An upcoming Hearthstone tournament being run by the IeSF will no longer omit female players, although two other competitions remain female only.
There was tremendous uproar on both sides of the divide yesterday when it was revealed that women would not be allowed to participate in an IeSF World Championship Hearthstone event organised by the Finnish eSports Federation.
That decision has now been reversed.
“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,” an official statement read.
“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.”
As for the decision to maintain the female-only events – which are for StarCraft II and Tekken Tag Tournament 2– the IeSF says that it is part of a wider effort to promote the role of females in competitive gaming and give them a better chance of establishing themselves in a typically male-dominated sector.
“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,” it added.
“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.”
In other words, positive discrimination to help a perceived minority. This may well agitate the angry men of the internet but sounds like a positive step towards a state of eventual gender esports equality.