Hong Kong Gets Its First All-Female League Of Legends Team

Professional gaming is continuing to take off in Asia, with Hong Kong celebrating the formation of its first professional all-female League of Legends team.

They're called Girls HK and they're the latest League of Legends team to be sponsored by peripherals manufacturer Logitech.

The South China Morning Post profiled the team this week ahead of their exhibition match with Logi-A Team, a Taiwanese all-female squad. The two are going to square off at the E-Sport Festival later this month.

Matches for the E-Sport Festival have been running throughout for League of Legends, Hearthstone, FIFA and Counter-Strike according to the festival's Facebook page. Girls HK has also already faced off against Flashwolves Girls in a previous exhibition match, something the team hopes will help drum up more interest in professional gaming from women.

Image courtesy of SCMP

Cyber Games Arena founder Sam Wan admitted to the South China Morning Post that the girls were not full-time professionals yet, with the competitive element of eSports in Asia — much like the rest of the world — predominantly an all-male affair. That said, it's not unusual for many chasing the eSports dream to do so while studying or working full or part-time.

The last sponsored all-female team in Australia I remember was the Absolute Dominatrix Counter-Strike 1.6 team, although Team Immunity sponsored female players in the past (and still does today). What do you think is needed to help eSports become more popular with women — and in Australia generally?


Comments

    You were specifically told to wear "white" shoes - wears red

    (Double post, my bad)

    Last edited 13/08/15 8:38 am

    TL;DR: There's no solution to this, if I knew how to bring sex appeal to gaming I'd be the Robert Downey Jr of PlayStation.

    ....it’s not unusual for many chasing the eSports dream to do so while studying or working full or part-time.

    For what it's worth, I'm a white middle class heterosexual male and I'm still chasing the eSports dream.

    I'm going to try and contribute meaningfully to the discussion, but we all saw what happened with Adam Goodes and the whole white Australia 'we'll decide when we are being racist' so try to take all of this constructively...

    I don't think there's any barriers to entry for women at the moment. eSports is perhaps the best level playing field for both genders and one where physical size and strength are insignificant to being able to make logical decisions and the application of hand/eye coordination quickly. If anything, it is the one thing that gender-based strengths (vision, spatial sense, hunt/gather instinct) can fundamentally make a good game great.

    So, that being said - the article is, in essence, asking why aren't women competing? My question is - are the proportions of professional female eSports teams indicative of female gaming more generally? Don't base that on stats around 'female gaming' (if my wife could play The Sims competitively we'd be multimillionaires living in Malibu) but drill that down to the games that are being played competitively: CS:GO, LoL, DOTA2, etc., I would suggest that for every 100 male players, there would be 3-4 women (highly subjective figure with nothing to back it up).

    The key to this is making gaming interesting and appealing to the demographic you want to target. Good luck with that(!)

      It's slowly getting better, but if you go and play LoL/dota, there is still huge amounts of trolling/sexism and frankly nobody has time for that. It can such a huge detractor from getting into a game when you talk to someone in game and then get "LOL SHOW US UR TITS".

      Just a female perspective, and certainly not the only one to take into account.

        Forgive me for being an ignorant male, but are the levels of sexism higher than the general levels of toxicity in the MOBA community?

        My general rule is just to mute the assholes and play my game, but I know some people that take the trolling to heart.

          I think there is a lot to be said about your first point regarding toxicity (hate that word but it is just too damned descriptive) If they weren't being sexist assholes, they would likely go on to being just assholes. the root issue is that the wall of anonymity makes for bastard proliferation regardless of situation. First and foremost, someone is a dick, how that dick behaviour manifests depends on who they are being a dick to.

            Exactly!

            I'd be interested to see if that actual amount of abuse was any higher or lower for females, regardless of what the abuse is regarding. I mean... is 'go hang yourself' any better than 'get back into the kitchen'?

              Four times more in fact. http://www.buzzfeed.com/alexlee/not-all-men-just-losers#.qtbPYdJ5J

          Yes. Levels of sexism in the MOBA community are off the charts.

          At least the LoL community is going to have a harder time dismissing these girls as just being "attention-seeking whores" like they always do because they're Asian. Everyone knows Asians are better at LoL than anyone else, so at least they'll have to admit that they're "attention-seeking whores who are actually good at the game".

          Aren't stereotypes fun? Ugh. I hate this community.

          Wouldn't know. I haven't played MOBAs in a while. I've got girlfriends who now only play with friends because of crap they've gone through, but that's antidotal evidence and nothing substantial.

          The point of muting shouldn't need to be made. People shouldn't *have* to mute others, regardless of gender.

            Amen! People always say "don't complain about trolls, just mute them" but I shouldn't have to. Especially when it is someone on your own team in a team based game....

        Yeah, ain't nobody got time for that shit. I work full time and when I come home if I'm going to play a video game to relax and have fun I'm not going to play one where I get shat on just for gaming while female. Sure, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens enough you often get to the point where you just can't be bothered with it anymore.

          You can easily avoid this if you just don't out yourself as a girl (assuming you play LoL).

      It's the 12 year old boys that sort of ruin it for the females, because they're behind a screen and keyboard. I've played a few random games with females (DOTA 2), and have found they are quite good (one instance a good support, one instance a good initiator). IMO, just need a couple more brave girls to weather some of the bullshit 'tits or gtfo' rubbish you usually find and show that you're on par/better than the males, to allow more females to set up and show the boys how it's done.

      Motorsports comes to mind. In fact, there have been a few notable female drivers over the years. E.g. Michèle Mouton, Sabine Schmitz, Danica Patrick, Pat Moss (Sir Stirling Moss' sister). It's certainly doable, but are girls really that bothered to be professional gamers? I think so.

        They're women, not females. You're not talking about cattle. I am sure you meant no harm in it, but just say women, ladies or even girls.

          The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent.

      "For what it's worth, I'm a white middle class heterosexual male and I'm still chasing the eSports dream. "

      There's your problem right there. You're not Korean/Chinese. :P

      Oh, wait, unless you're not playing a RTS/MOBA. Then you might be okay.

    Comments on these topics are always fun. My opinion is this is like womens engineering scholarships. With any males dominated field it puts a barrier for entry which is why the participation rate of females is much lower. This is a marketing strategy to increase the target market of esports which is fine in my opinion.

    Do we know if there have been any women who have tried to join an established male team? I find it strange how people always make all female teams instead of possibly scouting female talent and putting them into a mixed team. There has to be at least one woman who can compete on a tier 2 team with men.

      This. I would find a woman joining a normal team much more impressive than some gimmicky all-girl roster competing in a dumbed-down all-girl tournament.

      Either the girls are top-tier players and should be competing in regular tournaments, or the all-girl tournament is a gimmick. This isn't traditional athletics, where males have an innate advantage over females - let them all compete together.

        They probably don't get taken seriously by the all-male teams? I know I have problems with apparently having to prove myself to male gamers because I'm "probably just gaming for attention" or to be cool or whatever.
        It's not a gimmick - it's girl power!

          I can't agree with this... Girl power? Who gives a crap if the male teams take them seriously or not! Let the result speak for itself. If they can defeat the male teams, then I can guarantee they will be taken seriously very damn quickly. However, having them sequestered in all-girl tournaments that, frankly, are of a lower standard than other tournaments is both insulting and counter-productive. I don't think all-girl teams are the answer to the gender imbalance in gaming; you are never going to have a top-tier team if you are choosing players because of their gender instead of their ability - instead, we need to find ways to get girls playing at a top-tier level, and get them onto existing teams.

      The North American challenger playoffs are on right now and there's a female on team renegade.

      There was a female Starcraft: BW player called TossGirl back in the day who played for STX or Samsung (forgot). She was never a finalist, but had some decent results, was a decent mid-tier player; her pick clearly wasn't some gimmick.

        That's what I'm talking about! Get girls playing at a competitive level, and let them get selected based on their ability and not their gender. It's the all-girl tournaments that are gimmicky, not the female gamers.

    Is it just mean being a cynic or is it odd that all of them are thin pretty girls who wouldn't look out of place modelling their uniforms as work out jackets or something? Not saying pretty girls can't be gamers but my cynical mind finds it odd that an 8 girl team looks like that

      Not saying pretty girls can't be gamers
      First of all I'd like to second that.
      But it does seem, and probably a marketing exploit, that they're assembling a girl band a la KPOP/Spice Girls. If you look at each of them individually, they all seem to be portraying different personalities like the Spice Girls.

      I'll admit at first glance I was getting the whole Jpop (HKpop?) vibe from this. When everything is chorograped from what they wear to what they say.
      I actually hope I'm wrong here and that they school a lot of the male teams when competing.

      Edit: lol @jacrench we were both pretty much thinking the same thing.

      Last edited 13/08/15 9:51 am

      *shrug* It's a promo shot. They're going to try and make them look positive any way they can. In this shot specifically they're trying to push the idea of "cute girls playing games" to pander to the predominately male audience.

      Not saying I agree with the idea that a female team has to look "cute" (especially when a male team is usually made to look cool/dangerous in their shots) but it is what it is.

        I sort of agree here, but there's no way to hide the fact that most of the guys on most of the teams are decidedly "geeky" to behold.

        I got the same marketing impression here. I do strongly hope this isn't another team siren :S

          Oh well I guess if it is a marketing stunt you can hope for a futurama type situation where it inspires other girls to prove that they can make it based on merit not on publicity.

      I'm sure there's some VOD, or they have a twitch/hitbox channel you could watch.
      They also might have a list of titles they have won, either individually, or as a team.
      But of course we don't need that, because Kotaku wouldn't cover them unless they were elite.

    The question should be asked as to why, if there's female talent in the eSports divisions at the moment, why there needs to be girls-only teams? Is it a question of the girls simply not being skilled-enough to be selected for existing male-dominated teams? Or is this more of an issue of discrimination where they're discriminated based upon a negative pre-judgement/possibly they consider the girls to be a sexual distraction to their potential male teammates & as such, overlook them?

    I'd be curious to know if ANY girls have been approached to join those teams (or if many have tried to actually get in?)

      Situation is similar to STEM courses; the culture of esports is undeniably male-centric, which makes it daunting or even impenetrable for new female players, but that's not the only reason. People tend to pick up the hobbies of their friends, so odds are, even boys who didn't grow up with games will get into it because of their buddies. There are generally fewer girls playing competitive PC games, so that means proportionally, even fewer girls will pick up LoL. If you take a look at a lot of prominent girls in games, a very common recurring theme is older brothers. Then there are other barriers like the 'fake nerd girl' backlash, gamergate, etc.

        I'm not commenting on the subject of the lack of girls & why this is a thing - it's certainly a thing although it thankfully appears to be shifting in a positive way, albeit slowly.

        My comment is on these specific girls & why they need to form their own female-only team in order to essentially break the glass ceiling to get into the professional teams. There's undoubtedly a lot of female gamers who are exceptional at their games - so if they're fantastic, why aren't they being considered for mixed teams? It makes no sense to overlook a candidate who has the skills simply because they're a girl. Especially when I reckon having a qualified female member of the team would undoubtedly bring a lot of attention, supporters & fans to your team.

          It makes no sense to overlook a candidate who has the skills simply because they're a girl

          Let's be frank, no competitive esports team is going to overlook a player because they're a girl. It just doesn't happen, especially now, with online tournaments and the fact that all players make a name for themselves playing anonymously first. The notion that girls can't break into this game if they were talented enough, is just insulting.

          The more likely situation is that these girls aren't good enough to break into an existing team, so they got together to play under a new outfit. It's not a terrible idea, but the last people who tried this was Team Siren, a LoL team that wore its all-girl lineup on its sleeve but produced zero results, and died.

    This screams marketing stunt to me... I hope that's not the case and this team is able to actually be really competitive, but... something about the level of choreography here just feels off.

    That said, even if it is just a stunt, I guess it's a good thing if it gets more women interested in competitive gaming. My experience playing in a fairly high skill bracket in CS:GO has been that the playerbase is maybe 5% women, tops. Probably less than that.

    It's kind of understandable though. One of our regular team members is a woman and she cops endless amounts of bullshit from players on other teams if she uses the in-game VOIP in warmup etc... She has a pretty good sense of humor about the whole thing but I think a lot of people would simply not be willing to put up with it.

    So... I hope this helps, but I'm kind of skeptical? The problem is less to do with "too few female role models in esports" and more to do with "holy shit why is everybody such an asshole," and I don't see this helping there.

      It's 100% a stunt. It reminds me of the 'Team Siren' LoL team (if people haven't watched that on YouTube, do so... eurgh) which was an all-girl team. People wondered if they were the real deal or if it was just a gimmick. Turned out to be a huge gimmick. They were not competitive, existed for the sake of audience appeal, and soon imploded.

    It looks like out of the billions of female asian gamers, they just 'so happened' to assemble the most attractive ones.

    But then again, those asian makeup tutorials make the most bland looking people into supermodels.

    Lol.. Sponsored by Logitech... It's less about girl gaming, than trying to push product

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