25 Feb DNA holds first all-female eSports tournament
Girl gamers throughout OCE (the Oceania region) came together to compete in the world’s most popular PC game, League of Legends.
Digital Natives Academy (DNA) hosted the all-female “friendly competition” over the weekend. 20 female gamers entered making up four teams. This the first competition of its kind to take place in Aotearoa and from the feedback it was well worth it.
The event, run by DNA’s gaming division, Nativez eSports will become a weekly gathering, open to all girl gamers (trans, non-binary welcome).
Karaz Mikaere, DNA’s eSports coordinator, says, “when we started we only had a handful of women gaming and what we found is that as a rule they tended to not take on in-game leadership roles, deferring these positions to their male counterparts, by having all-female teams, we’ve found that they strengthen these leadership skills which allows them to excel.”
He goes on to explain “at a more basic level we want to give wahine (women) a space of their own to do with what they want, normalising gaming for this community becomes critical to encouraging new talent and creating an ecosystem that nurtures those ranking up”.
Competitor Sarah Watts, a teacher and gamer pointed out in an online discussion that,
To make something normal, first you have to give it a platform. You have to encourage it and make it comfortable for people to join en masse. That's what this is... It's about recognising that women haven't been encouraged to do this really enjoyable thing, and that it would be awesome to give them a formal platform to normalise it for themselves and other women. Not to mention to be able to enjoy a gaming space where they can openly be female without repercussion, because most women choose gender neutral IGNs on purpose and avoid divulging their gender because they don't want to deal with the backlash of that. They don't use Discord with strangers or they stay muted, because if they do they might be thirsted on or assumed to be bad, or not listened to when they shotcall.
While all-girl competitions are considered controversial amongst some communities of gamers – these steps are inline with other non-physical sports that have experienced a lack of professional sportswomen. Most recently in motorsports the W Series has been announced, this female-only race seeks to give women an clearer pathway to Formula One.
DNA co-founder, Nikolasa Biasiny-Tule says “there is no doubt that when it comes to eSports, girls and boys, men and women, can compete equally with each other, but this can only happen if wahine are given access to spaces that allow them to thrive. The thing is, female gamers tend to plateau at Challenger and not move into professional leagues, we want to focus on how we can build an ecosystem which allows those who have the talent to compete at a professional level.”
The matches were all livestreamed and shoutcast.
- To watch the recorded stream, click here