Competitions are one of the most recurring traits that all societies share. This spans from RVF members having a notch count comparison thread to the Olympics in ancient Greece. As long as there is sentient human life, we will make a competition out of anything. This couldn’t be more true with the video games we all love. E-sports is a multi-million dollar business that gets millions of viewers. Even stadiums have to be rented for some of the more popular titles like Dota, World of Warcraft, and Starcraft tournaments.
E-Sports, like regular physical sports, is dominated by men in the upper echelon. This comment is controversial for some to hear. Look at any top e-sport and the players on top of the leader-boards are predominantly male. Of course, that’s not really a cause for celebration but just how things are.
One of the remedies that is being offered to boost the level of female gamers is female-only tournaments. This allows them to cultivate their skills against other women. Female-only tournaments with female-only players/teams allows women to play against their peers on a level playing field. The real-world example would be the fact that most Olympic sports are divided by gender. Men and women are biologically different and you can’t expect egalitarian results for both.
One of the looming conundrums that is affecting e-sports is the inclusion of mentally ill transsexuals to gender restricted tournaments. This couldn’t be more apparent than the rise of Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn. Scarlett is a professional male to female transsexual Starcraft 2 player. According to those who define transsexuals as the sex they “ think” they are, Scarlett is currently the highest ranked “female” player in the world. Scarlett is also ranked as one of the highest non-Korean players in Starcraft 2. I personally have no problem with any player going in to non-gendered tournaments. If the tournament wants to deal with people who claim to be hobbits, it’s up to the tournament.
The problem with letting Scarlett parade around in women-only tournaments is that it’s completely unfair. At the end of the day, Scarlett was born and raised as a male. No amount of hormones or claiming to like pink can change that. A real life comparison that is relevant to this discussion would be Fallon Fox. Fox, like Scarlett, is a transsexual. The difference is while Scarlett destroys somebody’s base in a video game, Fallow Fox is big man who takes estrogen and fights only women in MMA. Fallon Fox rightly had articles criticizing his decision to fight only women, yet somebody like Scarlett can come in and appropriate female StarCraft culture without reproach.
As a fan of e-sports, the culture hasn’t really activated a conversation about this whole ordeal. How can a man like Scarlett say he’s a woman and enter female-only tournaments? Will this lead to other-trickery from competitors? These are the questions any sane person would ask.
What stops a man from having a cutesy name and entering an online tournament for women? Most online tournaments don’t force you to take a chromosome entrance test. Any guy could nickname himself “rose414” and enter a woman-only tournament. If he’s ever found out, say from his paypal or a female competitor rightfully calling out the manipulative gentlemen, this individual could claim transphobia and incite a social media shit storm.
It’s cheating when a man deludes himself into being a “woman” to enter a female only tournament. Scarlett is just the most famous example but expect this trend to grow. It’s the equivalent of a white male smearing tar across his face and speaking like an Antebellum slave stereotype to win an African American college scholarship. We as a community must shame those who would lie and cheat to win. If we don’t do so, we are just as bad as the cheaters and manipulators.
If we start to accept gender false flags, we might as well give up all hope that actual women competitors can be as good as their male counter-parts.
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