in competition.
When we demand that women players be brought in in the name of equality then we are just pandering.
Talk of female players being kept out of the game by abuse is unjust. Very few in the professional scene would honestly say that they don’t want women players in the game. Those that would feel angered by their inclusion are a very small minority.
Sure, a female pro would likely suffer the odd degrading comment, but the xQc situation shows that the same can happen to the Overwatch League’s male players too. Toxicity is a whole other issue and not one that is solely related to sexism.
Handing female players Overwatch League contracts because of their gender isn’t the answer. They should have to work to earn their place like everyone else — anything less would be a disservice to the league and its fans.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t female players capable of playing at the highest level. There are and, if they continue to perform, it is only so long before the Overwatch League welcomes its first female star not to tick a box, but due to merit.