What Heroes of the Dorm Means For Blizzard And Esports

Blizzard’s upcoming Heroes of the Storm [official site] is, in my humble opinion, a belter of a game. Such praise is small beer to the Californian mega-developer, however, which with HotS and the upcoming Overwatch intends to reclaim a leading role in the eSports industry it helped to create. HotS is still in beta but the long road began this weekend with Heroes of the Dorm, a college-focused competition that culminated in a grand final broadcast live on ESPN – the latter being not only something of a coup, but also an eSports first. The event laid bare Blizzard’s intentions for HotS and, despite some community grumbling, what looks awfully like a new take on how best to present competitive gaming.

There’s lots to unpack with Heroes of the Dorm, and the nature of HotS as a competitive spectator sport. Starting with the most obvious, the tournament shows Blizzard adopting a traditional American model that works across basketball, baseball and American football – that is, scholarships. Put aside the fact that it’s somewhat unedifying to see young people compete for the privilege of leaving higher education without a crippling debt burden, and this is as American as the stars and stripes. Even if viewers don’t necessarily know what eSports is, the scholarship angle gives it a much-needed veneer of familiarity.

The university concept provides other hooks, not the least of which is attracting other students to cheer their team – Berkeley vs Arizona is an instantly-graspable sales pitch. The teams even paralleled this by choosing American sports-style names like Berkeley’s Golden Bears.

If outlining such stuff seems like stating the obvious, consider how something like Dota 2’s The International was promoted largely through the Compendium. This in-game sticker book helped raise both the prize pool and awareness for the tournament, but is unarguably aimed directly at the hardcore – those people who already play and love the game. The audiences for Dota 2 and LoL are gigantic, but also circumscribed by this – the audience will never grow bigger than the game itself. Riot in fact runs its own collegiate championship, the NACC, but haven’t managed to get a broadcast partner like ESPN because no-one outside of LoL players gives a fuck about LoL.

Blizzard clearly aims for HotS to be a first step in making eSports crossover to a more general gaming audience, people who won’t necessarily play the game intensely but can still enjoy watching a match or two. We’ll come to the design specifics that show this shortly, but it’s also important to acknowledge that HotS is part of a process rather than a sole focus: it’s surely a Trojan horse for what will be a similar-but-refined approach with Overwatch, a title that potentially has enormous appeal thanks to genre and style.

This thinking is why Heroes of the Dorm ended up on ESPN, which from a community perspective was a bizarre decision – anyone outside the US couldn’t watch (you can’t buy an ESPN sub in Europe), and even those within it required a cable subscription. It is not that Blizzard wants to alienate existing players but that it wants access to the ESPN audience, experience in a TV environment, and as an incidental bonus the fairydust of legitimacy that such a broadcast brings.

For their part ESPN had a win-win scenario. The final was shown on ESPN2, one of nine channels, allowing the others to focus on usual fare like basketball playoffs, it was a Sunday night so hardly primetime, Blizzard bought up a tonne of ad slots in advance, and as a bonus ESPN gets some positive social media buzz among a demographic it may not usually reach. Much play has been made of the fact that Heroes of the Dorm had a 0.1 rating, which does sound unimpressive, but this represents anywhere between 100,000 and 130,000 viewers – or to put it another way, almost half of Twitch’s traffic on the same evening. Not that this is about the direct comparison to Twitch: the whole point is to reach viewers that Twitch can’t.

Heroes of the Dorm also brought home that, while HotS’ short match length is a great thing for players, it is also a key part of an eSport’s appeal. I don’t enjoy watching Dota 2 or LoL because the matches take an hour – and such games couldn’t be broadcast on ESPN without ad breaks simply overriding chunks of them. HotS fits television better than most of its peers.

The short length of HotS games, which I’d say average out between 15-20 minutes, is not the only part of the game’s design that serves both players and the spectator experience. The visual style, as ever with Blizzard, is stylised towards being as readable as possible. You wouldn’t necessarily call HotS a beautiful game, because it’s aiming for scalability and clarity, but it is a nice-looking game where the immediate action is understandable.

HotS has many other advantages over the competition as a spectator sport. The range of maps provide much more variety, the heroes are more visually striking, and the audio effects are simply incomparable – when a hero dies in HotS, the accompanying SFX is like the very gong of heaven. More importantly, the mechanical design of HotS is so refined that the underlying game shines through: HotS isn’t really a Moba, because in comparison to the big two it moves away from stats-juggling, obtuse item systems and alienating terminology. You don’t need to study HotS to understand what’s going on.

The drive towards clarity goes even further. The last patch to drop for HotS included specific functionality designed for Heroes of the Dorm, such as new spectator options, and when being played competitively the GUI is replaced by more easily-readable spectator icons. The teams and their health bars are also colour-coded and visually simplified. The on-screen furniture during the ESPN broadcast was kept to a minimum, almost too much so, such that there’s no minimap on-screen, no experience bars, and one score bar tallying kills, forts, and team members alive. The full-screen minimap that did show up occasionally was one of the night’s few disasters, with the icons far too small to make any sense, though doubtless this will be ironed-out by the time of the next tournament.

All of this spectator-focused streamlining is because if you were watching a physical sport, a score bar’s all you really need and expect to see on-screen. Obviously with eSports things are a little more complex but one would hope that, as things progress, we start to see more sophistication brought to the design of spectator views – there’s no reason Sky Sports should be whizzing possession stats etc around during a football game, while a game full of numbers like HotS has nothing comparable.

The one thing that was missing, and it’s impossible to blame anyone for this, is the equivalent of a Madden figure. This is not because the casting and commentary team were bad, quite the opposite – Blizzard regulars Sean ‘Day[9]’ Plott, Nick ‘Tasteless’ Plott, and Dan ‘Artosis’ Stemkoski were joined by Manuel ‘Grubby’ Shenkhuizen and Tim ‘Trikslyr’ Frazier, with the latter providing the expert analysis. The problem is that because there’s no veteran figure – of course there isn’t, the game’s not even been released yet – there was a faint whiff of grasping about much of the commentary on big moments: “Just fantastically fantastic teamwork!”

Such minor quibbles shouldn’t overshadow the fact that, for a broadcast debut on a big network, Heroes of the Dorm was a professional and slick production. Everything came together, from the position of the commentators, with a sea of clapping sticks and the stage behind, to the colour-coding of the teams on-stage, to the brilliant panels behind each player that showed their character during the pre-match character drafts. There was also an enthusiasm and passion from the players that is often absent from more professional competition, and the spectacle was all the better for it.

Perhaps ‘spectacle’ is the key word. Heroes of the Dorm felt like an event being broadcast live, a happening, rather than a broadcast event. This distinction may seem overly cute but it’s why there was someone in the audience choreographing the clapping sticks (where do they even get those things?), frequent cutaways to other parts of the arena, and why when The Lost Vikings got picked the roof nearly came off the place and you felt the thrill at home.

The final came down to a BO5 between the previously-unbeaten Golden Bears of Berkeley, and Arizona’s Dream Team. The Golden Bears were the king of team fights throughout the tournament, often turning bad situations right around with some inspired battling, and boasted among their numbers pro-gamer Suppy. The first match showcased how effective their compositions could be, as they dominated throughout and put down the Dream Team for 1-0 and fears of a whitewash.

Arizona earned their bombastic sobriquet, however, by focusing on map objectives – such a critical part of applying pressure in HotS. A close-fought second match saw them dominate the Golden Bears with this strategy, and the next two games were split by the same tactics – Golden Bears invariably coming out on top in confrontations, with Arizona’s map control exerting more and more pressure. I can’t comment on how easy HotS is to follow for a non-player, because I play it, but these games were high level and tremendously exciting.

The deciding match came down to an error. The Dream Team, after pushing up to the Golden Bears base, retreated and tried to teleport back to base en masse – but the Golden Bears found them in the bushes and, with several members stranded, pounced mercilessly. They savaged Diablo in seconds and chased the remainder back to base, giving them a numbers advantage and the momentum to quickly push the core for the big GG. Berkeley celebrated a prize that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, while Arizona were left with faint dreams of a fairer society.

Not that some of us watching live were able to see this. One of the interesting decisions made by a combination of Blizzard, ESPN and Twitch was to allow people to watch streamers broadcasting ESPN2 – until the final match. I was one of around 10,000 worldwide watching on Twitch when, in the second match of the final game, all Twitch accounts streaming ESPN2 were suspended.

This was curious timing, particularly as I’d been watching for several hours beforehand. Twitch surely could have shut down the streams earlier, and Blizzard / ESPN must have known this kind of activity was inevitable. Yet they let us get a taste of it, and watch all the ads, before denying the final – and cutting every streamer off at the exact same time. I have no great insight into this behaviour, other than that it is odd – and while I’d normally agree with ‘well you shouldn’t have been pirating it!’ this is made more complex by the fact there was no legitimate way for non-Americans to watch or pay for the event.

Heroes of the Dorm, then, was something of a beta test for an eSport that’s still in beta itself. Even at this stage, however, Blizzard’s design principles stand tall: the game is easily-readable in action, exciting to watch, and has a rhythm to competitive matches that is utterly absorbing.

Whether it will find that wider audience beyond Twitch is debatable, but the way it is being marketed can only be good for eSports as whole – as it grows competitive gaming must look beyond the audience it already has. HotS is a mould-breaker because it ignores the encrusted design of modern Mobas and returns afresh to the genre’s roots. Heroes of the Dorm suggests it could well break free of many other assumptions about what eSports is – and where its future lies.


  1. OpT1mUs says:

    I tried to be objective, but after years of hon,lol and dota, HoTS is just waayy to plain, with very few meaningful decisions if any. It’s boring to play and I cannot even imagine how boring it is to watch.

    • Kompatriartes says:

      The only possible way for you to possess such a strong, binary opinion is if you either have little experience with HoTS or are on the internet.

      Oh wait…

      In all seriousness, I can understand a mild distaste or preferential distaste but an absolute distaste just exposes that your either a mindless partisan or have no experience with the game.

    • Nevard says:

      Can you see why that’s a strength for broadcasting though?
      Someone unfamiliar to football can pick up “they want to get the ball in the thing, chiefly using their feet” in seconds, but the intricacies of tangos, wards, runes, buying skills, getting buffs from the jungle, last hits, and the memorisation of an enormous catalogue of items makes other mobas completely impermeable to a casual viewer.
      Not to mention tedious and unintuitive. It takes a deep understanding of skill and meta game to appreciate someone having a high gold per minute whilst not allowing their lane to be pushed too far, when “all the minions are dead” is a far more visually obvious and exciting marker of who is winning.

      “Each character can do x, the map does y, kill z” is, comoarably, a more comfortable middle ground.

    • Moraven says:

      Its fun to watch since the games are quick, constant team battles and team objectives.

      Dota and LoL have so many dull moments where you could play a commercial and still not have missed anything. Maybe an uneventful kill from someone making a mistake in the lane farming stand off that is the first 10 minutes.

      I find all 3 games fun for their own strengths. Big part of HotS is the quick games and quick action. Not having to farm, lane long, worry about items, etc. I am worried about positioning, map awareness, and making the right decisions at the right time.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Yeah exactly, a best of 3 is a nice, 90 minute chunk of TV (when you include analysis etc). I watched a DOTA best of 3 the other day, all 3 games went to like 70 minutes plus. I like watching DOTA but damn, Cricket takes less time. People need to understand how that could be offputting for a more casual viewer.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Sure, when compared to LoL, Dota and such, it might be lacking in meaningful decisions…but then, you’re saying it doesn’t have as many meaningful decisions as games which are so packed full of them that every single one out of the ten players can scarcely go a minute without having to do ten different meaningful things…

      That really isn’t a problem. Nobody needs for a game to be so absolutely chock-full of choices — as long as the choices which are there are still tricky enough that even a pro can always potentially be playing better than they are, that is absolutely enough for a great game and a great spectator sport.

  2. gruia says:

    yay, another project they cascade money on that amounts to shit. hope its the last
    just die Blizzard, stop trying to enslave the human race

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      Um, every single game in their catalog is fucking brilliant. Ok a couple might’ve gotten off to a dodgy start (looking at you D3), but I love and play each of their games regularly.

      • XhomeB says:

        Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 “brilliant”? They bloody KILLED their respective universes, at least plot- and atmosphere-wise.

        • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

          Well I think D3 IS brilliant, now that we’re a few patches in and the RMAH is gone. And Starcraft 2 is basically just a clone of Startcraft 1 for the most part, so yes I do think it’s great. That being said SC is the game I probably play the least in their catalogue so maybe I’m not quite so attached to it.

          • johnnyan says:

            I’m happy for you, for me both games killed their franchise, all the faith I had for Blizzard is gone, a while ago I think…

      • jrodman says:

        They’re all well-made games. Brilliant would require some more daring, opinionation, innovation, or something, in my book. I find them all terribly pedestrian.

        • Nasarius says:

          Exactly. Blizzard makes the Hollywood blockbusters of games. High production values, highly popular, but not really doing anything new or interesting. It’s all very safe, no risks.

          • Banyan says:

            Given the state in which recent so-called “Triple-A games” have been released, I’ll take Blizzard’s competence and high production values, even if I agree that it’s not tremendously exciting.

  3. dylnuge says:

    The teams even paralleled this by choosing American sports-style names like Berkeley’s Golden Bears.

    Sure, because that’s the actual name of Berkeley’s sports teams. Sounds like Arizona made up their own name, though, instead of going with Wildcats.

  4. XhomeB says:

    I tried to watch this tournament, and… just couldn’t endure any more after an hour. HotS is simply not fun to watch at all, I was bored out of my skull.

  5. Moraven says:

    I don’t enjoy watching Dota 2 or LoL because the matches take an hour – and such games couldn’t be broadcast on ESPN without ad breaks simply overriding chunks of them. HotS fits television better than most of its peers.

    Great point.

    NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB. All have natural pauses in action which are extended for commercial breaks. Even at the college level. Advertising fuels the world, events and prize pools. Sponsorships and banners only get you so far. TV friendly is a big step.

    • Xocrates says:

      A football match consists of two 45 minute halves, generally more due to compensation time. Few LoL games go over 45 minutes unless they’re incredibly close matches.

      Unless you’re in the habit of having a break every 15-20 minutes (which I suspect the US does, but it’s certainly not a universal thing), I don’t find the length of the other games to be particularly problematic.

      • jrodman says:

        I kind of agree, but aren’t most LoL matchups best-of-threes? At least most knockout dota matches are. Group stages often aren’t but those tend to be a sea of unwatched games.

        • Xocrates says:

          Best of three, or best of five, yes. Which admittedly could be a problem.

      • lasikbear says:

        Both college and NBA basketball have “mandatory timeouts” to fit in extra commercials, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented to add them to LoL or Dota. LoL already has rules in place for regular timeouts.

        Not that this would necessarily be a good thing in terms of the viewer experience, but it would potentially help with their televisability.

        I think the bigger issue would be the unpredictable game lengths. All of the games in the TI4 grand finals were around 17 mins, while TI3 had a game last 98 minutes.

        • jrodman says:

          I think this is a strength for entertainment value, but it certainly hurts it for TV slot convenience.

      • Lamb Chop says:

        And football (soccer) has trouble gaining traction in primetime American TV because it’s not ideal for the way commercial TV is structured. So actually, you agree; it is almost perfectly analogous to that.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Honestly though isn’t that a TV network problem rather than a problem with the game?
          Traditional TB is showing itself to be more and more irrelevant and antiquated all the time, lots of it due to things such as dependence on predetermined viewing slots and a corporate “sponsors above everything else” approach.
          If they can’t handle 45 minute halfs because they MUST show adverts, that is their problem. Somebody will be willing and if the viewerbase is there, they will simply watch it elsewhere.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            And of course I meant traditional TV. Please RPS, edit function!

    • Doomstar says:

      Australian Rules football has a, IMO, neat system for handling TV ads. The game is played in 4 30 min quarters where they have ad breaks (and a halftime show where kids usually take to the field and play mini games at the stadium and people drone on about something on TV) but every time someone kicks a goal they have an ad-break with time for one or two ads that take like a minute (or maybe 30 seconds). At the stadium the players need to reset the field which is about 150 metres long and the umpire needs to bounce the ball in the centre square. The umpire and players reset and the umpire waits for a signal from the stadium that indicates when that ad break is over (always the same time so players know how long they have to get back in position) and when the light flashes the umpire bounces the ball.

      The players and umpires and crowd get a set amount of time between goals, advertisers get a set period to show ads and viewers get to come back from the ad at the bounce every time. It works superbly well.

      • Baines says:

        If esports ever really take off in the US in a period where commercial-driven TV is still being watched, I wonder if companies might start adding “commercial break” spots into their attempts to make the next big esport game.

  6. Horg says:

    I don’t think this flirtation with the cable audience will come to much. The target demographic for e-sports has been drifting away from traditional broadcast TV for decades already. Media analysts are speculating that cable TV in its current form doesn’t have much of a future left, on demand TV and streaming are gradually taking over. If Blizzard are hoping to carve out a new market share from the cable crowd, then I suspect they will be disappointed with the uptake. Not only is the cable demographic getting older, it is getting smaller too.

    I don’t know enough about American college culture to guess one way or the other if scholarship teems will get their college rallying behind the e-sports events. Maybe someone from the colonies can expand on that idea.

    As for EPSN being a pay-per-view channel system, I think that was another mistake. Although the DotA-derivative genre is well established, and the Blizzard name alone is enough to get the media listening, this is still a game which needs to grow a player base, and an e-sport which needs to develop an audience. Putting the competitive events behind a pay gate is going to bottleneck spectator uptake. Blizzard even have some experience of this approach back firing with Star Craft 2 events that tried to go pay-per-view. That approach was either abandoned quickly or limited to the high-res stream only.

    Finally, I think this concept needs to be questioned:

    ”The audiences for Dota 2 and LoL are gigantic, but also circumscribed by this – the audience will never grow bigger than the game itself.”

    I think this has already happened, just with one caveat; I think it’s fair to speculate that there are a lot of people who watch competitive DotA and LoL, who don’t actually play, but did play at some point. Ex players who spectate are a thing. This would fit the definition of what it means to grow beyond the game, I think. There seems to be a thought process that e-sports need to grow to include non-gamers in their viewership, but I think this is neither achievable nor desirable. Games with any degree of complexity are going to alienate people who have not at some point tried it for themselves, it’s just an unavoidable outcome of making your game more complex than ”mans-with-ball”. Developers need to keep their actual player base engaged with the game for it to develop as a success at all, and if they have to dumb down to the level where the average joe can spectate without any prior context, then they would likely kill the game before it could become successful in the first place. For the current breed of e-sports, chasing the non-gamer viewership is going to be an impossible dream, and I think they could better divest their time by steadily growing the player and viewer base they have.

    • jrodman says:

      I watch DOTA games, and I never played it.
      I tend to be a statistical anomaly in a lot of ways, but I see no reason others might not end becoming interested in watching first.

      • Horg says:

        When I said complex games will alienate people who have not tried them, I was referring in context to non-gamers.

        • jrodman says:

          My comment is as much in response to your excerpt as to your musings about it.

          • Horg says:

            Well in that case, yes there will always be exceptions, but the point is are there enough non-gamers who would consider following e-sports from a purely spectator perspective to make it a commercially viable broadcast through cable? I’d just be repeating myself to talk about this further, with cable declining, the primary demographic using other platforms, and the relative impenetrability of the current e-sports successes, I think the answer is no.

    • Moraven says:

      Most ISP in USA have a deal with ESPN to offer a lot of ESPN content online. I can watch quite a lot of sport content without a cable subscription. Which is surprising since ESPN charges like $8+ out of your cable bill for their channel suite (highest of any network).

      I think the goal was to reach the audience who do not watch anything online or on Twitch. But they should make sure they do not gate out the core audience, which they did without it being on Twitch at the same time as ESPN. Hopefully it was more experiment. If they continue to partner with ESPN, hopefully they realize they can not alienate the core audience.

  7. Philopoemen says:

    I can’t see this taking off yet, simply because audiences want favourite players. eSports fans will have their favourite players, but the general public isn’t going to get the nuances. All they see is Hero X running about, there’s no real connectivity with the player controlling Hero X

    They’re going to watch games and see Hero X played well, and then next game Hero X played not so well, but they’ll recognise Hero X both times, not the guys controlling it.

  8. Punning Pundit says:

    I’ve made my parents watch a few Esports over the years, and it’s always a bit amusing to see their reactions. They almost never understand what is going on, who is doing what, and if it’s good or bad. There is simply too much visual noise to pick through if you’re not a player.

    The one and only time my Dad really understood what he was seeing was in a match of League of Legends, and one team was going after the Dragon. Turns out that killing a Dragon is an understandable metaphor no matter what your gaming background is.

    HotS has a different sort of gameplay, I understand. Being more focused on objectives may make it a lot easier to figure out what is going on- summoning Diablo and killing dragons and activating pirate ships- these things are visually stimulating and intelligible in a way that deep wards and tower denies just aren’t.

    Something else to consider: I watch Esports on my +50 inch TV, not my 26 inch monitor. A whole lot of the SC2 and LoL UI is geared for people sitting up close. If HotS is going to fix that problem, they could find an audience that no one else has.

    Oh, and for the love of all that is holy, someone please tell Blizzard that red Zerg and Blue Terran on purple creep is impossible to see for us colorblind folk.

    • Predatoro01 says:

      Well there is a colorblind option in the game, so blizzard isn’t really at fault here. But i agree, the casters or event makers or whatever should pick reasonable colors for colorblind people even though i am not.

  9. Xerophyte says:

    So, it’s american college sports for affluent kids who can afford large video gaming computers, thereby removing the one element of the insane and fucked up american college athletics system that is at least theoretically admirable?

    • Wulfram says:

      There are plenty of more expensive sports one could take up

    • Moraven says:

      Not like the game requires a PC over $1000.

      Sports are a lot more expensive due to gear and practice facilities. I have a multi-purpose millions dollar training facility being built next door for college athletes (football, track & field).

      eSport athletes should still physically train, but do not need some big facility like a Football team does (with the many many players). Don’t need as big coaching staff.

      Even for cheaper equipment costs, there is a time and money cost to be getting to practice and games as a youth. That cost applies to all income brackets.

    • derbefrier says:

      College is such a rip off in America. I could go on and on but i will restrain myself.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Less brain damage, at least.

  10. Henson says:

    I see “HotS” all over this article and my brain keeps filling it in with “Heart of the Swarm”. Come on Blizzard, you’re not making this easy.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Sound like you need some Healing Over Time Spells.

  11. yabonn says:

    […] as American as the stars and stripes […]

    and base ball and American football ?

  12. Baines says:

    RPS has rather a different view of this than, say, sites like Destructoid.

    (Destructoid’s coverage was a short piece mentioning how poorly Heroes of the Dorm performed. Third least viewed program on the network Sunday, fewer viewers and Bassmaster Elite… As for the time slot, it had less than a third of the viewership that a rerun of a Bo Jackson documentary had in the same time slot the week before. Overnight rating was a 0.1.)

    • Baines says:

      Ah, the lack of an edit button. That should be “fewer viewers than Bassmaster Elite”, speaking of ESPN2 viewership of course.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Stanton doesn’t need much of an excuse to run a few hundred giddy words off about a Blizzard property.

    • Horg says:

      Forbes has been surprising me with some fairly knowledgeable gaming articles recently. Here’s one from some guy named Paul Tassi who I know nothing about:

      link to forbes.com

      He agrees with a lot of what I said up the page, but believes there is some potential in ESPN picking up an e-sports division instead of hosting one off events. He might be right, but if the odd event they host keeps returning predominantly negative feedback then they might reason that there’s no point in doing so.

  13. Romeric says:

    I’ve played a ton of League and around 20 games of HotS so far. While I can’t comment on either game as an expert, I will make one observation. When loading into a game of LoL, I find myself thinking with trepidation, something along the lines of: “Oh god, I hope I don’t mess this up!” On the other hand, loading into HotS is much more a feeling of excitement. I tend to smile a lot more playing HotS.

    Regardless of which is the better game, I have had much more FUN with HotS in a short time than I think LoL can ever offer at my level. League is only fun when you’re winning.

  14. Neutrino says:

    “HotS is still in beta”

    When I initially read this the first thing that came to mind was that HotS (Heart of the Swarm) came out over two years ago, surely the author must mean LotV (Legacy of the Void).

    It took a while for it to dawn on me that Blizzard has created two games with almost the exact same name. They must be really lacking in writing talent to be coming up with such generic names.

  15. Thirdrail says:

    Are there any girls playing on these college teams? I want to embrace eSports, but I simply cannot get behind yet *another* activity that only involves guys. Every time I scope out an eSport team, it’s always five dudes again. As someone who has been boycotting all non-coed sports since the scumbag Buffalos drove Katie Hnida out of Colorado, I find the situation truly and genuinely depressing. We were the nerds. We were supposed to be better people than the jocks. We were supposed to be the smart ones. The kinder ones. And, yet, here we are, duplicating the worst aspect of all-male sports, in an arena where there is no excuse for gender segregation whatsoever.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      There is no gender segregation in eSports, the fact is not many women have proven themselves to be good enough in eSports yet. Competition is based completely on merit, not nice ideas. Please provide evidence of males driving women out of this competition. If you can’t, you are just speculating with absolutely no basis.

    • Predatoro01 says:

      There are a few girl-only teams too with their own tournaments. Fact is though

      1) not many girls are in competitive esports yet
      2) they don’t have that big audience when they do play
      3) due to the small audience they earn less money which in turn goes back to 1)

      If you do want to see more girls, even in the “normal” tournaments i guess, go support them watch their tournaments/streams, let them know you care. I don’t see a reason why they couldn’t compete with the boys there is literally no physical disadvantage.

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