May 26, 2022

Lyon. A tournament to promote gender diversity in e-sport is organized this weekend

Lina Pich and Romain Sagura, the founders of La Source, will welcome the 80 players of the tournament in this room containing 100 PCs. (© CD / Actu Lyon)

It’s rare: this weekend in Lyon, about twenty players will participate in an esports tournament, on the game League of Legends. Hosted in the premises of La Source, the competition has the particularity of being mixed. To participate, the 16 teams must be made up of at least one man and one woman.

The event is organized by The Women’s League, a collective aiming to promote the visibility of girls in esport and organizing women’s tournaments on the League of Legends game since 2018.

Highlight the female presence

Because it must be said that, if women make up more than half of the total population playing video games in France, they are hardly present on the esports scene. According to the latest France esports barometer, published in 2020, only 6% of amateur athletes are women.

To explain it, Lina Pich, the general manager of The Source esport, recognizes that few women are interested in competing and this for different reasons. Some may feel held back by “playing online with strangers”, others must have found it difficult to feel at home in this very masculine environment.

Another difficulty encountered by women being the lack of play partners. It was on the basis of this problem that Sonia Allam founded La Ligue Féminine in 2017.

Under the nickname “Nemari”, Sonia is followed by nearly 28,000 people on the Twitch streaming platform, where it has been broadcasting its games for the past five years. “I started by doing small tournaments with four teams of girls, says Sonia, as I went along. more and more players wanted to participate, so that’s how we organized the first tournament ”.

In 2018, the first competition organized by the league brings together 18 teams of five players online. Among them, both initiates and beginners: “It was a butcher’s shop, laments the streamer, the girls were insulted”.

To explain it, Sonia says that “it was a meeting of people who did not know how to play, who did it only for fun”. Only, this first attempt tarnished the image of the Women’s League, “After each announcement of the league I was set on fire,” says Nemari.

However, far from being discouraged, the players of the Women’s League have trained from year to year to succeed in gain recognition.

A first mixed tournament, broadcast online

After three exclusively female tournaments, in 2021 Sonia Allam has chosen to organize a mixed competition, bringing together players for the first time. The initial non-mixing having allowed the girls to make their mark in the world of esports competition, this time they will play with and against the boys.

« It was one of our validation criteria“, Admits Lina Pich of La Source esport. “It shows both that men and women complement each other and that they are not completely different”, continues the general manager.

Thus, about twenty players will be present this weekend at the Esti’LAN – that’s the name of the tournament, a very big number for an esport tournament. “It’s nice to see so many people, I think I would never have seen so many girls in a competition“, Smiles Lina Pich.

For Lina Pich and her companion Romain Sagura, the founders of La Source, it is very important to support an initiative like that of La Ligue Féminine. “For us, it was obvious to accompany them, to be able to say to the women” Don’t be afraid to come »», Says Romain.

In the premises of La Source, located in 8e Lyon district, everything is done to host this kind of event. The 750 m² include a room with a hundred computers dedicated to video games. It is here that the 80 players will compete against each other for two consecutive days, all being broadcast live on The Women’s League Twitch channel.

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