E-sports games featuring themes such as combat, shooters and military tactics generally present a tough, macho image. Consequently, audiences and tournaments are dominated by men. Even in CSGO, female participation is notoriously low. However, there are encouraging signs that more women than ever are discovering the entertainment potential of CSGO.
How many Women Enjoy E-Sports?
E-sports appear to be more popular amongst women in Asian countries. According to Statista, South Korea has the highest female audience of 34%. In China, 30% of women are fans of e-sports. By comparison, female viewers in the United Kingdom and the US reach 26% and 17% respectively. Although games such as CSGO have grown in popularity amongst women in recent years by as much as 6.5%, a new strategy was needed to increase female participation even more.
Introducing Special Agent Ava
CGSO developers, Valve, realised their cast of characters were exclusively male. To redress the balance a little, one of their latest protagonists is Special Agent Ava. Introduced in November 2019, Ava has proved to be a determined lady. She often takes advantage of her opponents’ scorn for her abilities to gain the upper hand. Players can meet Ava in Operation Shattered Web. Perhaps Ava has helped improve female participation in CSGO, but there is an even greater obstacle to overcome.
Is CSGO for Men only?
A common complaint amongst women who do watch or play CSGO is the misogynistic attitude of the men. E-sports in general are typically viewed as a male bastion and often results in women feeling intimidated. Out of necessity, many online women players prefer to conceal their identities behind neutral or male usernames. However, for the handful of amateur and professional women players of CSGO, appearing in land-based tournaments has the added pressure and anxiety of being the target of male disapproval.
CSGO Women’s League
In March 2022, ESL Gaming took the decisive step of creating a CSGO league exclusively for women players. Teams in America and Europe can compete for prize money worth £150,000, but it’s the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the league that’s important. Women can relax and enjoy enhancing their play with tactics such as choosing the 30 best weapon skins in CSGO rated by 1337pro.com. Dreamhack Global League Finals are already scheduled for June and November 2022.
It’s possible that the statistics for women participants of CSGO are vastly underestimated. The inherently hostile environment of such a male-oriented e-sport has compelled many females to conceal their identities while playing. Characters such as Special Agent Ava may in time help to change male attitudes, but for the immmediate future, the new ladies CSGO league is the place to be. Women can finally look forward to a playing arena where their passion for CSGO can be indulged without intimidation or prejudice. It’s a positive step that should encourage more women to enjoy playing CSGO.