Although esports is well known as a male-dominated industry, the United Kingdom recently made several moves to improve its national scene for women.
This week we saw a Welsh esports club actively recruit women to its all-female gaming team. Plus, a university in the UK has graduated the nation’s first woman esports scholar.
In an industry where none of the 100 finalists for the recent Fortnite World Cup were women, esports clubs like Cardiff Saints seek balance. This Welsh esports organization has started a schedule of women-only gaming nights that will aim to encourage more female gamers through its doors.
The gaming nights for women aim to become a fixture in the Welsh esports scene. In addition, other forward-thinking organizations, such as the Belong Cardiff gaming arena, have aimed to create low-key and welcoming mini-tournaments to encourage more female gamers to join the fray.
Julia Cwierz and esports
According to a report from the UKIE video gaming trade organization, women make up 42 percent of the country’s total gaming population.
While it’s a respectable figure, the UK needs more women in its professional gaming sphere. At the moment, there are no women pro gamers in the world’s top League of Legends teams. That stat applies across many of the other big esports.
But the tide appears to be slowly turning, and UK women like Julia Cwierz are leading the charge. Cwierz was the first person in the nation to receive an esports scholarship. She says she’s keen to use her gaming experience to help other women find a future in esports.
The University of Roehampton granted the scholarship in light of Cwierz’s skill as a jungler on League of Legends. She quickly became the university’s LoL team captain. Although she used the scholarship to pursue her legal career, Cweirz has made appearances at gaming industry events such as London’s VidCon.
There, she brought attention to how gamers can profit from esports. Cweirz has stated she wishes to create an all-female gaming team.
But it’s not just in the UK where all-female esports teams are hoping to broaden diversity.
More women into the pro gaming circuit?
From the Dignitas CS:GO Fe team who stormed the Intel World Championship in March to Gen.G’s all-female Fortnite squad, it looks like there are real moves to try and integrate more women into the pro gaming circuit.
Such efforts directly contrast the negative and toxic reputation that esports has earned over the past decade. Ever since the Gamergate scandal of 2014, competitive gaming has had to fight hard against misogyny and sexism.
Now, the Cardiff Saints and gamers like Julia Cwierz are leading the fight-back. Want to know more about esports betting in the UK? Check out our free guide now.