The esports industry is booming, and it’s seeking female applicants
“Studies show that women comprise 30 percent of esports viewership and 35 percent of esport gamers. These numbers are growing each year. The video game industry is male-dominated, but esports companies are banding together to recognize female gamers and revolutionize the industry.
Earlier this month, more than 250 guests attended the For The Women Gaming summit in Philadelphia, which was hosted by Spectacor Gaming and Nerd Street Gamers. Participants played games and checked out new products in esports, which are wildly popular organized gaming competitions. Panelists also discussed their professional journeys into esports, personal experiences in their roles and how they are working to create an industry that encourages women to pursue careers in gaming.
The industry is booming. In fact, esports was a $1 billion industry in 2019, and executives at the conference agreed that inclusivity toward women will be the key to its continued success.
A 2019 study from data firm Interpret found that women comprise 30 percent of esports viewership and 35 percent of esport gamers and that these numbers are growing each year. Know Your Value interviewed several executives at the summit, including Joe Marsh, CEO of T1 Entertainment and Sports.
“You can have a mixed-gender [esports] team, and that’s the only professional sport in the world where that can be done,” said Marsh at the event, which took place at the Comcast Technology Center. “There are a lot of women who game and they’re really, really good…They’re going to make space better.”
The most popular esport competitions feature professional gamers and teams battling in live tournaments through multiplayer online video games, such as “League of Legends” or “World of Warcraft.” Viewers of these competitions have increased year over year, reaching 380 million in 2018, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. Gaming analysis firm Newzoo predicts that by 2021, viewership will reach 557 million.
Women are often victims of harassment or discrimination in gaming, which can deter them from playing esports, let alone seeking out a job in the booming industry, according to attendees. Multiplayer gamers might reveal their gender over chats or microphones when they talk to other players, for example, leading to toxic interactions.
“Growing up when I was playing video games, I would get harassed over the mic,” said Julie Truong, director of business operations at Philadelphia Fusion, a professional esports organization. “I would have to mute my mic until I proved myself first.” However, For the Women attendees maintained that the esports industry is changing the game”