OWL Opens More Doors For Women And Minorities
Posted 7th October 2018 By: Derpina    129 Views
Esports News – Women continue to represent the minority in esports even though the professional gaming scene doesn’t actually form a reason to segregate male and female. But the Overwatch League (OWL) is determined to break through the unspoken glass ceiling and increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in 2019. This will affect both the gaming company and the esports league itself.
Biases against women
From an interview with Nate Nanzer, the Commissioner of the League, he carefully tackled the toxicity that occurred in the inaugural season which led to discussing the presence of women in the league. Throughout the tournament, there was only one woman that participated—Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon of the Shanghai Dragons. She was known for her skills on tank heroes such as Zarya, Orisa, and D.va.
Geguri faced numerous sexist controversies in the past when she made her debut in the international scene. When she was 16, some professional Overwatch players accused her of cheating because she wasn’t supposed to be highly skilled due to her gender. She proved them wrong afterward by filming herself using the mouse while Playing Overwatch—her claim was immediately backed up by Blizzard Entertainment.
Gaming towards diversity
Following Geguri’s footsteps is another female but not a player. The OWL announced its first female coach, Molly Kim “AVALLA” Kyoung Ey, who will be leading the brand new team in Washington, D.C. With Avalla’s inclusion and Geguri’s participation, the OWL’s core team currently has an estimated 40 percent female population. It is considered by Nanzer as “above average”.
Little by little, the OWL is moving the professional gaming scene towards diversity. The company and the league are planning to open more doors to include more players in its second season, but it’s not just limited to women as they will also give opportunities to underrepresented minorities. Here’s Nanzer’s complete statement regarding the matter: “This is a super-complex problem that I don’t think Overwatch League is going to solve on its own, but it’s something we can take leadership on. So we’ve been thinking what we can do to create more opportunities, more touch-points, more engagement with not just women but also underrepresented minorities in esports…We have a Women’s Council that’s meeting, we have a bunch of other diversity and inclusion measures that we’re doing as a company as part of a larger effort to increase the percentage of women at the company and increase the experience for everybody and make it better, and in places where they’re playing online.”