On Wednesday, Intel announced a female-only tournament in Katowice with a prize pool of 30 000 dollars – an amount never before seen for those teams.
And Julia ”Juliano” Kiran from Bad Monkey Gaming thinks this is exactly what the scene needs to become more equal.
– It’s what we need. With more tournaments like these the female scene will grow. I don’t think we should separate the genders either but the way things are now you have to, otherwise women won’t compete in the same way, she says.
Despite eSports being a field where men and women can compete on equal terms and physical advantages are non-existent, the scene is still extremely male dominated. The females who compete are all working on the side and playing on a hobby level, compared to the male pros who can make tens of thousands each month from salaries, streaming and prize money. Because of that, female teams can rarely or never measure up to their male counterparts.
– The problem is that women don’t look at the game in the same way. Some think that ”we don’t stand a chance against guys” because it’s always been that way and still is. Women don’t put in the time and fight for it like the guys do. And the reason female teams exist is because the guys don’t want to play with us, so it’s kind of a two way street, Julia ”Juliano” Kiran from Bad Monkey Gaming says.
”We were extremely happy”
To motivate more women getting into esports a handful of tournaments are arranged where there’s an all-female lineup, like Copenhagen Games and ESWC. The prize sums have so far been miniscule, around 5000 dollars to the winners compared to the 100k awarded at the major tournaments, but that will change during IEM Katowice. On Wednesday, Intel announced their Intel Challenge Katowice, where the prize pool is 30 000 dollars. A significant amount for the female scene.
– I think we were all shocked when we saw it. We were extremely happy and I think we just started screaming, Juliano says.
”I don’t think we should separate genders”
What do you think this could do for your scene in the future?
– It’s what we need. The way it is now, we don’t have the same goals to strive for, not as many tournaments and something worth playing for in the same way. I think this gave both us and other teams a boost and I think we’ll really grow now.
– If more tournaments like these start popping up, I think the active female scene will grow and that will in turn grow the whole CS:GO scene. The more women getting into it, the more viewers and that’s always fun.
After the announcement, the debate about separating genders in tournaments once again surfaced. What’s your take on that after these news?
– I don’t think we should separate the genders either, and my goal is to one day play in a top team with males. But with the rivalry that exists between the genders now you should separate the tournaments, otherwise the women won’t play in the same way.
”I hope and believe we’ll make it there”
For BMG, the mixed tournament Nordic Masters is on the horizon. After that, they’ll qualify for Katowice on February 17 and 19. Juliano thinks that her teams chances of qualifying, after recruiting Ksenia ”vilga” Klyuenkova, are good.
– We feel in great shape and we’ve performed really well lately, so I hope and believe we’ll make it there.
Intel Challenge Katowice takes places during IEM Katowice, in Spodek Arena on March 15th.