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The IeSF overturns its patriarchal biases

NGA

We’ve often decried the MSSA’s backwards mentality when it comes to eSports, in that it segregates men and women. This is patently, and inherently stupid as whatever physical differences exist between genders are rendered moot by videogames. Whenever they’ve been taken to task over this, they’ve always pointed the finger at the IeSF. Now that organisation is in trouble over the same thing… and they’ve got nowhere to point fingers. Thankfully though, things are changing.

A recent entry form for a Hearthstone qualifier showed the organisation’s blatant gender biases, by stating that the tournament was open to males only.

hearthstone

This is ridiculous. In a statement given to PCGamer, the information was deemed correct.

“Your information is indeed correct, the tournament is open to Finnish male players only,” said Markus “Olodyn” Koskivirta, head admin of the Assembly Summer 2014 Hearthstone IeSF Qualifier. “In accordance with the International e-Sports Federation’s (IeSF) tournament regulations, since the main tournament event is open to male players only. This is to avoid possible conflicts (e.g. a female player eliminating a male player during RO8) among other things.”

According to the IeSF, Hearthstone is not a game for girls, and this backwards thinking applies to other games. Looking at the list of games in the newest IeSF tournament, here’s what games are available to the two prescribed genders.

  • Male Competition: Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • Female Competition: Starcraft 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2

It rather implies that Street Fighter is for men, while Tekken is for girls. Girls are also incapable of grasping the finer nuances of Dota…obviously. But why this division in eSports? According to the IeSF itself, it’s all because they’re trying to legitimise eSports by adhering to patriarchal, centuries old dogma.

“The decision to divide male and female competitions was made in accordance with international sports authorities, as part of our effort to promote e-Sports as a legitimate sports.”

The thing is that eSports was born free of this backwards thinking, and trying to adhere to old sporting codes is shoving it right back in there. Our friend, Nag writer Miktar summed it up best.

 

It’s gotten a lot of attention… enough so that the IeSF has now…sort of…overturned its position, for the sake of gender equality. Here’s what they said in a new statement.

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.

Now that the IeSF has changed its stance, let’s hope that the MSSA follows suit. Men and women are still competing separately, but at least they’re playing the same games. Baby steps.

Tags: , ,

Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

Don't stop now.... you're having a good time

  • Rince&pop

    Erm, so why do they still have a woman only event?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Read the last paragraph of their statement :P

      • Rince&pop

        My trolling is strong today :P

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Uh huh.

          • Rince&pop

            Uh huh indeed. Already got the Admiral :P Oh, going to see apes wielding guns while riding horses that are jumping over flames later today! WIN!

          • Admiral Chief Fairburne

            Right, sure you did, keep telling yourself that

          • Rince&pop

            I will. true is true. Now go lick your wounds while getting that coffee!

          • Admiral Chief Fairburne

            Sometimes I’m glad I’m not in the same city/province as you.

          • Rince&pop

            I am always glad I am not in the same city/province as you.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Too soon.

          • Rince&pop

            Agreed. A normal person would wait for a real reason to get shirty before saying something like that :P

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Have you been dropping acid or shrooms? Not that I care, just want to know how long this nonsensical rambling is going to continue.

          • Rince&pop

            I was referring to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes :)

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            ….okay.

          • Brady miaau

            Yeah, we got you.

            Have you been dropping acid or shrooms?

          • Rince&pop

            Not this morning no.

      • Matewis Jubilai

        That last paragraph splits me right down the middle. On the one hand I don’t want to see special female-only events like that since it again implies on the face of it that women/girls(?transition age?) need to have their own events to compete. On the other hand, I suppose an argument could be made that it will be difficult for girl gamers to rise the ranks, since atm a disproportionally strong gaming culture has developed on the male side (since that is the side that has enjoyed all the support up to now – if I’m right?) It’s kind of like if Madagascar were to be allowed into the super 15 rugby series to create a super 20 or something. They would get their asses handed to them every single year, and not because they’re inherently inferior, but because they don’t have the ingrained support structure (I’m guessing here – do they even play rugby?) to identify, mentor and train players with promise. Under such conditions I could understand the need for a Madagascar only championship, to allow for a support structure and rugby culture to develop faster compared to simply being thrown head first into teams that have enjoyed it for generations.

        Does this make sense? Or is the setup at the moment too much of a free-for-all for it to make any difference? That is, most everyone is basically skipping school to go and play in the tournament (and their mom has to drive them? – I’m not joking here: that is exactly how I got to my first tournament (Rage, which was then still called Worfair or something) – I got my ass handed to me in Quake 3 (I didn’t land last because I found out where the bfg was) and the best Starcraft player among our group of friends got decimated)

  • Admiral Chief Fairburne

    Utter crap

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I don’t want baby steps. Babies shouldn’t be playing these types of games, it warps their fragile little minds.

  • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

    Baby steps, yes..but It’s still fucking dumb.

    • Rince&pop

      Agreed. It shouldn’t take the community’s outcry to get to this stage.

    • Brady miaau

      indeed it is. Um, so woman still get to play against only woman, if they so choose?

      So the next female SC2 champion is not as good as the next woman cause she did not play against the theoretically superior male? Yeah, cause, you know, men rock and so forth. :(

      Note I did read the last statement. I just reckon this is what is going to happen. Some woman, from some place, will win SC2 Womans event and blow the competition away. Then there will be many articles written about how, you know, she is good, just not that good, cause not play against men

    • https://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX Liquid Kaz (Umar)

      Quite….Don’t get why a female beating a male or vice versa is considered grounds for separation or exclusion of females

      • Hammersteyn

        Day r stoopid

        • https://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX Liquid Kaz (Umar)

          Indeed, sad, the realization that there is indeed a problem when it comes to gender has kind of been reinforced now…

      • Rince&pop

        Yeah man. And then you get certain local orginisations that quote ‘research’ they cannot present to back themselves up…

        • Hammersteyn

          They need a Malema in their organization. Chuckles abound

          • Rince&pop

            Hahaha Eish

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        It’s just.. it’s just NOT ALLOWED OKAY? WTF MAN. For the same reason women aren’t allowed to compete with men in competitive stamp collecting. Why do we have to explain everything. It’s because actual boobs give them an obvious advantage over weak-willed males.

  • Matewis Jubilai

    I kannot duuu enni more kaptain !!

    • Brady miaau

      that is like the most Afrikaans Scotty comment I have ever read. Well done

      Two accents and all!

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        What would have made it even better was if it finished off with, “I dooont hef a jean pant!”

        • Admiral Chief Fairburne

          I darrent hef

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Of course we all know why girls can’t play in the SF tournament, it’s because they’d all choose Blanka & spam the electrical attack in the corner.

    • Rince&pop

      lulz

    • Brady miaau

      is that wrong? I dunno

  • Hammersteyn
    • Admiral Chief Fairburne

      Ok, it was quite bad, but the jaguar with chainsaw cracked me up

      • Hammersteyn

        But it’s still true. As an senior member of any company/organization the last thing a stubborn jackass wants is to have his say revoked. It’s amazing what people can do when they stand together. Not always good things though if we look at the local elections.

  • https://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX Liquid Kaz (Umar)

    We tend to go up in arms about Feminists going overboard…Myself included….But this is just a reminder that blatant gender segregation still exists

  • Kensei Seraph

    So what happens If I, as a male, want to participate in the Starcraft 2 tournament?

    • Admiral Chief Fairburne

      You need to show your totti

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        Hai sies….

      • Hammersteyn

        XD

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Tell that to Castor.

  • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

    Maybe joining up with a patriarchal organisation lke the IeSF who’s only goal is to promote themselves wasn’t the best idea in the end…

    Hey but at least this way we we can send woefully underprepared gamers to make a mockery of our country and give some well earned holidays to the MSSA volunteers.

    • Kensei Seraph

      So, do you know if we are sending anyone for the SC2 tournament?
      Hopefully we’ll be able to get second place again.

      • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

        lol I’m sure they’ll find someone with breasts to take with to over seas… for gaming.. totally mean for gaming

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    Well it’s a step and a step in the right direction too (for a change).

    It still bugs me that there is a separate womans devision, as if it means they still aren’t good enough. However I do think it can work to get woman in to the sport and then no one can complain that they are being intimidated or anything by the male players. Creates a “safe” environment for more woman to find their way in to eSports and then compete in the Open Tournaments.

    So yeah, all in all this is a feel good story this morning. Thanks Geoff!!!

    • Anon A Mouse

      I personally think the separate womans division is there for those that are scared of any abuse they might receive from the males in the all in division. That’s all I can think off for having a separate division at all.

  • Rince&pop

    Just saw this now. http://esportscommentator.blogspot.com/2014/06/fear-in-south-african-gaming.html What exactly can certain parties now say about their policies now?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Did you have to post that link? A sudden mass suicide of brain cells has just disturbed the delicate balance in my brain.

      • Rince&pop

        I apologise. I tried reading it about 5 times, realized it was written in ancient sansbullshitscript, and then wanted to take some shrooms, acid and down them with snakes. I love how a picture of two women are put at the top to add credence to it.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          I just wish they’d go even further. I’d love to earn my Protea colours for gaming by just participating. Why does winning have to count? It’s inherently elitist & discriminatory. :/

          • Rince&pop

            Lulz.

        • Kensei Seraph

          I made it through the first 6 paragraphs and realized that all you need to read is paragraph 4 to understand the entire article.

          • Rince&pop

            I mean can you believe the cheek of it?

    • Kensei Seraph

      For those who gave up reading half way through in order to protect their sanity here is a summary:
      SA male gamers are idiots who are scared of playing against someone better than them that may or may not be of a different gender.

      It’s really strange how I can’t make an anonymous post on that site.

      • Rince&pop

        Yeah, I tried that too, wasn’t allowed to.

  • Dean

    This line:
    “This is to avoid possible conflicts (e.g. a female player eliminating a male player during RO8)”

    It was a male only event because we don’t want girls beating boys.

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      Yeah I saw that too and decided to just let it go because it was such a juvenile statement.

    • Dutch Matrix

      That line had me in fits of hysterical laughter.

      Then I read this and gave up on humanity again:

      “Mr Pistorius has been severely traumatised by the events that took place,” Roux quoted the report as saying.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Ag shame, poor Oscar, he’s the real victim here. Because the other person is DEAD.

        • Rince&pop

          WINNER

  • Tarisma

    But still I play Tekken Tag Tournament 2, why should I be excluded from that because I have a dick?

    • Dutch Matrix

      They won’t exclude YOU for having a dick, but for being a dick.
      *runs*

  • Tauriq Moosa

    The stupid is strong with these ones.

    As I said yesterday, you can’t even bring in the “physical differences argument” as used in other sports, since this is a video game tournament. Why not just let their merits as players decide? It’s archaic and weird.

    Problem is using the platform of rules established in another area (teh sportsing with balls) and injecting them here shows up how idiotic it is. (Note: Chess allows men and women to compete against each other, as well as having it’s own Women’s Championship title.)

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    I actually had a debate about this same thing a while ago when someone said there should be female only tournaments. NONE of the tournaments should have those rules. Everyone should be able to join in. If you are good enough to qualify then you can play the tournament!

    • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

      Personally I don’t see anything wrong with havign a female league, but I disagree strongly that females shouldn’t be allowed in the main league.

      The idea of enticing more females into eSports isn’t a bad idea, it’s just being done by idiots at the moment who have no idea what they are doing.

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        What I figured was that you have tournaments with qualifiers. They don’t care who you are. Just come and try qualify.

        Then have lower skill tournaments for the people who didn’t make those tournaments. Yet again they don’t care who you are except for the fact that the top tournament guys can’t take part here.

        Excluding people based on gender doesn’t really feel all that progressive to me. Everyone should be allowed and everyone should have a fair chance at unbiased tournaments.

  • Thats_how_I_Troll

    I wonder if Caster can compete in the female events…

  • Weanerdog

    Just to check this is the international organisation that held a woman’s world championship that only 2 woman took part in. One of whom had only played a hand full of games.

  • Weanerdog

    Why the LeSF and by extension the MSSA don’t work. I have pondered this for a while and have just reached this conclusion.

    They are trying to run esports in the structure of other sporting codes. Take Rugby, IRB is at the top all countries rugby boards belong to it, each country has a board and they are made up of the boards from the regions etc etc until you get down to the players in the clubs. This works because there is only 1 board at the top and they make the rules that filter down. Everyone is working together. All teams are structured to contain the best players that they can in the correct positions. (according to the appointed coaches at least and subject to any government quotas imposed).

    Now esports, consists of a huge amounts of different games with different disciplines. There is no one controlling body or board. With different tournaments been run by different organisations. And now you have the MSSA trying to impose the traditional setup onto this animal. This means that the best players are not representing the country meaning that the colours being given out is farcical at best and fraudulent at worst, how can someone get a scholarship based on their national colours if the process of handing out colours in in no way representative of the esports community.

    The LeSF is not the world governing body, they are merely an organisation who organises a tournament that they call the World championship.

    Unfortunately the MSSA fails/refuses to acknowledge any of these shortcomings, it may be because they are run by non gamers and non esports persons and that they just don’t get the issues or it could be that they actually believe their own MANURE that they spout. But it does mean that they are an embarrassment to our country and our esports community. See Southern Barbarians for relevance.

    So how would I fix this if it was up to me. Well it won’t be easy but this would be my plan.

    1. Don’t be a Dick
    2. Regional boards. Players can register with any region they like. Players represent that board when they play. You get awarded colours only if you are good enough and it is individual not team colours. Have regional tournament for players to qualify for nationals.
    3. Align yourself with as many tournaments and organisations as possible.
    4. Get the SA flag on all teams competing in international games as quickly as possible by offering help and support so that they join your organisation even if they are playing in a tournament that you have not sanctioned then proceed back to 3.
    5. Get proper rules and codes of conduct in place specifically for esports and generic code covering everything from board games to esports is not good enough.
    6. You don’t need to be in the same room, city, region to play.
    7. Be the organisation that people want to be a part of.
    8. See 1.

  • Jason

    Never thought the “patriarchy” buzzword would make its way here.

  • Johan du Preez

    As much as I hate Miktar his 100% right

    • https://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX Liquid Kaz (Umar)

      Lol why do you hate him? All he ever speaks about on twitter is Guild Wars and his NAG articles are pretty cool

  • Andy Anybody

    It goes from a patriarchal bias to a matriarchal bias and thats supposed to be an answer we accept? Gaming at that level is merit based women who are good enough will rise to the top just like men. Their answer to this problem is biased its answering sexism with sexism i dont see anybody forcing white people into basketball because black people rise to the top there.

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