The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is one of the most renowned competitions in the esports world. Any player, male of female, will tell you that it’s the highest honour to compete in the tournament, but the male-dominated series hardly sees women participating – and the esports gender gap is growing at a fast pace. This article is not aimed at discussing why women do not compete in the same tournaments as men, but rather revealing some of the answers from a recent survey regarding League of Legends and teams within the LCS.
According to The Esports Observer, 27% of players “would have reservations about adding a female player,” but are these reservations valid? Women have come into the limelight recently over the endless argument whether men and women should compete in the same tier of competition. It’s no secret that female only competitions have less attendance, smaller prizes, and fewer viewers, while the majority of male competitions have a large increase in all areas. The survey touched on many issues but the two main ones are salaries and their thoughts on female teammates.
27 Percent is a rather small number, thankfully, but the reasons given are what could be concerning. It’s no secret that out of the five players that make up a League of Legends team the thought of replacing one of them with a woman would leave the rest concerned, and it appears two reasons are the following:
“If a female was to join my team, she would have to prove she was worth it more than a guy [in the same role].”
“If one of my teammates could be attracted to that female player, then I’d be opposed to it.”
The first statement holds some truth (if you remove the last bit). Positions in teams should be offered to those with merit and can competently play that role. The statement is valid in that regard, but the wording is what bothers me a little bit. The second statement will surely rustle some people as these things do happen in reality. It’s unfair to say that having a woman in the team would cause such an issue as it’s an extremely generalized statement to make. “There’s a girl in the team, someone is going to try get with her,” should not be a valid reason for excluding a player from a team, but it has happened before – and relationships can sometimes distract players from the game whether it’s outside of the game or in it.
It’s unclear what the purpose of the survey was, but some other topics discussed were salaries and injuries relating to the strenuous practice and long hours throughout the LCS season. Perhaps Riot Games and others are using it to improve on areas which need improvement in 2017.