Esports has exploded in popularity and growth in America in recent years, with an increase in participants, spectators, and professional teams. Across the pond, the ICE gaming conference in Lonon has announced it will showcase some of the world’s best female FIFA players, with an all-women FIFA team set to compete at the ICE esports arena.
Women still have a relatively low involvement and representation in esports despite this rise in girl’s gaming. In professional teams and competitions, female gamers are underrepresented and make up a small portion of the total player base. However, there is a growing group of female gamers and supporters who are trying to encourage and support women’s involvement in esports. According to recent research conducted in the United States, 11% of female gamers compete in esports at the top level, while 37% of women stream and follow competitions. This suggests that women are enthusiastic about esports be it as a pro player or spectator.
In this article, we will provide a general overview of how the esports sector as a whole will benefit from increased female representation and participation, in addition to female players. We firmly believe esports can draw a larger audience and encourage innovation and inclusivity if the player pool is more diverse. We’ll also list the top female esports players that have made a name for themselves already.
History of Female Esports in America
Women experienced major obstacles and discrimination in the early years of competitive gaming, which is where the history of female esports in America begins.
Players like Kelly “KellyX” Layne, who participated in Quake and Doom competitions in the 1990s, and the all-female squad “Frag Dolls,” created by Ubisoft in 2002 to encourage female engagement in gaming, are examples of early pioneers of female esports in America.
The early years of esports saw significant challenges for female gamers despite these early attempts, such as lack of representation, discrimination, and harassment.
However, there have been significant developments in the involvement of women in esports in recent years. For instance, the creation of female-only leagues and competitions, such as the Overwatch Women’s World Cup and the Intel Challenge Katowice, has supported female gamers and put their skills on a pedestal. Additionally, the growth of streaming services has offered female gamers a platform to market themselves and grow their fan bases on twitch, Instagram, and TikTok.
Despite these encouraging developments, there are still many obstacles and problems for female gamers in the professional esports domain. Women are underrepresented in leadership positions in esports groups, for instance, and female gamers are still subjected to harassment and discrimination within the gaming industry.
Current State of Female Esports in America
Recent data indicates that the proportion of female players in esports is low. Today, around 25% of gamers in the US are female, but that percentage reduces to about 11% when it comes to esports.
Game titles such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and Hearthstone are the most played esports games in America among female players at the top level. However, compared to the overall player base, these games also have a lower proportion of female players.
The United States has some successful female gaming teams and players despite the low representation. The all-female squad “Pandora’s Mighty Soldiers,” for instance, has participated in Overwatch events, and female competitors like the now retired Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn have had success in StarCraft II tournaments. Dubbed one of the most accomplished female esports player of all time who achieved a number of high placements in StarCraft II tournaments, including first place in the 2012 IGN ProLeague and third place in the 2012 DreamHack Open: Valencia.
Despite receiving praise, female gamers still have a lot of obstacles to overcome in the industry. Women are on professional teams are low and in professional leagues female gamers report frequently experience harassment and prejudice from other gamers. Likewise, women are underrepresented in positions of management and leadership. It goes without saying that these obstacles deter female gamers from choosing esports as a vocation and impede the potential expansion of the sector.
Potential of Female Esports in America
On paper, there are numerous advantages for the industry resulting from increasing the representation and involvement of women in esports.
Companies with more diverse teams have superior financial and inventive results, according to research. The same is true for esports organisations; a more varied staff would produce greater performances, results and innovative ideas.
Encouraging diversity and inclusivity in esports can contribute to building a more warm and welcoming environment for all players. This will up higher player retention rates, especially among female players who might otherwise be put off by potential harassment and discrimination.
Additionally, organizations like AnyKey, a non-profit organization, are working to create a more inclusive and diverse esports community by promoting diversity and representation in the industry.
Undoubtedly the esports industry as a whole undoubtedly benefits from increased female representation and engagement in the sport. Esports can prosper by engaging with a larger audience, encouraging innovation, and promoting inclusivity with a more diverse player base.
Top American female esports players to follow
Rumay Wang (Hafu)
With north of 1.3 million Twitch subscribers, Rumay Wang, known as “Hafu” online is one of our three females to note down in your little black book.
Hafu was born in Newton, Massachusetts to Chinese immigrant parents from Beijing, China. Today, Hafu resides in Vegas, Nevada and possesses extensive expertise and background in the gaming industry.
Hafu fan base speaks for itself and she is without a doubt a professional female esports player competing at the top level who is worthy of a bet in our eyes. She is well-known in the gaming world and has won several tournaments with solid performances including a series of winning streaks.
Despite dabbling with different game titles, Hafu is renowned for being one of the top Hearthstone players. She has participated in numerous competitions, including the Hearthstone World Championship, and she has won several high-profile awards, including first place in the 2014 Hearthstone World Championship. She also has a big fan base on her streaming channel, where she shares commentary while playing games she has a lot of experience with, like League of Legends, Magic: The Gathering, and World of Warcraft.
Hafu is renowned for her consistancy. Over the years, she has been able to maintain a top level performances, which is attractive to esports gamblers want to bet on esports matches.
Furthermore, she has a distinct advantage over other players due to her extensive expertise in high-pressure settings acquired from competing in numerous prestigious tournaments making her a viable option for betting.
Katherine Gunn (Mystik)
Katherine Gunn, aknown online as “Mystik,” is a professional esports player and streamer who is ideal for betting on. She is a well-known figure in the gaming community, particularly in the fighting game genre, and has scored highly in competitive tournaments at the highest level.
Mystik plays fighting games such as Dead or Alive 4 and Mortal Kombat at the very top level. She has competed in leading tournaments, including the Evolution Championship Series, and has achieved a number of wins, including first place in the 2007 and 2008 Dead or Alive 4 tournaments making her a winning selection for fighting game fans seeking the edge over bookmakers.
Aggressive gameplay is her forte as is her ability to deploy different strategies. Her skill and experience in the fighting game genre make her a formidable opponent, and her vast knowledge can make her unpredictable, which adds to the excitement of betting on her.
The fact that Mystik is a well-known character in the gaming industry and has a sizable, devoted fan base demonstrtes that she is a safe bet worthy of a wager. You will find many fighting game fans eager to wager on her and she is very much supported when competing in tournaments in the states.
You’ll find Mystik streams her gameplay and provides commentary on games whilst playing which allows fans to learn her playstyle, understand her strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate her chances in a tournament.
Alison Qual (Nina)
Due to her talent, background, and accomplishments in esports gaming at elite level, Alison Qual, popularly known online as “Nina,” is a professional esports player and streamer worth placing bets on. She is a well-known character in the gaming world, especially in the fighting game genre, and is ranked highly after winning a number of competitions.
Nina has made a name for herself in fighting games, namely Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat 11, and has competed in many famous tournaments. From the Evolution Championship Series to the Capcom Pro Tour, Nina has proven she has go what it takes to compete at top level. Nina finished top 8 in the 2017 and 2018 Evolution Championship Series, Mortal Kombat 11 and top 4 in the 2020 Capcom Pro Tour.
She is renowned for her technical skills, precise execution and versatility handling different characters and tactics. She is a difficult opponent due to her use of strategies, and experience in the fighting game genre.
Nina is a well-respected figure in the gaming community and has a large and dedicated fan base, which for many is a deciding factor to consider when placing bets. No doubt you will find that betting on Nina increases the thrill of the game due to her expert fighting game prowess.
Despite lofty achievements, female gamers still have a lot of obstacles to overcome in the industry and there is a long way to go before female esports players match their male counterparts in the esports ecosystem. But what is also apparent more female players are becoming stars and showing women that it’s possible to play. No matter your gender, esports can be extremely fun and there are competitions for everyone regardless of gender.
As it stands, women are underrepresented on professional teams and in professional leagues. It is a fact that female gamers frequently experience harassment and prejudice from other gamers. Additionally, women are underrepresented in positions of management and leadership within the esports community. These barriers to entry deter female gamers from choosing esports as a profession and hamper the potential expansion of the sector.
One positive is that there is a growing movement of female gamers and advocates who are working to promote and support the participation of women in esports. All-female leagues and teams sporting female stars are vital steps in developing an inclusive environment where women in esports can flourish.
With more resources going into female esports by notable gamiong organisations such as Riot Games and G2 Esports, we hope to see a shift towards a more inclusive esports environment. These inititives highlight importance and potential of female esports in America and call for action to increase representation and participation of women in the industry. Esports is for everyone and it’s essential to create an inclusive environment for all players, regardless of gender, to compete and thrive.