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The Growth of Women in eSports


There are plenty of arguments in traditional sports surrounding women being involved. That they deserve equal pay, can compete just as well with men, that in fact, some are better than men, and they should be able to compete at the same level. Whilst I agree to an extent, I mean look how well Fallon Sherrock did in the darts when given the opportunity and platform to play with the best players around the world. But it isn’t always the case.

Having watched a lot of football, women may well possess the same if not better technical abilities than men, however, the pace of the game is much slower. Shots less powerful, goalkeepers not as strong and it just doesn’t feel as entertaining. But that is a personal opinion. Much like my disagreement that women should be paid the same in all sports. For example, in Tennis, women in many tournaments now get paid the same as their male counterparts. Yay for equality. But wait? Men still have to play more sets? That’s not equality.

One place where women can compete with men on a level playing field though, and things like physical speed and strength are not an issue, is in esports. Women can be just as good at playing video games as men. Sure, it may be a male dominated industry, but female players are coming through, and as a lot of it comes down to the mental ability to focus, think and react, no one can say one sex is any better than the other. It all comes down to whoever the best players and teams are, not who was born with whatever genitalia.

So let’s take a look at some of the top women in esports…


The number one female esports player in the world, in terms of earnings is Sasha ‘Scarlett’ Hostyn. Playing Starcraft 2, she has competed at the highest level, and is unbelievably skilled. At the young age of 26, she is the 11th best ranked player in her native Canada, and ranked 317th in the world. So far, she’s managed to bag herself $389,783.98 over 211 tournaments according to

Scarlett started playing the game in 2011, and by 2012 had won enough amateur tournaments to be invited to take part in the 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series Canada. She was crowned Canada’s national champion with a 12-1 record defeating the likes of HuK, Ostojiy, Drewbie and DdoRo. Winning the tournament secured her a seed in the 2012 WCS North American Championship, which she also won, impressively repeating her 12-1 record from the national championships.

Whilst her earnings have taken a dive, and the number of appearances have decreased over the past couple years, although this year is pretty much a writeoff for most anyway, she still remains the top earner amongst female esports stars.


Coming in as the second highest earner, Chinese sensation Li ‘Liooon’ Xiaomeng is both younger than Scarlett, and has been competing in esports for less than half the time. And despite not being in top spot, we can’t see it being long before she is there, having earned $200,000 in 2019 playing Hearthstone. That’s from one tournament too, and is almost double the highest earnings Scarlett has had in a calendar year, which was $100,964.61 in 2018 from 30 tournaments.

What bagged her that $200,000 you ask? Well, Liooon won the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals, the first woman to ever do so, beating American Brian ‘Bloodyface’ Eason in the process. She was also the first woman to win a BlizzCon Esports tournament. Impressive considering her competitive career only goes back three years.

But she’s more than a successful player, she’s also an advocate for women in esports. In an interview after winning the championship, she shared a story that more than two years ago, she went to her first Hearthstone tournament as a backup for the game. While waiting in line, she was mocked by a male player, who said that: “If you are a girl, you should not wait in line here. It’s not for you.” She then gave a sentimental speech for women in Esports: “I want to say for all the girls out there who have a dream for Esports competition, for glory, if you want to do it and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”

Could you be the next big female star in esports?

Well, the above shows that women can certainly compete with men, and dominate them too. A former National and North American champion in Scarlett, and Global Champion in Liooon just go to prove that. As years go on there will be more and more women showing up in esports, appearing in things like CS:GO Blast Premier betting previews and coverage of other esports events.

And as long as you ignore what haters say, and push yourself and persevere, there is no reason that with hard work and dedication, you can’t compete at the top level too. There is still some way to go mind, whilst these girls prove that they’re fierce, and there are many more out there, in terms of earnings, they are lagging way behind, with Scarlett 317th in the world rankings, quite a way off the $6,944,322.80 that Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein, has earned playing Dota 2.

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