Female esports audience figures have risen by 6 percent over the past 2 years. The recent increase means that female esports fans now make up 30 percent of the total esports audience. The figures were compiled by the market research firm Interpret. The statistics come from Interpret’s latest quarterly survey which compiles information from around 9,000 US residents. The survey also shows that the number of females competing in esports has risen to account for 35 percent of players.
Tia Christianson, Interpret VP of Research, addressed the rising female esports audience statistics. “Changing behaviors among a large segment of people is difficult. Progress of this size always takes time; however, a six percent gain in gender share over a two year period is a trend in the right direction. If two years from now, the female audience grabs an additional six percent in share, esports viewership will be in gender parity with what we consider standard among traditional console and PC games.” [via GameIndustry.biz].
Despite this rise, Interpret also noted many of the most popular esports games still have low female involvement. DOTA 2 had the lowest participation of the noted titles at 20 percent, while Activision Blizzard games Overwatch and Hearthstone both sit at 26 percent. Looking forward, Christianson adds “As an industry, more progress will be made as females’ role in traditional eSports titles continue to grow, given the efforts from some of the industry leaders. More likely than not, a lot of that growth may come in non-traditional esport genres, and especially games tailored to mobile and tablet devices.”
Female participation in esports recently faced another hurdle. It was discovered one of Overwatch’s few professional female players named Ellie was, in fact, a fabrication. A male player named “Punisher” was pretending to the female competitor in what he referred to as a “social experiment.”