Legitimizing eSports, but at what cost?

The International eSports Federation (IeSF) promotes gender segregation in its latest tournament as a part of their effort to promote eSports as a legitimate sport. And that's some bullshit.

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  1. UPDATE 7/5/14: IeSF released an announcement that they would open their events to all.

    Reddit Hearthstone member Karuta posted something interesting:
  2. Turns out, the Finnish qualifier tournament isn't the (only) one to blame - it's IeSF. The division is as follows:
  3. So, why exactly isn't this open to all genders? Why the divide? IeSF was quoted as saying that they're doing it as a part of their "effort to promote eSports as a legitimate sport." We're going with that old shit, huh? See, in most traditional sports, gender segregation exists to level the playing field. There are exceptions! And many things are shifting there, too. But why the hell would you do so for video games? The game is the level playing field. Anyone can play.

    Several news outlets have since written about the controversy:
  4. And this is what IeSF had to say about it:

  5. Transcription of the above:

    "We're happy to see that as a community of e-Sports enthusiasts you do care about this branch recognized as a legitimate sports like we do.

    so, allow me to elaborate on our stance regarding the male/female tournament devision. This action has two goals:

    1) Promote female gaming. First and foremost it is a fact that male gamers largely outnumber female players in all e-Sports titles today. (Take LoL for example where females are only 10% of the overall base.) We want to promote the girls into the e-Sports, by having a female-only competition (and not because male players are better, but because male players currently, as I said, largely outnumber female players).

    2) Effort to get recognized as a legitimate sports: almost every sports branch on earth divides male.female competitions (even chess!), each for their own reasons. And as the global e-Sports Federation that is true to it's name, we will always strive to comply with the international standards for sports.

    I hope this explanation sheds some light upon this matter."

    I just... I can't.
  6. Twitter weighed in:

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