The fight for gender equality has been ongoing for decades. Now we have moved on from the third wave of feminism and have entered into a new era. An era that includes movements like “Me Too” and a focus on the gender pay gap. So, it was only right that the world of gaming evaluated its own behaviours and processes that divide male and female players.
Some games and activities naturally draw one gender over the other. For example, women are more likely to open a mFortune Bingo account and start calling house. In fact – one that will surprise many - women are more likely to play video games than males under 18 in the USA. However, this is irrelevant. Even if one gender favours something over another, it should not influence things like pay. We’re here to dive deeper into these issues.
The Pay Gap
If you have not been exposed to a stream of news stories reporting differences in pay between men and women recently, welcome back to earth. The truth is that esports has also been subject to some clever data analysts and researchers. These researchers have even found that there is a significant pay gap between the top male and female esports player. How big is it, you ask? Only 718%. That’s right. The average take-home earning for an esports female gamer is around $3,300 while men take home more than $440,000.
Women-Only Esports Tournaments
Another trending story in esports and equality is the case for women-only tournaments. Many are advocating that women should be able to game solely against other women because it happens in other sports. Side note, esports gaming is tipped to become part of the Olympics one day and then it would need to include tournaments exclusively for both genders.
Most people within the industry advocate women-only tournaments and also point to an economic benefit for the industry. Opposers suggest that there is no need to divide gamers by sex because unlike other sports which separate men and women because of biology, the same logic does not apply to gaming.
There is an additional argument that women-only tournaments may go some way to closing the whopping pay divide. Wimbledon became one of the last major tennis tournaments to make the prize fund the same for both men and women. If esports roll out women-only tournaments to excess, they can offer equal prize opportunities which will help women earn just as much as their counterpart male gamers.
When women-only tournaments do become more frequent, organisers may need to watch their tongue. DreamHack did promote an all-women tournament to take place in Valencia but instead of keeping the traditional name for the prize fund, they decided to change it to “prize purse”, resulting in an angry backlash from gamers and female fans.
The first step in cementing equality for female gamers is recognising the issues. Now that the pay gap and similar problems have been identified, we can all hope for a more equal battlefield and a thriving industry for both male and female gamers.
Image Via: EsportsObserver