League of Legends Players Discuss Need For More Female Esports Pros

Promo artwork for a League of Legends champion.

Promo artwork for a League of Legends champion.

Diversity of audience is an issue that a lot of different online games struggle with for a multitude of reasons.

In the case of some, toxic and male-dominated servers and lobbies can make for an uncomfortable experience, especially if you’re a female player mixing it up with the most hardcore of opponents.

Given how often League of Legends’ infamous smurf queue chucks out horror stories, it might not be surprising that the game has recently come under scrutiny in the Reddit thread which highlights the current state of its esports landscape with regards to female players.

League Players Highlight Female Presence in Esports Scene

Posting to begin the thread on r/leagueoflegends, user NextJenTv shared a recent story about their young daughter asking them why there weren’t any female players participating in a League esports tournament they were watching and asking other users to share any feelings they might have on the diversity of the game’s pro scene.

The post attracted a litany of replies from users highlighting some of the female pros currently playing League at that level, with user Hazel-Ice saying: “There's two women currently playing in an amateur tournament in North America if they're interested. Ayukura, mid laner for Taco Gaming, plays 4-5 hours from now and both her (if she wins) and Miya, ADC for EG Prodigies, will play in the quarterfinals tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, user Shotgun_Sniper provided a link to a podcast episode in which League esports coach Peter Dun discussed scouting female players, with Dun saying: “it makes me sad, because I’ve known people who are good enough, but who chose not to go and pursue that career because, number one I believe their opportunities were limited, but also because they saw how other organisations with bad intentions had treated other female gamers”.

User brooooooooooooke responded to this, saying: “Yeah, I cannot imagine being the first woman to break into LCS/LEC/etc. You're probably going to get a load of toxicity and weirdness from haters and fans alike, and god forbid you have a bad game”.

Another user, darkness4498, pointed out the existence of a couple of esports events designed to celebrate and encourage women to get involved in the form of the Girlgamer Esports Festival and La Ligue Féminine, adding: “There were a few female players who played for academy teams in the Brazilian and Turkish leagues.”

Meanwhile, user Critterting suggested that the relative youth of esports as an industry could be contributing to the lack of representation, saying: “I think as the industry becomes more mainstream, the player base grows, more women get interested and start playing, we should see more female players at high elos, and, eventually, the pro scene.”

That said, it does seem as though new female players are still giving League a go, with user V1deost4lk3r responding to NextJenTv’s post about pro players by saying: “give me six months... I just downloaded the game”.

For now, it seems that League and its esports landscape has a long way to go with regards to attracting and engaging female players, but at least some positive steps are being made.

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