Gaming is probably the fairest form of competition. Regardless of appearance, height, or weight, anyone can become an esports player with the right skills. So how is it that this world is still off-limits to women?

Imagine a man going for his morning run. It’s a lovely day and he’s training for a local competition. We can even see his Nike shoes because this particular company forged the famous “Just do it” quote – truly inspiring!

So he just does it, but as soon as the man steps out on the street, he encounters massive criticism from all his female neighbors. They catcall him and comment on his poor running skills. One even shouted something about going back to the kitchen. Scary? Well, that’s just the everyday life of girls in online games. And the tip of the iceberg of problems faced by women in esports.

The Gender Gap in Esports

The popularity of competitive esports has grown significantly since the 1990s, earning billions of dollars. And while pro gaming is the only sport where men don’t have a physical advantage over the other gender, it’s also heavily male-dominated. Surprising?

48% of women and 50% of men say they play video games. But only 6% of that 48% identify as gamers. And the percentage of professional female gamers is only 5%, while the rest 95% belongs exclusively to men.

Why Diversity Matters

Esports came to life as an entirely new, innovative way for everyone to compete in the same tournament. It was supposed to be the only sport that guaranteed complete equality between the genders and changed the ancient social constructs about women and men. In any sport, players need someone with higher scores to develop their skills. But women struggling with sexism, discrimination, trash talk, and exclusion from strictly male environments will never be able to develop their skills enough to earn a top spot in male-dominated esports competitions. And that’s why so few make it into the ranks of professional gamers.

Breaking Down Barriers: Female Esports Players and Teams

There is still light in this tunnel of eternal gender inequality. Women’s teams climb to the peaks of popularity, proving anything is possible. Among the most viewed in 2022 is Shopify Rebellion GC scoring extraordinary results in Valorant. It was also a big year for G2 Hel as the first all-female League of Legends team. But the best esports star is still Sasha ‘Scarlett’ Hostyn – Canadian Starcraft II champion. In 2014, the New York Times praised her as the most recognized woman in esports. And in 2018, she entered the Guinness World Record book for the highest earnings in female competitive gaming.

Challenges for Women in Esports

Let’s proceed to the lack of women in esports. The first step in discouraging girls from gaming is toxic communities in casual online gameplay. No wonder many don’t even think about starting a professional career with such a beginning. But let’s imagine some of them decide to explore this world. Wrong! Even the competition setting makes it clear that esports is fun for boys and that a woman exists only as a cute accessory. It is where even massive companies ignore half of all humanity, which may contain a potential source of gigantic earnings. While providing financial and mental support for the next generations of exclusively male players!

And speaking of finances, it is worth remembering that even the best female gamers still earn less than their male counterparts. They will always have to look for an extra job, unable to make a living solely from esports like men. All this means that there are no female role models in gaming, so more potential players prefer to stay at home than fight the toxic and comfortable world created by men for men.

Steps Towards Equality

Esports still has a chance to restore the long-awaited equality. And several methods can improve the current situation.

  • Firstly – education. Without proper knowledge about the harmfulness of their behavior, even kids can create toxic environments discouraging their female friends from gaming or other activities.
  • A second solution is a fair approach to qualifications in esports competitions. If such an event focuses less on money and favored gender, we could soon have a chance to see which teams earned their success.
  • Yes, some female groups will lose. And male teams will lose. But this way, everything will balance itself, and the skill will become crucial.


    The 90s, the internet, and political changes sparked another major revolution. It was a time when women discovered they could finally do whatever they wanted. As it turned out, not all of them like to play house. They also enjoy brutal competition in video games or driving a truck. But once again, the men were faster. And before female gamers figured out what they liked to do, esports was dominated by boys.

    The effects continue to this day, placing many obstacles in the path of girls dreaming of becoming pro gamers. The key culprits are a lack of proper education, toxic video game communities, and sponsors supporting only all-male teams. Women can’t go out for that morning run in peace to just do it. And that’s why the “sports” part of the “esports” term is a shame to other disciplines that, since ancient times, know fair play better than professional gaming supposed to support gender equality.