World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) has announced competition schedule in European and American regions for its second season’s tournament and registration channels has opened at the same time. In order to response to the clause of advocating “Gender Equality” written in Olympic Agenda 2020 Recommendations, besides traditional general group competition, WESG 2017 offers women group competition in CS:GO and Hearthstone titles with the propose of letting more women athletes possess the chance of staging in WESG2017 Grand Finals and showing their best to e-sports lovers worldwide.
Olympic Agenda 2020 Recommendations: Recommendation 11
Foster gender equality
1. The IOC to work with the International Federations to achieve 50 per cent women participation in the Olympic Games and to stimulate women’s participation and involvement in sport by creating more participation opportunities at the Olympic Games.
2. The IOC to encourage the inclusion of mixed-gender team events.
In 20 tournaments of China qualifiers finished earlier this year, the concept of dividing general group and women group are utilized in competition titles and a variety of teams are constituted by women and male athletes in general group. In Hearthstone title, numbers of women athletes have promoted into finals in China region. Nevertheless, while we announced registration information for European and American regions, due to language issues and miscommunication, our team confused the concept between general group and male group. Therefore, in the announcement of registration information, general group has been wrongly expressed into male group and caused misunderstanding to overseas users.
WESG2017 rules are corrected in the following two points:
WESG2017 consist of general group and women group. General group is open to register by everyone.
Due to the event schedule and arrangement, women player can select only one group (either general group or women group) to participate in.
We have received various of comments and questions from e-sports lovers and we picked up following 10 questions to clarity. WESG organizing committee deeply apologizes for confusion to all e-sports lovers.
Why is the competition groups dividing by genders?
Electronic Sports is now recognized as a formal sports competition. In traditional competitive sports, the development of women competitive sports has been encouraged for a long time. You can see it from the official website of IOC and the Olympic Games is the forerunner of advocating the development of women completion as an example. The development of WESG has always followed by the concept of traditional sports and WESG endeavors in developing women competitive sports since the establishment of the competitions. In current international stages, women athletes lack of the chance of competing with male athletes in premier e-sports competitions. In past year, Canadian athlete Scarlett is the only women player promoting into the stage of Grand Finals in StarCraft II title in WESG. WESG general group allows all players, including top women athletes, to participate into the competition. Meanwhile, the concept of setting up women group competition is for providing a world-class stage for women athletes.
Electronic Sports is recognized as a mental sports competition, why women athletes couldn’t get a chance to compete with male athletes in the same stage?
In WESG, women athletes can get the chance to compete with male athletes in the same stage. However, we have to apologize first for confusion to all e-sports lovers by our mistakes. Due to context usage issues, there was some inaccurate information published by our team. In 20 tournaments of China qualifiers finished earlier this year, the concept of dividing general group and women group are utilized in competition and a number of women athletes got the tickets into the finals of China region by qualifiers. Our competing rules are completely the same no matter in China qualifiers or qualifiers in other regions.
Why is there such a huge gap between women and general group in prize pool?
First of all, WESG hopes to make a contribution of letting electronic sports develop as traditional sports. In traditional competitive sports, the development of women competitive sports is beneath attention and we hope all athletes have the chance to represent their nations and possess the sense of honor by it. Besides, as we mentioned before, the competition of general group opens the door for all athletes including male and women athletes and WESG has the highest amounts of prize pool for women group among e-sports competitions in the world (The world championship in CS:GO women group can get $100,000 prize, the world championship in Hearthstone women group can get $30,000 prize).
The prize in WESG2016 is pretty high, is it just a bad check?
The total prize pool for WESG2016 is $5,500,000, After the end of the WESG2016 Grand Finals, we issued the prize for all teams and athletes. This is also a highly-concerned issue for us before announcing the competition of WESG2017, we officially announced the competition of WESG2017 after we confirmed that all prizes for overseas athletes have sent out.
Why is there less spots provided for women group compare with general group?
We have done lots of research before we officially announced the decision of adding women group competition into WESG, including what kind of titles should be in women groups, professionalization progress in women electronic sports compare with the progress in general group and we have done the research of gender distribution in some of competitive games accompany with our partners. Whereas, most of professional electronic sports clubs have not form their own women teams regrettably. One significant reason for current situation is because of premier women e-sports competitions are rare. It is the first year of women group competition appeals in WESG stage, we hope women group competition can be held as a long-term competition and lead the professionalization progress of women e-sports.
Is it a correct decision of dividing women group while women teams are comparably less than general teams? (Most of women athletes have to form the team temporally, is it fair for those women athletes who trains together with general teams? Is it fair for those women athletes whose countries are lacking of women athletes and brings up the difficulties of forming a women team?)
WESG emphasizes the idea of competing on a national basis. Thus, we hope the standard of traditional sports, the standard of Olympic can also be applied in electronic sports and all the players shall stand for the honor of their nations. General group competition is also welcome for those women who plays for general teams. We are glad to see in 20 tournaments of China qualifiers finished earlier this year, a variety of teams are constituted by women and male athletes in general group. This is the first WESG events containing women group, in the future, we hope there are more institutions concern and promote the development of women electronic sports accompany with us. We look forward to see there are more outstanding women teams and athletes show their power in our stages.
In a male-athlete-oriented industry, would the decision of dividing women group makes women athletes feel being discriminated/ treated differently?
Without a doubt, male athletes have higher chance of appealing in premier e-sports events, sometimes, there is even no women athletes participating at all for those events. This is absolutely not a good thing as a competitive sport. The reason of dividing women group in WESG is because we want to provide a world-class stage for women athletes and a chance for demonstrating themselves. WESG is not treating differently based on genders, general group allows both male and women groups and the propose of dividing women group is for promoting the development of women e-sports.
It seems like women group competition is just an afflicted competition to general group competition, would women athletes feel disrespectful based on this?
We respect all athletes no matter of their genders. In previous e-sports developing history, premier competitions for women are scarce. For those limited competitions containing women group, the existence of women group is comparatively short. This is a problem that worth us to think. Various of high-quality competitions have built a solid base for those professional e-sports teams so that they can compete in a high-level platform. Without high-quality competition, professional e-sports teams wouldn’t well-developed as now. However, the problem of lacking of high-quality competitions still exists in women e-sports industry and it hinders the development of women e-sports. This is the first year of women group joins WESG and we provide the highest prize pool in women e-sports competition history, the prize pool is even higher than lots of prize pool in general group world-class competitions. We grow out of nothing and we hope we can be a part within the process of pushing women e-sports develops in the future.
Would the decision of dividing women group causes women athletes lose the opportunity to compete with top male athletes? (Women athletes lose the opportunities to prove themselves& the gap between male and women athletes become bigger)
In current premier e-sports competition, the gender distribution is extremely unequal. Canadian athlete Scarlett is the only women athlete in WESG Grand Finals through our regional qualifiers. Based on this, we have to admit the fact that women e-sports athletes are way less than male e-sports athletes objectively. In order to achieve the goal of electronic sports ultimately develop just as traditional sports, WESG needs to do some specific things to try to improve the competition environment for women e-sports athletes. Women group joins WESG is our trial and we sincerely expect women athletes from all over the world show their best in WESG2017 Grand Finals.
Would dividing women group deepen the stereotype of what the public used to think about women e-sports athletes? Would it deepen the existing unfairness to women in e-sports industry?
If we look back the developing way of e-sports industry, it is an undeniable fact that the ratio between male and women athletes are startling unbalanced which causes women athletes are hardly to show up in the final stage of premier e-sports competitions. There are some objective reasons, but we cannot ignore subjective reasons such as lacking of high-level women competition. We had an interview with former women CS:GO championship 1212 before we made our decisions. She used to train and compete together with four other male athletes in a top-class team in China. Nonetheless, she chose to participate international competition with four women athletes in the end and won two women CS:GO championship. In her point of view, it is a pretty hard thing to train and live together with male athletes and compared with numerous male athletes and teams, those limited women athletes and teams are strenuous. A world-class stage for women athletes will stimulate some of top-class clubs be aware of women e-sports and provide a favorable training environment for women athletes in order to help them participating into competitions. This is an effective action for improving athletics level for women e-sports athletes and providing a platform for women athletes to demonstrate their athletics strength. WESG has not done a lot by far, however, there is no doubt that we except that we can accompany with the growth of women electronic sports.