Gender Diversity in eSports: The Causes and Effect of Women's Poor Experiences in Gaming, and the Lack of Representation in the eSports Industry

For the topic of this thesis, I have decided to discuss gender diversity in the world of eSports, a billion dollar industry that may have been around for a long time, but is booming in recent years, and draw correlations between this issue in eSports and 'normal' sports.

But what exactly is eSports? ESports (which is short for Electronic Sports) is the sport of professional video games. These range from small tournaments playing obscure games on the local level, to massive events that draw in millions of live viewers with staggeringly high prize pools.

One thing has been apparent throughout its history however: there is a severe disparity in not only the percentage of male vs female professional eSports player, but also the frighteningly large pay gap.

I feel that this is an incredibly important topic to discuss. As I stated before, eSports is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world and is starting to be recognised more and more as a legitimate method of high-level competition that displays the skills of the “athletes” that compete in it. For such a large industry to truly flourish, it is imperative that it be approachable to as wide an audience as possible. By it being such a male-dominated industry, it pushes away a large pool of potential viewers and competitors, as well as other interested parties such as sponsors and investors. It is my standing that tackling this issue would be a huge asset to the eSports industry as a whole, and this is why I believe it is such an important topic to discuss.

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