Video games aren’t going anywhere, with the American video gaming industry raking in $36 billion in 2017 alone. From YouTube games to mobile apps and virtual reality, there are a lot of choices. And a growing number of women are wanting to play them. But when it comes to one of the world’s most popular games like League of Legends female players face barriers in esports.
League of Legends female players stats
Over half or 55% of League of Legends fans are females, as per Venture Beat. That’s significantly more than Counter-Strike fans; they’re only 25% female.
As for the rate of skill learning in LOL specifically, both genders learn at the same rate overall, although there remains a shortage of females in this community (ResearchGate). Surprising, given the that female fans of the game outnumber males.
So, why are women fans of the game yet make up only a small part in the professional playing arena of League of Legends? There hasn’t been a female gamer in the LOL Championship series since 2016, for example.
According to ResearchGate, explaining the gender gap involves looking at social dynamics. For example, two studies pointed to League of Legends female players being less confident about their own skills when playing with males. Furthermore, they frequently focused on supporting the males rather than their own advancement in the game.
How serious are League of Legends female players?
Women treat esports precisely with an identical amount of intensity as they do with any other sport.
Team Siren, for instance, documented how they lived together to train as a team and penetrate the League of Legends Pro competitions. They even released a video introducing their team to the world of pros. Clearly, they were serious.
Also, Venture Beat points out that 65% of lady fans watch esports content 1-4 hours a day, which is more than 55% of men. They share intensity for gaming, with great options available lioke the Mod Skin LoL Pro, which allows you to change what your champion looks like. The deeper a player goes with this amount of customization, the wealthier the play experience will be for everybody involved.
Sexism still exists: Maria “Remilia” Creveling in League of Legends
To date, only one of the League of Legends female players has made it to the LOL Championship series. Meet Maria “Remilia” Creviling.
She qualified with her team Renegade back in 2015 for the professional league and then she was in the spotlight the following year with all eyes on her. Not only was she the first woman but also the first transgender woman to compete in this particular series.
Unfortunately her experience included sexual and transphobic harassment. Fans criticized her looks and even argued over her gender identity. It was not the inspirational event that it could have been, sadly.
Only a few weeks through the season, she left her team and the league, explaining it was for reasons relating to anxiety and self-esteem. She has not returned to the pro league since then.
Negative vibes for other League of Legends female players
And negative vibes also follow many women games who are in lower ranks than championship levels. They often feel pressure to play as female characters, for example. So, they feel they have less options than men in this regard.
And within a team environment, they find themselves feeling taken less seriously than males within a strategy game once their team realizes they are female.
Riot Games, the maker of LOL itself, recently ran a case study on the correlation between workplace and in-game toxicity. The evidence indicated that League of Legends female players are regular targets of harassment.
Of course, sexism will not be the experience for every woman who plays LOL. But the research does show a disturbing trend among many League of Legends female players.
Gaming is supposed to be fierce but fun. But sexual harassment is never fun. No matter who you are, sexist comments can bring down anyone.
League of Legends is a fun but challenging game in equal measure. Besides the game, society is not kind to women playing it.
However, if you are interested in esports, don’t chicken out because of cruelty. Instead, join other women who in the gaming area. Nothing comes easy, so take up the challenge and let’s put an end to sexist actions.
Has anything been left out about League of legends female players? Share your experience about LOL by dropping a comment below.