Skip to main content

E-sports tournament now open to all genders after internet outrage

E-sports tournament now open to all genders after internet outrage


Going from male-only to open for all in the space of one furious day

Share this story

Yesterday's explosion of disapproval over the gender-segregated Hearthstone tournament set to be hosted by the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) in November has brought about a change in policy from the organizer. It originally planned to host a series of competitions limited to male players only — spanning the team-based Dota 2 and the single-player StarCraft II, Hearthstone, and Ultra Street Fighter IV — but today that plan's been revised to make access open for all. The IeSF is further adding Tekken Tag Tournament 2 to the inclusive category, while still retaining its female-only competitions for that game and StarCraft II.

With this switch, the IeSF's policy matches that of chess competitions — where anyone can enter the main tournament, but there are also ones just for women in order to encourage greater participation. The IeSF justifies its position by underlining "the importance of providing female gamers with ample opportunities to compete in e-Sports." That seemed entirely at odds with the previous gender division enforced by the Federation, so it's good to see such a quick correction following what has been a universal and vocal outcry against sexism in gaming.