Male-Only Video Game Tournament Sets Off Controversy

Male-Only Video Game Tournament Sets Off Controversy

Women aren't allowed to play Hearthstone in one upcoming multi-national tournament, and the gender discrimination has triggered a great deal of controversy this morning. This is unusual for a number of reasons: most major video game tournaments are open to players of any gender, and there is nothing about games like Hearthstone that would indicate that men and women play at different levels, as they might in physical sports like football and basketball.

The South Korea-based International eSports Federation holds competitions in various video games, split up by gender. This year's games for men are Dota 2, StarCraft II, Hearthstone and Ultra Street Fighter IV. For women, the line-up is StarCraft II and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. The IeSF has been separating tournaments by gender for at least a year now, according to their website. Their reasoning? "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."

But the IeSF has been doing this for years. So why is this coming up now? Yesterday on Reddit, a user named Karuta posted an email from a Finnish organisation named Assembly that holds qualifiers for IeSF tournaments. "The participation is open only to Finnish male players," the email read.

Then, this morning, Assembly organiser Markus Koskivirta spoke to PCGamer, making what appeared to be a boneheaded statement: "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."

The statement set off a firestorm of controversy — how would it be a "conflict" for a female player to beat a male player? — and all over Twitter this morning, prominent pundits and game developers are attacking Assembly and Koskivirta, but their ire appears to be misplaced. Assembly's tournament is just a qualifier for the IeSF tournament. They have to follow whatever rules the IeSF sets.

In fact, buried toward the end of the PCGamer article is another quote from Koskivirta: "We would also like to point out that the Finnish eSports Federation is currently lobbying for the equal rights of male and female players in the IeSF tournaments."

Meanwhile, in a statement on their Facebook page, an IeSF representative addressed the controversy:

Let me elaborate a bit on the decision to create both male and female competitions. This decision serves two main goals of the IeSF:

1 - promoting female players. We know that e-Sports is largely dominated by male players and females players are actually a portion of the overall player base. By hosting a female-only competition, we strive to promote female gaming on a global scale.

2 - International standards. IeSF is very close to get e-Sports recognised as a true sports like it should be. Part of that efforts is to comply with the international sports regulations. For example, chess is also divided into male / female leagues.

But, we want you to know that we listen to you, and appreciate your feedback! Our efforts does not clash with the community opinion - but on the contrary - we are here for the future of e-Sports and will do our best to promote it as best as we can.

Later, the representative added: "Our top priority is to promote e-Sports in the best ways we can. We believe that listening is important, are we're now collecting your opinions from the social media, and we will update soon."


    I always thought video gaming was the one sport where all genders were equal on the playing field because it wasn't a physical sport.

      Personally, I think that every sport/comp. should have a unisex division. I know plenty of women that far out perform their male peers and vice versa. And yes, some people make the argument that men and women have different thought processes (such as @ladygrace below) but that doesn't change the fact that as a man I should be able to compete against a woman and that woman should be allowed to compete against me.


          Or any physically demanding sport really, football, rugby, soccer, boxing, and of course mma.

          Are we missing the fact that there is a female only portion of this tournament, or just concentrating on the male only aspect.

          Female only gyms - perfectly fine, Male only gyms and it is the end of world.

            C'mon man, everybody knows it's only sexism when females are disadvantaged. When men are disadvantaged it's called equality.

            There are four games in the mens' tournaments and only two in the womens'. If they're really aiming for equal standing, they should have the same four games in each. Or the same two games in each.

            As for male vs female gyms - a woman alone in an otherwise male gym will probably feel it as a threat. A male alone in an otherwise female is more likely to see it as an opportunity. Basically, women have a lot more reason to want a single-gender gym than men do.

            This is, to be sure, entirely unfair to a large portion of the male population, but to ignore the statistical fact that men are more likely to visit violence upon women than vice-versa would be irresponsible.

      There are many sports were men and women can compete together: archery, shooting etc. However, they don't either because of historical hang-ups or because it's just easier to keep the tournaments separate. Whether eSports should also go down that route is another story.

    Because chess does it is not a valid excuse. For as long as I can remember there has been controversy over that as well.

    Ok, did you miss out that in Dota 2 there is a Female only tournament? it only seems to be sexist if males seem to have things like this but female is ok. Alot of games tend to have female tournaments due to females not being able to break into the top tournament games, the reason due to this is most likely down to the way male and female brains work while playing games. (And yes they do work differently). So before making a article like this do a bit more research instead of just naming and shaming males and looking like a feminist.

      The idea that our brains work differently while gaming leaving one sex inferior just baffles me, I've been playing games since I was very young, always competing against males and females and I can assure you we were very much on the same level, it's about a persons skill level, whether they are male or female doesn't matter, this is something where you should be able to compete with anyone regardless of sex, language or physical capabilities, it should be something positive and inclusive based solely on how good you are.
      These things shouldn't be separated by sex, if a girl wants to compete, let her compete and see how she does before preemptively judging her, excluding her or getting your knickers in a twist at the idea of losing to a girl. It's not something to be ashamed of, it's fair game.
      And honestly I usually roll my eyes at a lot of feminist rambles, but this one, no. Video games aren't a sport, they can be competitive, but they do not require the same sex separation that physical sports do. If they want to be taken seriously this isn't how to do it.

      Also there is nothing wrong with sounding like a feminist. A radical feminist is the one you want to avoid.

        In my personal experience of gaming, I dunno that there's any evidence to support gender-split competitions, but I also haven't competed at a professional level.

        It's not much of a logic jump to go through, though. I can see why they'd do it at that level. If a particular mentality is obviously more viable in a game type, and it is linked directly to a gender-differed mental predisposition, then there'd probably be fair reason for it and I'd even be in favour of it.

        Strap a bunch of wires to someone's head and check the sections that light up under different conditions and you will see with absolute certainty that there are differences between men's and womens' thought processes. (I don't know why people continually regurgitate this absurd myth that there is no difference in how we think. We've known it intuitively without science for millennia, in the lamentations of poets and laymen about not being able to understand each other, but now we also have science to prove it, and people STILL don't want to believe it. It's baffling.)

        I think the problem is that people seem to be caught up on this weird bullshit that 'different' can't also mean 'equal', so in pursuit of equality they deny difference. But equality does NOT require uniformity. Men and women have biological, physiological, chemical, psychological differences, right down to the core. And it affects a lot of how we operate in our lives.

        And it's fair to say that it shouldn't make a god damn lick of difference to the rights afforded to each, but should it affect how we treat each other? Feminists have rightly spent a LOT of ink talking about how a major part of the privilege afforded to men in various industries is down to the masculine attitude and culture of those industries. Should we not take that under consideration? And it's hard to say that it's right to then feminize those sectors - at the cost of communication styles that are more comfortable to men - because at that point you're just switching between the two, searching for a safe, common ground that might not actually exist, given the measurable, known, proven differences in how biological genders think.

        To have categories for both in a competitive situation where the boundaries can and are being drawn up for the first time without relying on centuries of hierarchy seems to be exactly the kind of middle-ground compromise that is so often asked for.

      But this is what gaming journalism does now. Since the rise of the Radical Feminist movement and people like Anita Skarcisian (spelling) its become more about why aren't females allowed to beat males in x-event instead of noticing that there is a female tournament and the reasons for it.

      You make good points, prepare for lots of down votes and white knights on this page.

        Seriously, guys, that's BS. Female players are just seeking equality in gaming (ie, unisex leagues, not segregated ones) which is and has been overwhelmingly male dominated. The kind of crap women have to face and the utter bullshit they are subjected to simply for being female when playing certain games (like shooters for example) is insane. The fact that no one can talk about it without devolving into nerdrage is proof that there's still a massive misunderstanding about what it is female players are looking to achieve and that it needs to be discussed. Along with the definition of feminism too, because too often the term is used with little understanding of the term, or as an interchangeable replacement for 'feminazi'. Anyways, what's so inherently evil about having unisex leagues, or at least having an additional open division along with your male only/female only ones so players can compete irrespective of gender politics and its associated crap? Competition will sort out who's got talent.

          Every other tournament is open to both sexes. in fact there are female only tournaments for gaming all over the place, if you bothered to look.

          The fact that there is a male division and a female division in the tournament is perfectly reasonable, your just bothered that there is a MALE division too, if it was female only you'd be praising it for a month of sundays

            No you just assume that so your point has weight. A female division in gaming is as equally stupid as a male only one.

            No Over30, I don't think you read mine all the way through, and if you did, you missed the point at the end there.

          There is nothing "inherently evil" about an open competition in eSports. Hell, I'm all for it. More competition means more excitement for the people watching. My problem is more with articles like this that put all the focus on "Females have been banned from tournament" than "While there are separate competitions for males and females, at least it's not an outright ban". The wording of this article is terrible.

          Now because this is eSports, there is going to be more gender focus on females (lack there of or whatever) because at the moment, due to the Radical Feminism movement and their head cheerleader Anita, it's become a "huge deal" to focus on anything female related in the negative. However, before we go changing eSports, how about looking at real sports like Basketball, Bowling, Tennis, etc. All of them have a female and male version during competition, yet nobody seems to care about that. But since this is video games, everyone seems to be compelled to jump on their horses are charge into battle for "female equality" (an oxymoron of a term btw).

          Frankly, articles like this are "storms in a tea cup" something made out to be far larger than it is. The simple answer to all this is to amend the rules to allow open competition, end of story. However, people like to blow things like this up into something far worse than it really is. But there's also the issue of how society has been changed due to the changes in the Feminism movement in the last 3 years (yeah, that small of a time frame). We as a society, have been brainwashed into pushing female "issues" to the forefront and anything that is "male centric" should be considered "evil and unjust". Which is why comments such as mine, @5115 & @ladygrace will be down voted constantly. We try to find the positive in a "negative situation" yet other commenter, whom have been driven by the changes to Feminism, think of us as "wrong" and "are the problem".

            My reading of the article is that there isn't a female only competition. Sure IeSF have male and female leagues but Assembly hold a much smaller tournament that doesn't allow a females to compete.

              Point 1 in the Facebook statement that's quoted in the article.

              "1 – promoting female players. We know that e-Sports is largely dominated by male players and females players are actually a portion of the overall player base. By hosting a female-only competition, we strive to promote female gaming on a global scale."

                That is from IeSF not Assembly.
                There is both competitions for both male and female at the highest level but as a female Finnish player you don't have a way to get through the qualification stages as Assembly are only running a male only tournament.

                  Oh good because I read it three times thinking I'd misunderstood it. The league has both divisions yet this Qualifier only has a Male division.

                  So most of outrage is (rightly so too) at the Qualifier and some of it at the league for running two divisions.

                  For a game like Hearthstone, I really don't see the need to have two divisions, for something like SC2 where you need high APMs perhaps they should have two. With maybe an Exhibition match for the two winners at the end of it.

              Presumably they aren't holding a Hearthstone tournament for women because the IeSF decided that women don't play that game.

              They also seem to have decided that Street Fighter is for boys, Tekken for girls. The only game both genders can enjoy is Starcraft.

              Last edited 03/07/14 11:21 am

            @mase: Is it ok to point out the irony between your prediction of down votes and white knighting versus your apparent overwhelming urge to "black" knight (to use your own terminology) the situation?

            Also if you think that calmly stating your opinions about media counts as "radical" I'd like to introduce you to a few terrorists and see what name you have for them. In fact, this is self evident, if calmly stating your opinions about something is seen as radical, then you are living in a society that is anything but inclusive.

          I partly disagree. I agree that there's a lot of bullshit gender warrior baggage attached to these things, and women are definitely fighting the ingrained idea that the men's league of any sport is the 'real' league, and the womens' league is a novelty show, thanks to the historical tendency of men competing more powerfully than women in heavily physical sports.

          But if you took away the idea that one comp is the 'real' one and the other the 'token', having different leagues for men and women doesn't seem a bad idea if there's a game-impact.

          There are real, proven physiological differences in brain make-up, pathways, patterns, which sectors light up and how big they are, or however you want to describe: thinking differently. And that CAN affect gaming (though I don't know how, not being a pro). IF it does (and again, I don't know that it does), it actually seems like separate leagues would be the fairer way to go. IF it is a factor.
          And in the judgement of whether it's a factor of not, I could only trust in the organizers to have the best interests of competitors at heart.

          Naive, perhaps? Maybe there's evidence to show that sometimes organizers might not be trusted to have gender-sensitive reasons for doing things. Male, female, and Open seem like great ideas, but if you're short on time/resources, cutting the open doesn't seem like the worst idea. There's usually more at play in the background than just the ideal.

            Bam, and this is what I was getting at. Yeah, assuming resources weren't a factor and logistical expediency weren't factors, having a pair of segregated leagues to play against competitors of the same gender and an open league for those who don't particularly care who they play would be great. In that respect, it's not surprising that there aren't any additional open leagues, but, including them is a way to hold a pretty comprehensive competition for everyone who was interested, or had the talent. I suspect an open league would be dominated by male players predominantly, initially, if only for the proportionally smaller female player base (including competitive players) in general right now. But female leagues are ever-growing and cater to a demand from a consumer base looking to participate competitively in an environment that isn't off-putting and are also partially purposed to encourage growth amongst their female base demo. In regards to your follow-up, I agree, it'd be pretty crappy to only have a unisex league pro-league as it would be pretty unforgiving to female players particularly and do more to discourage female players from playing competitively; But, if the level of a competition is high enough to warrant it, it'd be a shame not to see the best play the best alongside the regular ones. Ultimately, there's only so much any organisation can do to cater for players, so if they don't have the numbers, that sucks, but that is unfortunately that.

            I didn't want to comment on the 'capacity' of a gender to play something, in fact, I personally don't think the idea really has much credence, but I don't know enough about differences in gaming aptitudes, play styles, behaviour, preferences, etc between the genders to comment. It'd be cool to see if any studies have been done on the subject though. It'd be a fascinating read.

              Agree on the 'seeing more studies' thing.
              To touch on the point raised about percentages of players... I know we've seen a really big deal made on Kotaku and other gaming press that female gamers actually make up close to 50% of the population surveyed, but I think this is misleading and unrealistic, given that the only studies I've seen used to justify that stat only asked if they 'played games', and included angry birds or other mobile F2P as 'games'.

              This kind of statistic does the competitive industry in particular, but all the related gaming services around it a huge disservice, because there's a pretty big fucking difference between the demographic who gets into esports, and the folks who tap away on the train or the crapper.

              If you were to start looking at the pro circuits, early adopters, console gaming, PC gaming, 'gaming enthusiasts' and (very importantly) those who self-identify as 'gamers', then I have the powerful belief that you're going to start seeing some wildly different numbers to this newly-accepted wisdom. And I think that the more competitive you get or the more aggressive the game is, the more you're going to find an overwhelmingly male representation.

              Have you ever been to a midnight launch of anything? Count the number of women and most times you'll only need one hand. It's sure as hell not 50%, and there's a pretty huge disconnect there between what we're reading as gospel politically-correct truth and what we're seeing in real life. That needs to get explained and incorporated into what we think we know.

              It's kind of unfair to sit back and accuse these organizations of not catering to this 'truth' that females make up 50% of any gaming audience that gets brought up, and expect or hold them to expectations of servicing that demographic if it doesn't actually exist.

              Can you imagine if the women's league couldn't fill a roster? What would that say? There are female gamers out there who can pwn, but what if their numbers are so low that they can't actually get accurate representation and we end up with only one or two stars who can whup their male counter-parts, and a whole roster of also-rans that IN EFFECT results in a woman's league being a joke reinforcing a stereotype that we're desperately trying to get away from? Or an Open league being an utter sausage-fest? How does that encourage anyone? (Though for women who Game, it might be blood in the water. "Those girls are n00bs. I would BLITZ that shit. Prizes, prizes, prizzizes!")

              Gaming as an industry and the media around it owes everyone involved a lot more thorough investigation than asking a few thousand people if they've played a game before and accepting that yeah, they might have candy crush installed on their mobile. We really need to know more about who we're actually talking to and why, and set our behaviours and expectations accordingly. Increasing representation is an awesome cause, making women feel safe to publicly self-identify as gamers is what I would want for my daughter if I had one, but we can't be charging into battle with cardboard armour, thinking things which aren't real are self-evident.

                I think it's sad that so little actual thinking and appropriate scrutiny like this is demonized and ignored. Good on you for being empathetic.

          tl;dr version: I think it would be shitty for highest-level competition in gaming to be held as unisex competitions only to find that it is dominated by one gender.
          Especially if that dominance was due to the unforgiving demands of top-level competition having a lower tolerance for different approaches/attitudes for which one gender holds a predisposition.

          IF that were the case (and I can definitely understand why it would be with what we know about differences in tendencies toward risk-taking and aggression by gender), I would HOPE that we would actually be calling for different gender competitions.

      Males and females don't think that differently, this is a ridiculous claim.
      We all think differently, as individuals, and the plasticity of the brain allows for shifts in this.

      I don't disagree with you point of unfair sexism. But it's a fairly big generalization that male brains work different to female when people's brains work differently regardless of gender. Everyone has different play styles. And this is a bloody card game so I don't see how thinking differently has any effect on the outcome. Hell, I know my gf thanks differently than me, but it doesn't mean crap when she utterly destroys me chess.

    What about the fact that it's only open to Finns?

      It's a national qualifier for an international competition. Provided there are qualifier competitions open to everyone who wants to compete, it's hard to get worked up about that aspect.

    male only tournament - not ok
    female in predominantly male tornament (having to put up with verbal sexual abuses) - not ok
    female leads in games - not ok
    no female leads in games - not ok
    no females in games - not ok
    females in games as generic characters - not ok

    this seems to be the feminist viewpoint nowadays.

    Last edited 03/07/14 10:46 am

      i would substitute gaming landscape with 'feminist' viewpoint

        yes you are right. have fixed it :)

        I think the two of you should look up the actual definition of 'feminism' from a dictionary, an actual dictionary, not the Angry Man's Guide To Chicks, because both of you are under the impression feminism instantly means 'radical feminism' or something like 'misandry'. Which is doesn't.

          That's not really fair. Feminism is a cause and a movement, not a prescriptive term. Even some well-known feminists have argued that modern feminism has drifted away from the goal of equality. What feminism as a movement means today isn't the same as it meant 20 years ago.

          what is see is every other tom/dick/harry jumping on the bandwagon because feminisim is hip nowadays. They've reversed the decision to have an Open tournament, and a womens only- do i expect these same feminists to now question why a women only tournament too?

      I'd say that's a better viewpoint than the alternative. The fact that 'feminist' is still a dirty word in certain circles of gaming culture is a bad sign of how backwards gaming culture can be.

    @ladygrace You got a source for that - would be an interesting read. I know brain chemistry and neural make up is quite different between the sexes - males are better at math, spacial, navigation, women better at language and image recognition but I've never heard of any study that put that to use in relation to performance in gaming.

    If it is indeed true then having segregated comps, imo would make sense. Not sure how you could get any support for it tho prolly better to just let it be co-ed - if there is always a consistent disproportion of female vs male when the player base is evenly split it might have a leg to stand on. Until the playerbase is 50-50 it wouldn't be worth the hassel - as ppl love to jump all over this shit.

      A cursory search found this, but there appear to be others where gender differences in gaming is the main focus, and there are more where gaming is mentioned in support of a general purpose.

        After reading the article I checked for research on IQ and there is effectively no discernable difference between male and female IQ. It's arguable whether this is a good metric but I imagine that would be the most important metric for determining capability in strategy type games.

        I agree it's a complex topic though. It's partly a dilemma between affirmative action and equal opportunity. Although if it is purely an affirmative action question perhaps a better solution is to build some kind of handicap into the game. That's a much more difficult thing to do though.

        That being said, I think that separated sports in other games (eg Football etc) has never seemed to have the effect of affirmative action. If anything the result is the opposite, since we tend to treat the male tournaments/leagues as holding much more validity than the female ones, creating a reverse dichotomy.

          IQ is a fairly specific and limited metric, though. My IQ and yours may be identical even though I'm bad at maths and good at physics and you might be good at pattern recognition and bad at comparisons. It's known that there are physical differences in the brains of male and female humans, and that those differences create an predisposed advantage (however major or minor) towards certain tasks.

    It really saddens me that we have so many people here on Kotaku that still believe there a enough differences between men and women when it comes to thinking that they have to have their own separate competitions.

    My sister, mad LoL player, is one of the best players I've seen, why is she not allowed to compete against a male? "Because she would be at a disadvantage!" Even if that were true, so? If you actually cared about having a level playing field just split the comp. into divisions based on skill, just like real sporting events do.

    Don't act like you are "protecting" women or giving them a "fair" competition because you are "naturally" better than them, you're talking them down and not even giving them a chance to prove you wrong.

    Honestly get over yourselves, otherwise we might need to create a second Kotaku just for those of us unfortunate enough to not be born biggots...


      She is not allowed to compete against men in a female only tournament, or a men only tournament, which do you have more of a problem with, that men cant play in the female tournament, of that women cant play in the mens.

      Equalty, or feminism, sadly the two seem to be mutually exclusive these days.


        Yeah, she's allowed on the bus, she just has to sit at the back. Also use a different drinking fountain. And a different lunch counter. No idea what these losers are complaining about, it's like "separate but equal" is somehow an intrinsically offensive concept.

    My main issue is that I believe the female only tournament will get the same treatment the WNBA does. Where people complain that its not as exciting as the male only league instead of treating it as a separate tournament to be respected in its own right the way womens tennis is.

      In all honesty I think that’s the only legitimate concern. That said, it shouldn’t be the same issue as with W/NBA – where physical ability and genetics are so dominant and really do influence how entertaining the sport can be.

    If they had the same games to compete with in the female tournament then there wouldn't be a problem.

      I'm not sure how they are picking and choosing which games are going to which genders but perhaps expected level of demand is an influence.

    IeSF is very close to get e-Sports recognised as a true sports like it should be. Part of that efforts is to comply with the international sports regulations. For example, chess is also divided into male / female leagues.

    I think that's the problem. What advantage is there in having e-sports recognised as a true sport? If it means you have to have stupid rules then surely you can just keep doing things the way that works for you.

    E-Sports are modern. Be modern.

      There are some benefits, certainly with international competition.
      For example getting a visa to compete in a recognised international sporting event (recognised as in offical not that people have necessarily heard of it) is much easier than somebody from China trying to get into the US "to play video games".

    This is completely stupid. The reason normal, physical sports segregate leagues into male and female is because males and females are physically different and integrating them would create unfairness. That is not the case in eSports, where the only physical activity involved is using a mouse and keyboard. Unless someone wants to try and convince me that the increased muscle mass of male competitors somehow makes their keystrokes faster, then it's just illogical and patronizing.

      The thing is there is quite a difference in brain make up and chemistry it is literally a physical difference. It's heavily researched and well documented (men generally are better at maths & spacial whereas women are better with language and image recognition). This comes back to how our brains are structured how the neurons connect, hormones interact (chemicals) and variations in density of said neurons in certain areas.

      Whether or not there is a clear advantage/disadvantage to warrant separate leagues is another matter but just outright saying both sexes have the same brain makeup and chemistry is just flat out wrong.

      Last edited 03/07/14 11:41 am

        More blunt than my version, but basically we said the same thing ;)

        I don't disagree that there are differences in the sexes in terms of thought processes. In fact, I don't recall ever saying I did. However, I don't think there's enough difference to create a clear and obvious advantage of one sex over the other that would necessitate segregation, as it does with physical activity.

        All that's been proven is that men and women think differently, which is nothing new. If it were proven that men think better than women, or vice versa, then I could get behind the argument.

        Last edited 03/07/14 11:49 am

          You did - it is physical body make up. It's not as obvious as say muscle mass or bone structure but it exists none the less.

          Like i said earlier whilst there is still such a large ratio male:females in the general population it makes no sense to segregate, if the playing population approaches equality and there is a large difference in male:female at the top events then it is pretty clear something is up and needs to be done.

          Im 99.999% sure this has nothing to do with why they are having segregated competitions its much more likely to do w/ money. It is none the less, interesting and something that might warrant further investigation as the player base equalises in the years to come.

          Last edited 03/07/14 12:17 pm

        Oh gawd... the silly justifications.

          I don't see any justifications in his post, what are you referring to?

            Coming back to this I'm not sure who I was replying to, The way they display replies here is crap.
            It was probably mean to be Joeyjojo- in that case he puts way too much weight on sex differences from old studies that were culturally biased ("better at maths" etc.).
            Same old crap, pretending objectivity to justify cultural bias
            It's more what you say in that "the overlap is much larger than the overhang". But I'd argue that the differences are even smaller than we imagine.

              I don't mean to justify it at all - differences exist between male/female whether they are advantages or not i have absolutely no idea. But being ignorant to those differences is 1000x worse than acknowledging them and finding suitable ways to accommodate them. Recently (i think ~2005 or something) studies were done on 4 - 5month olds where males performed substantially better than female at spacial tasks. Its an inherent biological trait - please if you have some studies proving otherwise link them - i'd be highly interested.

              Lets just say males do have an easier time with strategy games due to differences in brain chemistry\make up at a fundamental level - even just 5% across the general populace. At the peak, the cream of the crop, 5% is massive. Is it fair if females compete against males? Is that equality? It's a complex subject.

                How "good" were the studies though? Cultural bias is likely a more significant influencer the the numbers that result in the differences. This has been shown in the past.
                Is equal competition fair? I say let the equal competitions run and find out there rather than segregating people and forever enforcing difference arbitrarily.
                People improve though competition, let them compete.

      It's a delicate subject, but there are fairly significant differences in both makeup and operation between male and female human brains that lead to predisposed advantages in certain tasks. I don't think that justifies separating genders in mental sports (the overlap is much larger than the overhang), but I don't think there's any value in pretending they don't exist either.

    In the long run it would have been way to much work and tons of extra resources to include female players in the tournament. Therefore we have opted to leave them out to focus on the best male experience possible - Ubisoft

      "We have removed females for the upcoming expansion "FUN TIMES IN THE TOURNAMENT" expansion pack, available for 49.95.... wait.... what do you mean selling ladies for money is soliciting????" - EA

    Their justifications are moronic. Sort of what you expect for sterotypical sports people; they don't have a reputation as thinkers. Well, this is a great way to confirm it.

    Sitting here, a week after surgery, eating a 4.95 pizzahut pizza and watching the forum implode over a topic of sexism... before I get ready for Titanfall, then Rust, then DayZ on pc on my 4 weeks of Uni holidays...

    Does internet life get any better???

    Who wants some slices!

    Last edited 03/07/14 1:28 pm

    I'm sorry but how the hell could any difference in brain activity between genders even matter? Even if it is true, isn't it just a stupid excuse? Isn't the point of things like school and training to help you understand how to do things differently? Seriously, why wouldn't you want a combination of male and female strategies playing? (Whatever they are?)

    I'm not going to jump on the hate train though, because anyone defending ideals needs to rise above ignorance themselves (which can be rare on this topic). What i could say is that i understand where they're coming from and it isn't like there's automatically nothing to think about just because you just want whatever you've decided equality is. That's called a knee jerk reaction, it's demonization, it's omission. It's what we aren't supposed to want. It's possible they are worried about a backlash if men do dominate the comp, as they're expected to. Wouldn't they just be taken to task again and attacked for not magically finding an equal number of equally skilled male and female players? It's possible and things like this have happened before, usually the story will appear on Kotaku and the heading would end with "'s sexist, and here's why."

    As silly as it might sound, equality is not being dismissive of those with contrary viewpoints. Disagree but listen. It doesn't do you any damn good to go on a moral crusade when you're randomly insulting, demonizing and attacking people for scrutinizing your accusation. Despite clearly disagreeing with this decision, it's amazing how few people here even read anything they were responding too. So many people took the time to try and express in a respecful way, how they agreed and disagreed or just understood in a way. It's concerning that an equal number of critics and supporters just jumped back on their own assault wagon and just started attacking again, using irrelevant reasoning and dismissive language. Don't we hate it when a group of people are excluded from having a voice? Again, i'm not supporting this weird development but it's extremely troubling just how much demonization and half-truths people are willing to accept in support of something. I mean, the headline is hardly fair but it doesn't seem to be an issue when it's in line with a certain viewpoint. The overall lack of and seemingly unspoken ban on scrutiny towards anything (and i mean anything) on the subject is just mind-blowing. Kotaku's consistent misrepresentation of issues is probably the worst offender.

      I'm not sure if my comments are among the ones you're critical of here, but for the sake of my own peace of mind I'll clarify that I don't think gender separation in mental competition is required or necessary. I believe men and women are able to compete fairly in most things and for the few where there is a meaningful difference, a combination of gender-separated and gender-mixed contests is reasonable (eg. tennis).

      My main issue with the responses here (and elsewhere) is the notion that in order to support and believe in equality, we must also believe that both genders come from exactly equal bases. Not only is it wrong, it's harmful to ignore the differences between the genders or pretend they don't exist. Equality isn't about ensuring men and women are carbon copies of each other, it's about giving everyone the same opportunities. And similarly, equality isn't about brushing our differences under the carpet and shouting loudly that they don't exist, it's about acknowledging them and accepting them, and realising that even though they exist, most of the time they don't really matter.

    Actually I think I know the reason why there has to be a male and female one wants to deal with the men when they lose to a women. :P

    When I hear women say: 'It's a women thing." I usually hear it as a half-ass attempt to justify doing something materialistic or just plain stupid. Argo..... stay out of card games.

    Women only gym.......

    Guys, if you're married then you'll understand this "sexism" thing automatically. You see, it ties in with the female inability to use logic to reason and their great ability to use this thing called "emotional reasoning" - or to us men put simply; Estrogen Induced Nonsense. To make men feel that they are in fact wrong no matter what due to a woman's pride and emotional clouding, we men are the victims of EIN (Estrogen Induced Nonsense). Or in laments terms....An expert in the field of domestic Brainwashing.

    Now stay with me - 1+1 = 2 is wrong to women, but ONLY if a man says it. The correct answer is 3 in their mind and trying to change the answer is like trying to combat a 747 jumbo jet with your thumb. You simply cannot do it. Thus you accept the answer is 2 in YOUR mind and fake sincerity when she asks for the answer to this very complicated equation (a metaphor for how to cope with EIN). Here is the cause of Estrogen Induced Nonsense (or EIN): abstract emotional reasoning + social/cultural circumstances based on subjective thinking. If you understand this, you are married or in a long term relationship. If not you've probably stopped reading.

    EIN is the leading cause of conditions such as feminism, inequality among men, PTSD, brain implosions and intense whining about male ONLY e-sports.

    Just apply sterile dressing (also known as Fake Sincerity branded Band aids) and reassure wife/partner that they are right no matter what. Us husbands will slowly and secretly come to question mathematics itself over time, it's just one among many other very tragic consequences.

    1+1 = 3 OK? Really it does. You cannot stay married and sane without accepting this.

    Now that you know this condition exists and that all treatment is utterly hopeless, you can go about your daily lives knowing you will decay over time because nothing can be done to prevent or change this illness.

      This is the biggest pile of horse shit I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. I mean, for starts, ever heard of a guy going "with his gut"? Yeah, that's pretty much "emotional reasoning" too. You clearly have issues with your wife and probably married someone who goes with their guts instead of reasoning things out with cold, calculating logic. But dude, that's just your wife and you have no business generalising that to all women.

    Devils Advocate - I don't partake of esports, but here's a formula that I think should be applied.

    Take the top 3 ranked people, from every unisex competition, going back by 5 years.

    If less than a third of these people are female, they need their own, equally funded, division.

    I don't think that the argument should be over whether women can hold their own, I think they can, the argument should be "Are they".

    If they aren't currently competing at the same level, they need their own comp, where they can get their own funding and recognition. I don't think Feminism plays into it.

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