comScore
  1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Essay

All About Eve: The Story of StarCraft 2′s First Female Pro


Meet Kim Shee-Yoon. You can call her Eve, as that’s what she’s called in game. She’s been playing StarCraft since grade school (Terran, if you’re interested). She’ll be turning twenty-two this year. As of last month, she holds the distinction of being the first woman to join a pro StarCraft 2 team. Naturally, this news was greeted with cheers, accolades, and parades in her honor. And by that, I of course mean a massive facepalming dramafest like only the internet can provide.

To start, let me give you a quick crash-course in the pro StarCraft scene. While it may be a niche interest in the Western world, in Korea, it’s a behemoth. We’re talking corporate sponsorships, two dedicated cable TV channels, and yes, stadium events.

Competitors belong to teams, which are analogous to pro sports clubs. Though only a single player will walk away with the championship, they are playing for their team. Think like Cobra Kai, only with less leg-sweeping. StarCraft players also have rankings based on their performance. The pro teams are made up of Masters and Grandmasters. The next ranks below that are Diamond, Platinum and Gold (this will become important as I go on).

SlayerS is one of the big dogs of the pro SC2 teams. Their team manager is SlayerS_Jessica, who is the romantic partner of BoxeR, the founder of SlayerS and one of the most successful pro gamers ever (there’s a DVD compilation of his best games, his nickname is “The Emperor”…yeah, he’s a pretty big deal). Last month, SlayerS announced that Jessica had hand-picked Eve for the team, with the sole purpose of grooming her to be the first female SC2 progamer.

And then the internet exploded.

You see, after the announcement, some fans strongly objected to the fact that Eve isn’t as highly ranked as the rest of her team, nor is she as highly ranked as some other players who haven’t been chosen for teams. There are conflicting reports about her ranking. She seems to be Diamond, though an awful lot of folks claim that she’s Gold. What is for certain is that Eve’s only big win at this point is first place in an amateur competition. In short, she’s good, but she’s not the best.

SlayerS made no apologies for Eve’s ranking. In fact, her amateur status was entirely the point. Getting signed to a pro StarCraft team isn’t some sort of gladiatorial deathmatch in which only the surviving player gets rewarded. Teams choose players that they think will benefit them, and sometimes those benefits aren’t directly related to winning matches. Eve wasn’t chosen because she was the best, she was chosen to be a padawan. Eve is a project, taken in to be trained on the top level. She was selected, to quote Jessica, “for her skills and looks.”

Which, of course, set off a whole ‘nother train wreck.

Now, my knee jerked as well when I read that, but let’s put this in perspective. In Korea, pro gamers fall somewhere in between athlete and rock star. They have to be good at their game, but it doesn’t hurt if they look good. This isn’t some kind of gaming Olympics we’re talking about, based purely on ability. It’s a spectator sport, yes, but it’s also a huge business. There isn’t a team out there who doesn’t put some effort into making sure they’ve got players who are easy on the eyes. Do an image search for “progamer Korea” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s not fair, but it’s the nature of the beast, and in this case, it has nothing do to with gender.

The need to find marketable players ties right back into Eve’s lower ranking. SlayerS wasn’t actively recruiting when they picked up Eve. She didn’t knock a better-ranked player out of a spot on the team. Jessica publicly stated that part of the goal in taking in Eve was to get more women interested in the game. If you’ve ever watched a pro StarCraft match, it is very obvious who the target audience is. Cutesy girl-bands typically open the show. The on-stage announcers tend to be women looking like they’re off to a cocktail party. Finding boys with pretty faces is fine, but it’s not enough to get women actually interested in, y’know, the game. The thinking was that seeing a woman in SlayerS colors, sitting on their bench, competing on their level, would inspire other women to throw on a headset and start learning the finer points of a Zerg rush.

This brings up a philosophical argument that always arises when trying to bring a new demographic into a field that is dominated by another. One side argues that it’s unfair to bring in a less-skilled individual, solely in the interest of promoting diversity, when there are others of a higher caliber that are being overlooked. The other side argues that those marginalized individuals are never going to be skilled enough if they’re not given the chance to compete at a high level. It’s a whole big chicken-and-egg scenario, and it’s a conversation I will leave to the comment thread. I’m not going to jump into those muddy philosophical waters here, because it’s a discussion that never ends, and I still have more of this messy story to tell.

 

As all these points were being debated ad nauseam on Reddit and various StarCraft forums, the resulting clamor awoke the trolls. DC Inside, which is apparently the Korean equivalent of 4Chan, swarmed with griefers hell-bent on dragging Eve through the mud. Reportedly, the favored meme was to ‘shop Eve’s face onto porn stars in, shall we say, compromising situations. Vicious and degrading, to say the least. But what happened next didn’t exactly calm things down.

Jessica went into full mama bear mode, putting together a lawsuit against anybody talking smack about Eve. While this may sound extreme, in Korea, cyber-bullying is against the law. Jessica also posted a lengthy, chastising response on the Team Liquid forums (one of the main hubs for the SC2 scene). Angry tweets flew in all directions, the trolls reacted in their typical hornet’s-nest way and started in on Jessica, making snide comments about her relationship to BoxeR, and the whole thing grew into a huge, snarling Charlie Foxtrot that, weeks later, still has both sides seething in their respective corners.

None of that mess is what matters to me. I don’t care about the flame wars, or the snarking, or whether or not choosing Eve was fair. I don’t even care about StarCraft that much, to be honest. My experiences with the game are limited to the single player campaign, a few LAN sessions with my brother about a decade ago, and watching GSL matches in my friends’ living room over barbecue and beers. But what I do care about is that in all of the miserable comment threads I dragged myself through to learn more about this story, all of the blog posts and YouTube commentaries and middling translations of Korean, I could only find one – just one – quote from Eve herself.

I am very happy to join such a respected professional gaming team as SlayerS.

Forgive me for reading between the very limited lines here, but from where I sit, what I see is a young woman who’s just stoked to game with the pros. I mean, can you imagine? Somebody strolls up to you and says, “Hey, do you want to get paid to play video games?” I would be over the freakin’ moon. Can you then imagine what it would be like to read those comments and see those pictures and hear dudes on YouTube trashing you for not being as good as players who have been pro for years? Especially when you haven’t even played a match yet?

Eve doesn’t have an agenda or some philosophical ax to grind. She just wants to play. And that makes this whole to-do very sad.

Consider SlayerS_Alicia (don’t be fooled by the name, he’s a dude), one of the team’s best players. When trying out for the team, he showed up an hour late and lost. However, BoxeR thought that he had potential and picked him up anyway. Is that fair to the guys who showed up on time and won? No. But the team saw something they could use, and to my knowledge, there wasn’t any fuss made about it, not on the level we’re seeing here.

Eve, on the other hand, will most likely have to deal with this mess being dragged back up any time she loses a match. There’s nothing that can be said about that, except that I think it brings up something that most female gamers have felt from time to time. For many of us, playing the game doesn’t just mean being good enough. It means needing to be the best. We all, on some level, want to be the Disney after-school special in which the girl wins the championship for the underdog team. If we’re going to play, there is that underlying feeling that we damn well better be on top of our game. We had better be able to win.

In reading about Eve, my immediate reaction was, “I hope she wins the whole thing.” I imagine many of you had the same thought. It was that thought that made me realize that the pressure of needing to be not just “good” but “the best”, while put there by others, is actually I enforce within myself. It comes out of fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of having my gender shoved in my face if I lose or screw up. Fear of proving the “girls aren’t as good at games” crowd right.

As of right now, I’m going to stop doing that. Because no, I’m not the best. But I am good. Not at all games, certainly. There are some I suck at (cough, StarCraft, cough). But every time someone says that a girl can’t play, every time that a guy griefs a girl who lost because her gender is the easiest thing to pick on, every time that a girl gets sucked into that angry us-versus-them mentality, we are losing sight of what is good about gaming. Gaming is about fair play and healthy competition and challenging ourselves. And fun, dammit. It’s supposed to be about having fun. There is nothing sportsmanlike or respectable about tearing down a player based on their gender, or their race, or anything else that sets them apart. There is nothing fair about feeling that because you are different, you must work twice as hard to be respected on the same level as everyone else. That is not why we play. That is not what we, as a community, are about.

So, no, I don’t need Eve to win the whole thing. What I want for her is to be able to play the game she loves. I want her to become an integral part of her team, to be cheered for and judged no differently than any other. I want her to have an experience she can look back on and say, “Wow, I did that, and that’s awesome.” I sincerely hope that all this hullabaloo will die down enough for her to do just that.

(last two picks via xkcd here and here.)

Becky Chambers is a freelance writer and a full-time geek. She blogs over at Other Scribbles.

TAGS: |


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R2FMHKH5PXMKNIJ5PDG37N4SVQ Erin

    “There is nothing fair about feeling that because you are different, you
    must work twice as hard to be respected on the same level as everyone
    else. That is not why we play. That is not what we, as a community, are
    about.”

    Couldn’t have said it better. :)

  • http://twitter.com/g33k_gal Natalie Ferguson

    Really great article and point of view on the matter. It’s a real shame when a player’s sex (or sexual orientation, race, religion, etc.) and the bigoted opinions concerning it overshadow the real story: that they are good at what they do and just want to enjoy doing it. And it’s a shame that female gamers feel they HAVE to be the best in order to be taken at least a little bit seriously. It puts way too much pressure on them and does take away their enjoyment of the game.

  • http://twitter.com/helenchappell Helen Chappell

    If you replace every instance of “StarCraft” in this post with “physics,” and “gaming” with “science,” this pretty much sums up how my female colleagues and I felt throughout physics grad school.  It’s not the same everywhere or in every field, but anecdotally, it’s pretty common for women in male-dominated fields to have to be twice as awesome to prove themselves — or at least they’re made to think they have to, even if it’s not true.

    Things like this are part of why I left, but they’re also why I feel like a traitor to the cause for having left.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Great article! I wasn’t going to read it at first (because starcraft doesn’t really interest me), but your writing just captivated me! I really hope people will see Eve’s side to things, how she just wants to play as you said in your article.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Pretty thoroughly disgusted by the responses… And sadly, the whole thing is predictable.  Has the rest of the team stuck up for her, at least?

    I hope she does well.  And as much as I agree with your points… I still hope she wins.

  • http://www.facebook.com/1shewolf JoAnna Luffman

    Agreed. There’s a lot of pretty on SC teams, but what matters is skill. And if they picked her, she’s got something. I hope she does all the way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Teresa-Rebecca-Cunningham/100000219160779 Teresa Rebecca Cunningham

    Love the article and the sentiment behind it.

    But “is
    actually I enforce within myself.” is missing a word. (“is
    actually *one* I enforce within myself.”)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Teresa-Rebecca-Cunningham/100000219160779 Teresa Rebecca Cunningham

    Love the article and the sentiment behind it.

    But “is
    actually I enforce within myself.” is missing a word. (“is
    actually *one* I enforce within myself.”)

  • Ingenjören

    As a player who sucks at StarCraft I sincerely feel for her. Even though I suck I would love to play Starcraft as a pro one day. It is of course only daydreaming for me, but I still reserve the right to dream and for her (though she, unlike me, does not suck at Starcraft) the dream came true. If she succedes in becoming a top player, she succedes and if she doesn’t, well she doesn’t, but you can’t blame a girl for grabbing the opportunity. The right to try and fail should be considered sacred to the female gamer, just as it is to every other gamer.

    But while waiting for that shift in opinion to occur, I hope she trounces her opposition.

  • http://twitter.com/andreaEffie andrea ♥ chiang 蒋怡恩

    I’m a female who already plays the game, so for me, I don’t care wtf she looks like as long as she proves her worth. Simple as that. Unfortunately, I’m a minority…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

     Uh, her sex is what got her where she is in the first place. The story is incredibly disingenuous, Whether she is Gold or even Diamond (and Diamond on the Korean ladder is harder) that is TERRIBLE compared to ANYONE on ANY team. Calling her “good” but not “the best” would be like saying the Yankees signing the best player from your office softball team is signing someone “good” but not “the best”. Yes, compared to a randomly selected human being that person is good at what they do. But compared to the arena they are participating in they are awful.

    There are some Masters level female players, and I really have a hard time (however Slayers_Jessica tries to sell it) believing that there is some magic spirit she sees within Eve to believe she can be trained better than those players. By selected a pretty female face that doesn’t come CLOSE to deserve the spot she holds you are insulting female players who actually try.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

    Except no one is asking that she be twice as awesome. She just isn’t close to the calibur of any of those around her. Grandmasters League is the top 200 players from each region, or a 1000 players worldwide. More importantly on the Korean server ALONE there are at least 2500 Masters level players. Of those 2700 players (assuming Slayers limits themselves to selecting amongst Korean players only) only a fraction are on teams. Every single one of those players would dominate her. Every. Single. One. This isn’t sexism in requiring more out of women, it is in fact quite fairly asking that a female competitor be at least somewhat close to her male counterparts before she is given the grand treatment that comes with membership on a major team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

     I don’t know what field you’re in, but you mentioned Physics. Imagine a university having a swath of talented PhD-holding candidates for an open professorship, but they are all male. Wanting to promote diversity they hire a random woman who holds just a bachelor’s degree in physics. “Sure she doesn’t have the same qualifications, but boy is she a looker! And we’re confident that we can teach her what she needs to know.”

    If a major university did that it’d be on the national news tommorrow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

    No, she doesn’t. In the announcement thread the very woman who picked her, Slayers_Jessica, stated that she didn’t expect her to win any of the major tournaments. Her most positive description was that they thought she might provide “entertaining games”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

    I have to say, as I mentioned in a reply, the faulty description of her in the article as “good but not the best” is really messing people’s understanding of this story up. Even if she is Diamond, and even recognizing that that is Diamond on the more difficult Korean ladder, that is still absolute garbage compared to anyone on ANY of the actual teams (ie ones in the GSTL). Players at her level pay good money for an hour of coaching by the Grandmasters’ level players who get these team spots, but because she is a pretty girl she is given a home, fantastic training partners, the massive spotlight that a team provides (mostly through the Team League as she’ll never make a televised Code A or Code S match), etc for free (in fact will probably get paid good money).

    Having more women in e-sports would be fantastic. And attracting them by highlighting female talent makes perfect sense. There are some smaller womens-only tournaments that try to do this same thing, only they’re purely rewarding talent. Barack Obama is a remarkable figure because he was elected as a black man on his own merits (yes he won huge margins of African American votes but not really any different than any Democrat of the past 20 years). But if after Johnson had signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act he just abdicated his presidency to an African American that really wouldn’t mean much (and would mostly be a dog and pony show)

  • Anonymous

    Sorry I didn’t clarify/make that point explicitly, but I said it was a shame when a player’s sex etc. is more of a focus than their love of the game/want to play. That goes on both sides of the spectrum. While I don’t think her sex or pretty face should have been a factor in her being chosen for SlayersS, I do applaud Jessica for at least including the desire to inspire other female players as motivation for promoting Eve to the team. Whether or not she deserves the spot, or if Jessica was spinning BS, I don’t know. I could understand the frustration of those Masters players. Yet just as was quoted in the article, I’m sure a lot more goes into the structuring/promoting of a team other than just being the best currently. How is one to become the best if they aren’t given the chance?

  • Anonymous

    The main problem is, is Team SlayerS the place to become the best? 

    I have no problem with woman and females in Team SlayerS or any professional StarCraft 2 teams if their skill level can give the best players of SlayerS a run, however from what I’ve seen and read it doesn’t seem to be that way.

    Team SlayerS and the other major Korean professional StarCraft 2 teams are not breeding grounds for talent. They are the big leagues, the majors, the cream of the crop of professional StarCraft 2. 
    The NY Yankees are not going to sign some random person on the street to give them the opportunity to be the best, they sign them to their minor league teams, their developmental leagues etc etc. In StarCraft they have these leagues, in fact Team SlayerS has an enormous developmental league system, from their standard StarCraft B-Team to the SlayerS Clan where many of SlayerS’ players hope to earn a spot on Team SlayerS.

  • Anonymous

    The main problem is, is Team SlayerS the place to become the best? 

    I have no problem with woman and females in Team SlayerS or any professional StarCraft 2 teams if their skill level can give the best players of SlayerS a run, however from what I’ve seen and read it doesn’t seem to be that way.

    Team SlayerS and the other major Korean professional StarCraft 2 teams are not breeding grounds for talent. They are the big leagues, the majors, the cream of the crop of professional StarCraft 2. 
    The NY Yankees are not going to sign some random person on the street to give them the opportunity to be the best, they sign them to their minor league teams, their developmental leagues etc etc. In StarCraft they have these leagues, in fact Team SlayerS has an enormous developmental league system, from their standard StarCraft B-Team to the SlayerS Clan where many of SlayerS’ players hope to earn a spot on Team SlayerS.

  • http://twitter.com/Dectilon Peter Burman

    As far as the ‘looks’ comment goes, I wish they could at least pretend to not care. Personally, I hope she ends up becoming one of the very best. eSports is an arena where men and women can compete equally with equal practice. If they just keep her around as a mascot I’ll resent the SlayerS management whether the decision “makes sense” or not. I probably won’t have to. They seem to be very good at scouting talent.

  • http://twitter.com/Dectilon Peter Burman

    To be fair, no new pickup should be expected to win major tournaments, and “show entertaining games” is a line every korean pro uses in every interview pretty much. 

  • Anonymous

    Well, then perhaps that is the telling hit that Jessica DID mostly choose her for her looks/sex, which is a shame. I don’t follow pro-gaming, nor did I really read into the notoriety/actual skill level of the group, so I didn’t realize they were so prestigious that hiring only a “good” player would be a strange thing. Well, all the same, I hope their really was more thought to it beyond she’s cute and female, and that she’ll do well.

  • Ingenjören

    Thanks for illustrating the mindset the article explains. Perhaps she does not deserve the place, sure, but there have been many others who have entered teams who had no place there. But that doesn’t create any flamewars, in fact you would leave it at noting, they suck and they will eventually get kicked out of the team, but in this case you just don’t seem to be able to. Oh Why one might wonder. She was incredibly lucky to get this opportunity, but instead of simply noting ‘ohh, good luck for her’, as would be the civil thing to do, you just have to ruin it. You just can’t stand one single girl getting ahead, it is as simple as that. Grow up and deal with it.

  • Ingenjören

    “Imagine a university having a swath of talented PhD-holding candidates for an open professorship, but they are all male. Wanting to promote diversity they hire a random woman who holds just a bachelor’s degree in physics.”

    As a former student of physics it is hard for me to list all the things of this argument that jar. There are just to many, so let me just point out the obvious, physics departments do not pursue a policy of diversity hires, instead they have historically (I hope that has changed now, but I am not optimistic)had a tendency to not take female students seriously, and out of a mixed field almost always setting up the male candidates, more qualified or not, for the fast track. Against this backdrop it always amazes me that people accept that practice but always bolt if a female for some unknown reason would ‘unfairly’ get even an inch ahead. By setting up the argument in the way you do you are bound to sound like you are making a balanced argument, the only problem is that it is based on a fantasy reality with it’s own rules that are totally disconnected from the actual historical and current realities of the matter.

  • http://twitter.com/truthinillusion Gary Hallman

    I think what is wrong with your example and with people’s mindset on this issue is that they are crying out for things to be fair. Since when was fairness promised? It’s a business and like all businesses, they are going to do whatever is in their best interests. As far as Jessica is concerned, and I share this sentiment, getting more young female viewers (a KEY demographic) is paramount to the success of their business model. Having a new GSL champ or having MMA winning another MLG isn’t going to do jack for their long term plans.

    Brand recognition and hyping players is just as important as winning big matches in ESPORTS. Look at Boxer. The dude is old and, although he has made some impressive series, he is not nearly as competitive as he once was. However, people go batshit crazy when he enters a room.

    SC2 will only grow so far without new audiences to watch their games. If the I have to compromise and watch a subpar EVE play so more women will get inspired to play SC2, then so be it. That is a trade people should be willing to make any day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/neilpself Neil Self

    Encouraging female participation within the SC2 community is a good idea but this is a poor way of doing it. If they had gathered a group of master-level female players, organized them into a B-Team and given them a moderate amount of training and maybe a stipend to compensate them, you wouldn’t have seen any uproar. Instead they picked a single diamond-level player who, statistically speaking, is unlikely to have the potential to be a top-tier player (the vast majority of players who sink thousands of hours in SC2 never get close, and Eve isn’t even in master league).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

    Every single male and female player has exactly the same chance to work their way up, open tournaments and ladder play.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

    Yes. I don’t like inequality. Last I checked that was the goal of progressive thought.

    Giving a woman a chance she didn’t come close to earning is insulting to her personally (you’re pretty, take this), insulting to those women who actually work at getting better (you’re better than Eve? Too bad, she gets the spot for no particular reason), and yes insulting to the far superior men who are overlooked in the name of false equality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

    If they’re goal is to trot her out for entertainment be honest about it. They might as well just hire one of the K-pop performers who comes out before the GSL, they’re even cuter and are already better known and would draw even larger audiences.

    And if you’re goal was to attract females why would it matter than she’s cute? There are more qualified female players out there, if that’s your goal at least pick the best possible one you can find.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

     This. A THOUSAND times this. The correct approach if you really want to grow female Starcraft is to do just that, grow female Starcraft. Don’t just hire the equivalent of a model-who-serves as a sideshow, it’s insulting and doesn’t serve that purpose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085820163 James Ringold

    They weren’t saying expected now, they said EVER expected. When Losira was new, he was expected to do well. Ditto for Bomber, DRG, any good new signing. That’s why you sign them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Bombarda/100001089613097 Andrew Bombarda

    I always wanted to see her actually play in a GSTL game.

  • http://twitter.com/EclipseGc EclipseGc

    There are a lot of really fallacious replies to this comment, so I’d like to just square this away a little.

    1.) Yes Diamond in Korea is harder (as in at least master level in the states)
    2.) As such that means that Diamond and better players are actually closer in skill than they are in the US and other regions. This means that even if she loses consistently, the differences between her game and a pro’s are probably pretty minimal and mostly experience based.
    3.) Yes all teams actually do recruit people who may not be the best. The teams members you see in a line up are only the people there that day who might play (generally). Not the entire content of a team. This is best illustrated during GSTL (team leagues) where players we’ve never seen just appear and often immediately lose (or occasionally all kill the other team). It’s a bit of a crap shoot, but it’s certainly not unheard of.
    4.) Finally, it’s worth pointing out that the ONLY thing Eve will be able to participate in until she is of a proper skill level is the Team League itself.  Perhaps some explanation would help here.

    Players are codified based upon previous performance and skill level.  For sake of understanding these codes are:

    Code S
    Code A
    Code B

    In this case Code S is the highest skill level. Only this skill level of players even compete for the GSL Finals.  Likewise the entire point of Code A is to get to Code S, and the entire point of Code B is to get to Code A.  Understand Code S, being the top level actually affords its member so serious benefits in that they don’t have to play their brains out to stay in Code S. Only a handful of member (8 I believe) are forced to “play for their lives”.  Likewise Code A sends 4 members to play in these “up and down” matches for a total of 12 (8 from S 4 from A) and these players play a grouped round robin match set in order to determine which 8 will be in Code S next season. This is stacked in such a way as to make it more likely that more Code S players will stay in Code S.  The exact mechanics of this would take too long to explain.

    Code jumping is BRUTALLY hard, and though I’ve not actually witnessed the Code B to Code A competitions, understand that in many ways this is the most brutal of all the Codes.  You have to work your butt off no matter what your sex, race, creed to make it out of Code B and into Code A.

    I detail all of this to put the complaining in perspective. We’re literally talking about people griefing JUST because she’s a girl.  It’s not like she could, as the author of this post suggested, “win it all”. This is an impossibility, not because of her gender but because of her ranking. She won’t even be allowed to compete in that way until she has earned it (All pros are required to maintain the Korean ladder standings).  So what we’re really discussing here is a bunch of blow hards who are upset because a girl is getting paid to get better at a game while they toil in obscurity.  GET A LIFE. She got the golden ticket, life’s not fair, get over it. The simple fact of the matter is that, in Korea, or within corporations who cater to Koreans, women with an uncommon skill set (which anything SC related is uncommon comparatively) have a leg up on others. Korea’s a very sexist place, so recognition of this fact is slow in coming, but Jessica is in a place of power to start making change, and she’s doing so (kudos to her).

  • Ariel Wetzel

    If there are no social barriers to women being as good of players as men, then the only explanation for no pro women is that women naturally suck at videogames, which we know isn’t true.

  • http://twitter.com/kristen_ Kristen Bornemann

    Fantastic article and very well written!

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2df4ccp

  • Ruth Bell

    Superior men? There’s no such thing as superior men

  • http://www.facebook.com/d3k0y Zach Smith

    She is cute and female, and that is pretty much what she got signed for. It is kind of silly to think that we still haven’t progressed past the “girls can’t play games” sort of mentality, but still. As EchO said, SlayerS are home to some of THE BEST players of Starcraft and Starcraft 2 in the world. We are talking Masters of the Grandmasters rank here, if she is Diamond, she is at best 2 full rank categories below just about anyone on a pro team.

    I would say it is a fair (though harsh) assumption, she was picked not for skill but for looks and media. These pro-teams don’t train people to be good, they train the good to be better. She isn’t good, she is average. Going back to the baseball analogy, the Yankees (SlayerS) are picking up a high-school student and putting him into the Major League, skipping all the college kids and minor league-rs that are clearly better, but aren’t as good looking, or female.

  • Rostislav Kovářík

    Excuse me?? :-D If man does some thing better than another man, he’s superior (in that said matter).If he does it better than another woman, he isn’t? You’re joking, right?

  • Anonymous

     http://www.lovetoshopping.org 

  • http://profiles.google.com/liamsp5590 Liam Sherman Parris

    I don’t know why everyone’s making a big deal about alleged bigotry towards her. The only kinds of posts I’ve predominantly seen here and in some starcraft forums are people who are applauding her efforts, and people who think she got an unfair boost. Both people are partially right. She deserves to be encouraged to become better and better at Starcraft and act as an example to female gamers, however a lot of much, much more skilled (and hence deserving) people got passed up for her.

    All in all, I think it was a good move presuming she improves even more. I think people are being alarmists over a few troll posts.

  • KupKake QT

    Thank you for writing such an insightful article! As a girl gamer, I have come under scrutiny from a litany of male players who constantly harp on my gender whenever I win or lose a game! Sucks Ballz! I hope Eve has what it takes to cram some sense in these assholes, and hopefully she will prove to other women that while looks are great-skill, hard work, endurance, and emotional strength are what make girls rock!

  • Anonymous

     http://www.lovetoshopping.org

  • Anonymous
  • http://www.facebook.com/josiah.woodson Josiah A M Woodson

    Saying she would get owned is speculation. Good speculation but still, it is an assumption. Eve also did not ‘take a spot on the team from someone more qualified’. If Jessica hadn’t picked Eve (or another woman who you’d be equally flaming about), she wouldn’t have picked up anyone. They want to make her better so just hold your speculations and assumptions and give them the chance to do it, geez. And here are a few more spoilers for you:
    -They picked her not you. Deal with it.-Life’s not fair.-There is no linear relationship between skill and fame. Period.-Even if they hadn’t picked her, you’d still be sitting in your crusty boxers stuck in silver league picking dorito crumbs out of your keyboard at 3 in the morning so you can properly rage at how terran is so imba and collect your latest ‘loss’.
    -Yankees suck.

    So, take a shower, brush your teeth, analyse your replays, and give SlayerS a chance to grow with Eve and make her an excellent Starcraft 2 player.

    Awesome, write-up, Becky! Kudos

  • Andreas Egeland

    There is a larger social stigma of girls playing games in general, which would have adverse effects in SC2, even if they are completely fair.
    Like the article says, the target audience is male, and when the target audience is male, most people who think “this could be fun” are male, thereby making it not an issue of being “unfair in the ladder”, like James is making a point of, it’s about the fact that more males play SC2.

  • Andreas Egeland

    Norway has a system which requires a certain amount of female participation which literally means they get additional points when applying to University in the natural sciences, every time.
    More similarly, there has to be a certain amount of women in other areas, which means that theoretically women are chosen in a seperate category to promote not being sexist.
    I’m not saying this is necessarily bad in all cases, if sexism is a real problem then this basically solves it. But it does mean they get a leg up over their more qualified contenders.

  • Ingenjören

    It does not automatically mean that women get additional points. In Sweden we used to have a system where gender was the tie-breaker, i.e. If they have the same score underrepresented gender gets the slot, which in practice always meant that men got additional credits since the only educations where you consistently have the same grade (i.e. the highest) were medicin, veterinary and psychology(In fact the quota of males versus females getting a slot due to that criteria was something like ten to one).

    When it comes to physics in Sweden the underrepresentation of women is a question of applicants rather than quotas. Imposing a quota would mean nothing since almost all the women who want to study physics have the grades.