Hearthstone Arena Community Tournament

Yesterday the internet was up in arms after the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) revealed that female players would not be able to compete in the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Ultra Street Fighter 4, or Dota 2 events at the World Championship in November. An incredible amount of pressure from the media and public led to “an emergency session of the IeSF Board” which prompted the federation to release an official statement opening all previously restricted events to “all genders.”

“On 2nd of July, 2014, the IeSF’s policy about gender division, which separates the female division and the male division, has been brought into question. The IeSF has listened to the gaming community and has carefully considered their opinions. Upon hearing these concerns, the IeSF convoked an emergency session of the IeSF Board to respond.

As a result, IeSF shall have two event categories: “Open for All” events and events that are reserved for women. The events which were initially set aside as the male division will now be open to all genders, and the events which were initially set as the female division will remain as they were.

The IeSF Board addressed its reason for maintaining events for women, citing the importance of providing female gamers with ample opportunities to compete in e-Sports—currently a male-dominated industry. Female gamers make up half of the world’s gaming population, but only a small percentage of e-Sports competitors are women. The IeSF’s female-only competitions aim to bring more diversity to competitive play by improving the representation of women at these events. Without efforts to improve representation, e-Sports can’t achieve true gender equality.”  

Gruppspel Foto Kim Eriksson

This statement was followed by an amended plan for the 6th e-Sports World Championship BAKU:

Open for All

DOTA 2

  – Participating teams may consist of 5 male players, 5 female players, or mixed team.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

  – Players of all genders can participate in the event.

Ultra Street Fighter 4

  – Players of all genders can participate in the event.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

  – Players of all genders can participate in the event.

TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2

  – Players of all genders can participate in the event.

Female Competition

StarCraftII: Heart of the Swarm

  – Female event is conducted separately, in parallel with “Open for All” event.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

  – Female event is conducted separately, in parallel with “Open for All” event.

Many people, ourselves included, felt the original announcement of segregated tournaments was downright offensive. For a group trying desperately to get “e-sports recognized as a true sport,” they were approaching it a completely archaic and regressive way. The people who took a stand and made their voices heard on Reddit and other various web sources should feel a great sense of accomplishment. Your voice and your opinions made a difference and changed what could have been a huge injustice.

We live in a world trying to desperately to classify all aspects of the human experience and it’s movements like this that make me feel like we’re one step closer to truly freeing ourselves from the shackles of simplistic labels and embracing genuine equality.

Bio Card

Miles Dompier is the chief editor and founder of What’s Your Tag?. He is a Seattle native who recently moved to the sweltering heat of Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a composer/voice actor. When he’s not up writing until his eyes bleed, he likes to play a Prince level of instruments and listen to terrible death metal. Follow his shenanigans on Twitter and be sure to join our gaming community; TEAM XBRO

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Written by Miles

Miles Dompier is the chief editor and founder of What’s Your Tag?. He is a Seattle native who recently moved to the sweltering heat of Los Angeles. He likes to ironically play Creed on the guitar and listen to terrible death metal. Twitter: @Mileson_WYT Xbox Live: I Mileson I

6 comments

  1. This. Is awesome. I was hoping that the pressure would force them to cave but I wasn’t bidoof my breathe.

    Okay was supposed to be ‘holding my breathe’ but my phones auto correct was so hilarious that I just lost it.

  2. Oh dear feminism strikes again. How is it fair that women get to participate in the female competition AND the open for all one whilst men can only compete in the open for all? Either have them altogether or separated. From my understanding female competitors in contests like chess prefer being divided up by gender as it gives them a greater chance of getting prize money (given than most of the grandmasters are male.)

    1. I did feel that keeping the “women only” tournaments was strange considering they opened everything else up for all genders. It slightly detracts from their message of gender equality, but based off their poor judgement originally, this is just to overcompensate for them being sexist in the first place.

      1. When I was researching the chess tournaments last night to understand why they have the female-only ones, the main idea seemed to be encouraging females to participate at all. I guess even when tournaments are open, females still feel overwhelmed or reluctant to join. So the female-only wants are like the bait for the trap.

        With any luck they’ll be eliminated in a few years as more females start to join the open one.

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