There are many ways to go about legitimizing a sport. Cleaning up your broadcast, treating players well and ensuring they have good post-pro-career options, maybe referring to players by real names instead of handles like “Balls,” etc. I would say, then, that the Finnish Assembly eSports Tournament was on The Wrong Track. They decided to prohibit women from competing against men in games like Hearthstone and Street Fighter, and women pros only had two options (StarCraft 2 and Tekken Tag 2) instead of men’s four (Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, Ultra Street Fighter IV). They did it in the name of making the sport “legitimate.”
All this in a sport where traditional physical prowess – the kind that’s necessitated men and women’s divisions in other sports – doesn’t factor. However, after a day of fielding confused and incensed responses from fans, pros, media, and Blizzard itself, the larger league that Finnish Assembly is a part of, IeSF, decided to rethink its policy.
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