Women in gaming: are female gamers catching up to men in the gaming and esports industry?

Gaming companies like Riot Games are pushing for more women in the gaming and esports industries. (Photo from Riot Games)

Making up 46% of all video game players, women are a large part of the world’s gamers, according to Newzoo.

Despite that, the top esports titles like League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Call of Duty often have little to no female representation among their players. However, gaming companies are hoping to make the industry more inclusive by starting programs and tournaments focused on promoting esports players who are women.

For example, Riot Games has launched two “Game Changers” programs for its two top esports titles, League of Legends and Valorant, over the last few years. They provide a safe platform for women to grow in experience and training, as well as showcase their skills to a wide esports audience.

Additionally, esports organisations like Cloud9 are creating all-women teams that have competed at high-levels. While there has been little integration between the genders inside esports teams, the involvement of women in esports competitions is a great way to promote the visibility of these gamers and to improve their skills through competing with other top-tier players.

In terms of the general gaming industry, fostering an inclusive and welcoming working environment should be a top priority for any company.

Key partnerships between gaming companies and female-focused brands like Fenty Beauty, which has an exciting new deal with Riot Games, and MAC, which launched a line of lipstick in collaboration with Arena of Valor which sold out within 24 hours of launching, have been great ways to recognise women in gaming. The deals demonstrate that brands are increasingly becoming more aware of the large proportion of female gamers.

Over the years, the industry has seen a more equal distribution of gender in its players. In 2006, only 38% of gamers were women, according to Ipsos. Now, women make up just under half of all players.

As esports and gaming companies and organisations recognise the importance of women in gaming, more female gamers will be interested in watching and participating in the scene.

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