All-Female Pro League of Legends Teams? Just a Matter of Time, Says Riot

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All-Female Pro League of Legends Teams? Just a Matter of Time, Says Riot

media day dustin beck

Riot claims there is "no reason" in particular female pro LoL teams haven't taken off, and predicts they will do so in the future.

In a press conference ahead of the League of Legends World Championship Grand Final, Riot Games eSports manager Dustin Beck answered some questions from the press regarding the future of the game. Somewhat unsurprisingly, considering all of that controversy surrounding women in video games as of late, along with the fact that every single player in the League of Legends World Championships was male, the question of female pros was brought up a couple of times.

The good news is that Riot absolutely sees a future for women in the game's professional circuit, and says that its just a matter of time before it happens. "We think it's inevitable women teams will become part of the LCS in the future," Beck said, adding "we think it's just a matter of time before there are either all female teams or very successful female pros in the League of Legends teams."

He noted that there are plenty of female streamers that are incredibly popular, and that Korea's OGN recently announced that it would be launching a "girls-only" LoL tournament.

Beck, along with his co-Rioters, did not offer any insight as to why female pro players aren't already a thing, and why it's taking them so long to find their place in the spotlight. They said there was "no reason" it hasn't happened yet, and expect it to happen soon.

In the same conference, Beck stated that Riot wanted to do a better job of supporting all of its current pro players. He admitted that retirements were inevitable, and came at a much younger age than many other professional sports, so Riot wants to provide viable paths for these players, in the form of coaches, casters, and analysis.

Lastly, Beck ended with a rather bold prediction - a belief that in our lifetimes, some form of eSports will become a part of the Olympic games.

Travel accommodations to South Korea for the World Championship Grand Final were paid for by Riot Games.

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... Good?

TBH, I had assumed teams like this already existed in some form. Or is this talking about the big league matches?

They did try to make a pro team once, Team Siren. Although they hadn't quite proven themselves ready for the pro leagues http://www.gameskinny.com/hzi5j/league-of-legends-team-siren-disbands-valuable-lessons-learned

I find it very likely that there will be a female pro eventually, but I don't see much point to an all girl team.

Not that one would necessarily be a bad thing, but after Siren...

I still don't understand why e-sports titles have 'female only' leagues.

I mean, in certain sports, it makes sense because of the inherent physical difference between the average male vs the average female.

But no such advantage is present when it comes to competitive gaming.

If there are good enough female players/teams, they will rise through the ranks and earn their way.

Why women only? Why not just have the men and the women on the same team?

Mahorfeus:
I find it very likely that there will be a female pro eventually, but I don't see much point to an all girl team.

Not that one would necessarily be a bad thing, but after Siren...

There is actually that consideration. We might just see female pros be part of teams that are already known or up and coming. All-girl teams sound fine, but it's not exactly a secret that League in general is pretty male-centric. No one should be offended that there might be a shortage of whole-gender teams that aren't dudes.

Either way, they're right to some extent. There's really "no reason" outside of how much the playerbase might be pushing it back. The best doRito could do is allow for all pros to have an equal shot at participation regardless of background. They can't just conjure up girls out of thin air, lol.

There's a worthy discussion to have over how to make the topic less averse to the less-than-friendly playerbase but it's probably hard to control multi-regional competitive gaming audiences that number several tens of millions.

Also, Team Siren shouldn't have happened. I'm just cringing thinking about it. A team whose gimmick had nothing to do with their gaming ability trying to be competitive is just mindboggling, but I imagine part of that is idiot sponsors. The response to that was pretty vile, though, even if completely expected. It was only worth rolling your eyes at, but people made it a big deal, just as about everything seems to be the second sex and gender is mentioned online.

Bat Vader:
Why women only? Why not just have the men and the women on the same team?

I actually doubt they meant that statement to come off as it did. When people think of competitive teams, I think the single-sex team set-up is just so predominant that no one thinks about it otherwise.

(Also for good reason, though. I'm going to go out on a limb at say that it's going to be a while before any currently pro teams would ever accept female players. I'd like to see it, but that's wishful thinking)

While I agree that girl/women only teams (and worse, girl only tournaments) is not really the answer there is a number of issues with having a woman in a majority male team, such as...

Training houses, a woman would be a distraction at the least and could cause a huge issue or rifts in the team, and even on a small scale force a change in the environment that may lead to enmity between the team members (take down the pin ups :p, watch the language, certain TV channels being taboo I would imagine).

Relationships may bloom between members, causing jealousy and resentment from the other members not in the relationship.

Accusations of abusing her gender ("flashing her tits") if she should get larger viewer numbers on the streams.

It is a pity, I personally prefer gamers to be about games and be able to just class all those who game as simply gamers rather than male female, black white, straight gay... simply gamers.

I imagine a women's only competition would be a little more comfortable for women just starting in e-sports simply because it is ridiculously male oriented. That said, gaming tournaments in my mind should be strictly skill based and have no reflection on gender, but my mind doesn't account for people who divide their culture based on genitals.

Well there was the infamous Team Siren which failed infamously, although a big part of that was because the marketing sponsors just went full retard. Their skill wasn't exactly up to par either, since a lower ranking pro team beat them with a troll "all support" team comp.

As for the question, I don't think it really matters. It all depends on personal skill, it's not about inclusiveness. If you can't beat the other pros, you're not in the pro circuit, end of story.

Ferisar:
(Also for good reason, though. I'm going to go out on a limb at say that it's going to be a while before any currently pro teams would ever accept female players. I'd like to see it, but that's wishful thinking)

ASnogarD:
While I agree that girl/women only teams (and worse, girl only tournaments) is not really the answer there is a number of issues with having a woman in a majority male team, such as...

Training houses, a woman would be a distraction at the least and could cause a huge issue or rifts in the team, and even on a small scale force a change in the environment that may lead to enmity between the team members (take down the pin ups :p, watch the language, certain TV channels being taboo I would imagine).

Relationships may bloom between members, causing jealousy and resentment from the other members not in the relationship.

Accusations of abusing her gender ("flashing her tits") if she should get larger viewer numbers on the streams.

It is a pity, I personally prefer gamers to be about games and be able to just class all those who game as simply gamers rather than male female, black white, straight gay... simply gamers.

Maybe I'm just optimistic, but I really doubt this would be an issue on most teams (gonna assume most pro players aren't like Svenskeren, who got a three-game ban in the Worlds pools because of toxic behavior), and thinking that a woman would cause issues such as "take down the pin ups :p, watch the language, certain TV channels being taboo I would imagine" just because she's a woman or that "a woman would be a distraction" is pretty damn close-minded.

Wasn't there a while ago this one "all-female" team fiasco in LoL?

Also, I've always been a bit intrigued by this whole pseudo-feminist thing. So the way in which you accomplish male/female equality is gender segregation? I mean, what's the point of an all-female team? Shouldn't the "big change" be like... you know, a mixed team?

I get the "dem women don't play videdeahgaems" thing, but I've just never understood the fascination for the "they're girl-gamers" thing, it's girls, playing games, is it important that they're female? Does it actually change anything? Or is it just me talking from the silly standpoint of someone that never went "OMG IZ A GURL" while playing a videogame?

And Man:

Maybe I'm just optimistic, but I really doubt this would be an issue on most teams (gonna assume most pro players aren't like Svenskeren, who got a three-game ban in the Worlds pools because of toxic behavior), and thinking that a woman would cause issues such as "take down the pin ups :p, watch the language, certain TV channels being taboo I would imagine" just because she's a woman or that "a woman would be a distraction" is pretty damn close-minded.

I really wish I could give the pros as much credit as you are doing, but I can't. No, they aren't 12 year old boys who just discovered their genitalia and want to let everyone know about their raging testosterone, but the community they partake in will shape the behavior. Could it happen? Yeah, it's just not likely. It would be damn mature of a team to accept a female player into their ranks without losing their shit about her being a "grill". Even if they don't, their viewers will. It's just so much effort to work with, I doubt anyone wants to do it.

We'll see. Like I said previously, we first need female professional players to be prominent, then we can draw expectations. The "hypothetical female AD Carry of TSM" is still a bit far off.

EDIT:
Also, what Svenskeren did was incredibly fucking stupid. Just wanted to throw that out there. For no reason at all.

Ferisar:
snip

Now that you mention it, I could see viewers being really immature about it. Hadn't really considered that.

ron1n:
I still don't understand why e-sports titles have 'female only' leagues.

I mean, in certain sports, it makes sense because of the inherent physical difference between the average male vs the average female.

But no such advantage is present when it comes to competitive gaming.

If there are good enough female players/teams, they will rise through the ranks and earn their way.

Bingo...

In phsyical sports.. there are inherent physical advantages that come with sex. Men have higher muscle strength and endurance. Women, have bener balance and flexibility.. On average.

In esports. Well.. no real difference. This is one of those 'pandering stories' gender issue is the strawman of the hour so everyone's falling over themselves to say they're progressive...even when saying so means nothing. What has been the barrier for an all female Pro team?

Rules? Nope

The only thing is getting a group of ladies who share an interest in being on a pro team that can stand each other well enough to work together and have the skill to be a pro team.

And Man:

Maybe I'm just optimistic, but I really doubt this would be an issue on most teams (gonna assume most pro players aren't like Svenskeren, who got a three-game ban in the Worlds pools because of toxic behavior), and thinking that a woman would cause issues such as "take down the pin ups :p, watch the language, certain TV channels being taboo I would imagine" just because she's a woman or that "a woman would be a distraction" is pretty damn close-minded.

You are being very optimistic if you think introducing a girl/woman into a currently all male team training house environment wont necessitate a number of changes to the environment that the players would have to adjust to.
Pro scene gamers are not exempt from the typical MOBA genre behaviour, just more closely monitored and need to consider the consequences far more than your typical player.

I would love it if a girl/woman gamer could just join a team based on her skills, and the rest of the team would be like " Welcome to the team, nice mouse pad you use, what mouse you running with ?".
It would be more like some shy hello's and a group pack sans one girl/woman gamer commenting about the newest member with comments like "nice ass, I would do her...etc etc"

honestly this is a bad move, having an all girl group is basically saying that they need a league that excludes men for it to be fair. I dont want the whole softball and baseball distinction when there shouldn't be, women are in an equal playing field as men when it comes to videogames, this shit is just setting women back. Hell its so obvious and dumb that as a gay male with little interest in the feminist movement; i find this to be kinda fucking stupid.

ASnogarD:
You are being very optimistic if you think introducing a girl/woman into a currently all male team training house environment wont necessitate a number of changes to the environment that the players would have to adjust to.
Pro scene gamers are not exempt from the typical MOBA genre behaviour, just more closely monitored and need to consider the consequences far more than your typical player.

I would love it if a girl/woman gamer could just join a team based on her skills, and the rest of the team would be like " Welcome to the team, nice mouse pad you use, what mouse you running with ?".
It would be more like some shy hello's and a group pack sans one girl/woman gamer commenting about the newest member with comments like "nice ass, I would do her...etc etc"

I don't doubt that it would necessitate changes, but assuming that a woman would care about course language or certain television channels (as if the male team members are going to openly be watching porn in the living room or something) just because she's a woman is close-minded. I also find the assumption that the male members will instantly make comments such as "nice ass, I would do her" to be pretty close-minded too, but I don't know what individual pro players are like. I wouldn't doubt that some would think that, but I don't believe that they'd openly discuss it or make any comments as lewd as that amongst each other. At most I'd expect open comments to be that she's cute or she's hot, or something similar.

Another day of no news being news. There is/was not ever anything preventing that. I just love how you guys love to find excuses to bring up the "controversy about women in videogames" so superfluously that it boggles the mind.

No shit there could easily one day be an all female pro-LoL team.

There aren't any female pro gamers in Worlds because there are no female players in League that play to such a high level that have been recognized and recruited by a team.

That's not me being sexist. The whole point of teams that compete in Worlds are to find people who excel in their roles to form a cohesive team and go against the best of the best. It isn't because they're girls - it's simply because there just aren't any right now that play to the level of the guys that are at Worlds. There's really no point in trying to "force" women into the pro scene through some kind of loophole. In all honesty, that sounds even worse than just leaving it as a male-dominated event.

ron1n:
I still don't understand why e-sports titles have 'female only' leagues.

I mean, in certain sports, it makes sense because of the inherent physical difference between the average male vs the average female.

But no such advantage is present when it comes to competitive gaming.

If there are good enough female players/teams, they will rise through the ranks and earn their way.

For the same reason there are women's chess tournaments, as ridiculous as it is there too. The argument is that there aren't enough women playing, so if they create a women's only league then they'll encourage more women to play. This is also why women-only events are perfectly great, but men-only events are evil and sexist.

Where it gets funny is that in doing so they actually make it harder for women to play at a level that's competitive with the men (because men have to be able to take all comers, but women only have to be able to take on other women). You see this in chess, where the highest ranking female chess player is dramatically better than the next one down, and she's so damn good because she doesn't play in the women's tournaments, she plays in the general ones (and thus is competing against the same talent pool as male players).

Well yeah... monkeys and typewriters...

It just an 'eventuality' because the Community still needs to detoxify first before women can speak to other women without fear of being harassed.

Though it goes beyond women; it's a fair assumption to make that if you are a just a multi-cellural organism other players will find some reason and method to harass you with.

Well it's not going to be a thing as long as over 90% of their customer base/players are male (according to numbers from the NYT article on them last week). You have to have a much greater number of women playing before there are a noticeable number that get good enough to be challengers at these competitions. It's not about whether they can promote girls' tournaments as much as they can convince more women to play LoL - the rest will likely happen on its own.

Soo... I guess Riot's already forgotten about team siren? I mean, I don't blame him, and I don't think they're around anymore, but there still was a all girl "pro" team in the annals of history.

Well obviously the team would fall into a TeenNick-esque type of feud with each other. But then eventually they'll all come together at the right time and hit a grand slam dunk to win the super bowl.

EyeReaper:
Soo... I guess Riot's already forgotten about team siren? I mean, I don't blame him, and I don't think they're around anymore, but there still was a all girl "pro" team in the annals of history.

Everyone wants to forget about Team Siren, since they made way more harm than good for the women of the pro scene. Nobody wants to remember the only all girl pro team that trash talked and couldn't compete even with challenger teams. For god's sake even Wildturtle's and HotShotGG's joke team beat them.

ron1n:
I still don't understand why e-sports titles have 'female only' leagues.

I mean, in certain sports, it makes sense because of the inherent physical difference between the average male vs the average female.

But no such advantage is present when it comes to competitive gaming.

If there are good enough female players/teams, they will rise through the ranks and earn their way.

Bat Vader:
Why women only? Why not just have the men and the women on the same team?

The point is not to overcome any inherent disadvantage that may exist (because there obviously isn't one) but to overcome the current male dominated scene through encouragement of participation. Because this style of thing is largely a male thing (70% I think were the latest numbers for lol?) and traditionally hardcore gaming is a male past time the institutions of e-sports have inherited a male heavy pro base. This makes it hard for women to enter, even if we assume there is absolutely no sexism going on.

It is a self perpetuating problem - There are only men so women think it is a boys only club and that women are not welcome so very few women join so there are only men so women think...

This set of circumstance can also lead to sexism and exclusion. [ENGAGING HYPOTHETICAL SEXIST ATTITUDE!] After all, something like 30% of lol players are female. Why aren't 30% of pros female? obviously it is because girls are bad at lol.[DISENGAGING HYPOTHETICAL SEXIST ATTITUDE!]

The womens league is meant to combat this problem by creating an area where it is clear women are welcome. This strategy has been successful in the past (chess did this, for example.)

I fully support the idea myself. It is a proven effective strategy in dealing with a potential sexism problem that has no negative impact on the sport or male players.

And Man:

Ferisar:
snip

Now that you mention it, I could see viewers being really immature about it. Hadn't really considered that.

The other thing is that the typical pro loler is like, what, 20 years old or younger? People are really stupid and immature when they are 20. I know I was. It is certainly a problem to lookout for. They may not be 12, but 20 isn't much better when it comes to avoiding drama.

EyeReaper:
Soo... I guess Riot's already forgotten about team siren? I mean, I don't blame him, and I don't think they're around anymore, but there still was a all girl "pro" team in the annals of history.

Team Siren was a joke. And no, not because they were women. Because they were upper gold trying to pretend they were challenger. It was embarrassing.

This won't happen without a sponsor pushing for it, otherwise why reduce your recruitment pool?

The reason there isn't already a female pro team is because there aren't that many challenger level females. So that limits the pool of candidates, now you have to find 5 females who get along and have team chemistry which shrinks the pool even lower. Of course these women also have to be willing to play league for hours everyday and make the investment to move into team home. It's hard becoming a pro team so the lack of females teams make sense.

Probably, anything that can happen, will happen if given enough time.

I'm confused about Korea's girls only tournament, is this kind of pro-segregation stance being viewed as positive or negative right now? I can never keep up with the current fad.

Risingblade:
The reason there isn't already a female pro team is because there aren't that many challenger level females. So that limits the pool of candidates, now you have to find 5 females who get along and have team chemistry which shrinks the pool even lower. Of course these women also have to be willing to play league for hours everyday and make the investment to move into team home. It's hard becoming a pro team so the lack of females teams make sense.

Still though you have to admit its kind of refreshing that Riot is taking the stance of. "We just assume it will happen eventually since there is literally no reason for it not too." Artificially pushing things can hurt it sometimes but if this were say Ubisoft or EA they would come up with something along the lines of "We never considered it because our demographic and the main demographic for this particular has shown to be males...." With something further stupid added onto that that I can't think of because I actually have a soul and a brain.

ron1n:
I still don't understand why e-sports titles have 'female only' leagues.

I mean, in certain sports, it makes sense because of the inherent physical difference between the average male vs the average female.

But no such advantage is present when it comes to competitive gaming.

If there are good enough female players/teams, they will rise through the ranks and earn their way.

This - It's all reflexes and brains. Why do we need an all girl team? It just seems "Hey! Look! We have teams of women!"
Add some girls that CAN play professionally to existing teams.

I like how those "progressive" people are being sexist themselves.
Oh, girls could never compete with boys, so let's make girl-only tournament.

Ukomba:
Probably, anything that can happen, will happen if given enough time.

I'm confused about Korea's girls only tournament, is this kind of pro-segregation stance being viewed as positive or negative right now? I can never keep up with the current fad.

I'm pretty sure for last few decades creating such events are viewed in positive light by general public.

blackrave:
I like how those "progressive" people are being sexist themselves.
Oh, girls could never compete with boys, so let's make girl-only tournament.

Ukomba:
Probably, anything that can happen, will happen if given enough time.

I'm confused about Korea's girls only tournament, is this kind of pro-segregation stance being viewed as positive or negative right now? I can never keep up with the current fad.

I'm pretty sure for last few decades creating such events are viewed in positive light by general public.

Wasn't there hearthstone tournament, or something, that was gender segregated that was ripped on recently?

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