A New Arena for the Battle of the Sexes

You know the names Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant, but how familiar are you with Elena Delle Donne, Maya Moore, and Nneka Ogwumike? Perhaps those names don’t ring a bell even though those are three of the hottest stars right now in the WBNA, the women’s equivalent of the NBA. Thus the age-old debate continues…How do we close the gender gap in professional sports?

Recently, experts weighed in on Serena Williams, the most dominant athlete in women’s tennis, and where she would rank in the men’s rankings. Tennis critics believed she wouldn’t be able to beat any man in the top 200-500. Even Serena herself said there is too much of a skill differential for her to beat the top men. Still, many argue that when it comes to gender, the level of competition between men and women is comparable and therefore women’s sports should be seen as equal to men’s.

When it comes to sports, how can we create an equal playing field? The answer might be E-Sports. E-gaming is not predicated on size or strength. There is only thing that matters – hand-eye coordination and skill.  While E-gaming isn’t perfect by any means ( harassment and sexism continue to become an increasing area of concern), winning doesn’t discriminate when it comes to e-sports matches, games, and competitions.

E-gaming is not predicated on size or strength, but rather the only thing that matters – hand-eye coordination and skill.

In E-sports, there aren’t just “games for girls,” or handicaps to make it easier on female gamers. Women can compete directly with men on an even playing field, and as a result, e-gaming is skyrocketing in popularity.  A recent study by the Entertainment Software Association revealed that women now make up 48% of the total gaming community.

As a result, female gamers have become a massive force in E-Sports. Several women generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in streaming revenue annually and have millions of loyal fans that follow their every move.

British female gamer Lia Wolf, known in the gaming community as SSSniperWolf, hosts a Youtube channel with over 11 million followers highlighting her gameplay and an Instagram account with over 3.5 million followers.

Lia Wolf

Another fan favorite is Canadian born Azzyland, who live streams her gameplay videos to her 4.75 million fans.  Due to a loyal following in the streaming game community, Azzyland generates over $1.5 million in streaming ad revenue for herself annually.

As the world continues to try and figure out how to close the gender gap, perhaps they should turn to E-sports as a model. The gaming community celebrates champions, regardless of which gender box you check.

Who are your favorite female e-gamers?

Bradley Joyce

Bradley is the founder of LAUNCH DFW and an avid proponent/supporter of the DFW Startup Community. Bradley is also the founder of Skyrise, a community, communications and concierge platform for commercial office buildings.