Yesterday, I told you all about gender segregation in a Finland Hearthstone tournament because of International eSports Federation (IeSF) rules.
Well, I’m happy to announce that they listened to what you all had to say and the main tournament is now open for all!
Early this morning, the IeSF put out a press release officially announcing that their World Championship tournament would be “open for all,” while still featuring a female-only tournament. Their decision to keep the female-only tournament was to promote “the importance of providing female gamers with ample opportunities to compete in e-Sports.” They also added Tekken Tag Tournament 2 to the main tournament. The IeSF Facebook page posted an apology along with the press release:
IeSF also want to apologize to anyone that got offended by the initial annoucement[sic]. As we strive to do the best we can to promote e-Sports as a true sports beyond any barriers, mistakes might happen along the way, but it is our duty as a community of e-Sports fans and enthusaists[sic] to learn from those mistakes and to make sure they remain in the past.
It seems like Blizzard had a little bit to do with the decision as well:
One of our goals with eSports is to ensure that there’s a vibrant and also inclusive community around our games. We do not allow the use of our games in tournaments that do not support this, and are working with our partners to ensure they share the same goal.
I’m extremely happy that they were so willing to admit their mistake and immediately go about making changes. It’s important that an industry this big is willing to do that and it’s an important step in the gender equality debate.
The current lineup for the IeSF World Championship is as follows:
Main Tournaments (Open for all): DotA 2, StarCraft 2, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Female-only Tournaments: StarCraft 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2
But what exactly does this mean for the Finnish tournament that originally brought all of this into question?
According to Assembly’s rules page for their Hearthstone tournament, “The IeSF has re-evaluated their rules and thus the national qualifier tournament is open to all Finnish players.” So to all you female Finnish gamers – go put your winning caps on and kick some ass!
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