Video Game Boys Club

The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) has been under fire recently for their gender segregation on video game tournaments. For years, IeSF has been segregating their tournaments and games by sex for two primary reasons: their wish to follow international competition standards and the promotion of female players. That last point might not make any sense, seeing as there are only two video game competitions open to women.

Their (convoluted) logic, however, is that they are “spotlighting” female players in a male dominated competition. They believe that an all female league offers a “less intimidating and seemingly exclusionary league for prospective female players.” Essentially, they think that women will see male dominated competitions and be scared to compete. Well, fret not timid ladies of the virtual world, for there is a competition just for you! Of course, it lacks the variety that the men’s competitions offer, but that’s a small price to pay for not having to be around those awfully scary men.

Their other point being that they want to follow the regulatory standards of other sports leagues worldwide. Well, the issue with that is that physical sports are segregated by gender due to biological differences between the sexes. Women, put simply, do not produce enough testosterone to compete fairly against men. Not to say that female athletes can’t kick some serious butt or be just as good as men, but factually and biologically, the genders are at odds.

However, how much physical endurance and training do you need to mash buttons? Video gaming, while now recognized as a sport, is not a physical or daunting task. It doesn’t take a physical trainer or special diet to become a top gamer. Plus, if players in the game are using the same avatar to play, who can distinguish gender?

 Put simply, if the brony down the street can don his fedora every morning and play six straight hours of League before even changing his underwear can compete in professional gaming, then girls should be allowed that very same right. 

Recently, the organization has been criticized when they held a male only Hearthstone tournament in Finland. A female player tried to join the tournament and was rejected, and there was no female-only counterpart to the event. In response to this, the tournament’s organizer, Markus Koskiviirta stated that the reason she was barred was “to avoid possible conflicts (e.g. a female player eliminating a male player during RO8) among other things.” Essentially, Koskivirta is saying that it is not acceptable for a woman to beat a man in video games.

Due to the resulting outcry from gamers everywhere, the IeSF is collecting media opinions, and will soon be releasing an update on the matter.