Competitive gaming is definitely a space controlled by men, and that has led to just a few women breaking into the pro-gaming scene.
Only two women make it into the list of top 200 highest-earning e-sports players worldwide, according to a report from intelligence firm SuperData Research. That is only 1 percent of the top-grossing pros. It’s a significantly smaller percentage than the portion of the e-sports audience that are women. SuperData reveals that men compose 87 percent of the e-sports audience and that women are 13 percent. This means that women represent one in every seven or eight people watching competitions for games like League of Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but for every 100 players that make serious money participating in these events, only one is a woman.
Of course, many e-sports organizations are acutely aware of that gap.
“To address gender disparity, a growing number of organizations like Blizzard and the International eSports Federation have begun hosting women-only leagues to create a more welcoming environment for female players and spectators,” reads the SuperData report.
The report doesn’t specify exactly who the two women are that make up the top 200, but we can look to some recent results to get an idea of who is making money. Notable players include Sash “Scarlett” Hostyn, who is a professional StarCraft II player. She has won more than $80,000 playing in tournaments over the last year or so. Katherine “Mystik” Gunn has made more than $120,000 playing in tournaments for Halo and Dead or Alive 4.
Back in 2013, Team Siren came onto the League of Legends scene with an all-women roster. But it quickly disbanded. The team reportedly had leadership issues, but it also dealt with extreme ridicule from the notoriously toxic League of Legends community who felt that the team was acting too confident in a promotional video:
Since then, just like the rest of e-sports, League of Legends’ pro rosters have remained almost entirely made up of men.