International eSports Tournament Segregates, Excludes Women From Some Games [Update: Now Open for All]
Posted on Thursday, July 3 @ 04:30:00 PST by Daniel Bischoff
[Update] The IeSF has responded to the negative reaction from the gaming community to its tournament setup and has decided to change its male-exclusive events to an "Open for All" events. However, the strictly female division will not be changed.
The IeSF explained in an official announcement:
[Original] The International e-Sports Federation of South Korea typically splits genders up for competitions in games ranging from Starcraft II to Ultra Street Fighter IV, but in this year's tournament women will only be allowed to participate in two games:
StarCraft II and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
While men can compete in Dota 2, StarCraft II, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and Ultra Street Fighter IV, women can only compete against other women in the two games above. The conflict came to light when Redditor Karuta shared an e-mail stating that a qualifying round was only open to men.
An organizer explained the ruling as "In accordance with the International e-Sports Federation's tournament regulations, since the main tournament event is open to male players only. This is to avoid possible conflicts (e.g. a female player elminating a male player during R08) among other things."
Yes, because you wouldn't want the more capable female gamer moving on in the tournament over a less-worthy male opponent. That's only a conflict for male gamers, but it seems plenty fair to proceed that way for females, right?
A posting on the International e-Sports Federation's Facebook page states:
Let me elaborate a bit on the decision to create both male and female competitions. This decision serves two main goals of the IeSF:I can understand separate-but-equal genders in physical sports like basketball or baseball or tennis or whatever. Men and women have bodies constructed differently with differing musculature for different purposes, but in video games it seems like we're all on equal footing.
Wouldn't a world-dominating victory feel a little hollow at the top of popular competitive games if you knew there was someone of the opposite gender you never even faced off against?
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