May 17, 2022

a mixed esports tournament shines the spotlight on women

The “Heroes” video game on one of the Source e-gym PCs. @Marie Allenou

On the weekend of August 7 and 8, the Source esports center is hosting a League of Legends game tournament. Each team must be made up of at least one woman.

In an environment for a very long time invested in the great majority by men, it is sometimes difficult to find a place in video games and e-sport as a woman. Mockery, self-censorship and the lack of female role models in competition are all obstacles.

The Women’s League, a collective that wants to make a place for women in e-sport and La Source, an e-sports hall, wanted to break down barriers. On August 7 and 8 in Lyon, they are organizing a mixed amateur tournament, called Esti’Lan, where each team must present at least one woman to compete.

A tournament open to the public and rebroadcast online

The chosen game is League of Legends. It opposes two teams who must fight to protect their territory and attack enemy territory, in an unrealistic setting and with characters who each have different powers. At the professional level and even in e-sport at an amateur level, the vast majority of players in this game are men. Sonia Allam, member of the Women’s League, gives a telling example: “among all the teams present at the event, only one already existed”. The others were created especially for the event, because one of the criteria was to recruit a woman.

The competition will take place like any tournament. 80 players will be gathered for a weekend to play “in LAN”. This means that they will all be physically present in the same place to compete. “Coming to the Source was easier to organize, because for a LAN you have to have a good internet connection and have tables and equipment. For players, you have to bring your PC … The Source already had everything planned “, summarizes Sonia Allam. The e-sports hall located in the 8th arrondissement has 100 PCs available in the same hall for this type of tournament, an investment which cost 400,000 euros.


Coming to the Source was easier to organize, because for a LAN you have to have a good internet connection and have tables and equipment. La Source already had everything planned “, summarizes Sonia Allam, member of the Women’s League.


Spectators can come directly and free of charge to the Source to watch the tournament, on presentation of a health pass and within the capacity of the hall. A replay of the event is also scheduled on the Women’s League Twitch channel. “Casters” will be present to provide commentary on the tournament, in a room entirely provided for this purpose by the Source.

Several former professional players will be present such as Louncet, Showkz or Melon.

Enable women to assert themselves in e-sport

“Mentalities are struggling to change, but today girls are more accepted, even if there are still resistance as everywhere”, philosopher Romain Ragusa. With the Source, he and his companion wish to put human contact back at the heart of video games, by offering a game room where everyone can come and meet other players. According to him, this makes women more visible.


“The fact that boys are in the majority can be a barrier to girls’ participation. Whereas if there are other women, they are more reassured,” explains Sonia Allam, member of the Women’s League.


“If a woman shows what she is capable of in a physical place, it allows other players to see her and offer to play together or make a team. Because you have a human in front of you, not just a voice. as online “, he develops. Lina, her partner and her partner, is involved in the Women in Games association, which works for gender diversity in the video game industry. The couple is attentive to this cause and the project of the Women’s League seduced them.

“There are a lot of League of Legends players out there, but they’re not necessarily keen on esports. The fact that boys are in the majority, it can be a barrier to participation. to other women, they are more reassured “, explains Sonia Allam. The collective hopes that this kind of event will highlight the players and show that they can be recruited into teams. And why not, discover a female talent during this tournament.

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