revealed that the International eSports Federation planned to bar women from its upcoming Hearthstone tournament in Finland, under the belief that gender segregation would add legitimacy to the idea of video games as a proper sport. Following a flurry of online controversy, the IeSF has opened its doors to all players.
However, this does not mean the IeSF has entirely reversed its stance on sorting Hearthstone players by gender. Instead of merely opening all tournaments to everyone, the games which were previously open only to men will now be open to all players, while the female-only tournament will remain sans dudes.
"The IeSF Board addressed its reason for maintaining events for women, citing the importance of providing female gamers with ample opportunities to compete in e-Sports - currently a male-dominated industry," reads a notice on the IeSF website. "Female gamers make up half of the world's gaming population, but only a small percentage of e-Sports competitors are women. The IeSF's female-only competitions aim to bring more diversity to competitive play by improving the representation of women at these events. Without efforts to improve representation, e-Sports can't achieve true gender equality."
In addition to altering the structure of its Hearthstone tournaments, the IeSF has now opened its Tekken Tag Tournament 2 tournament to all players. Previously, Namco Bandai's 3D fighter was reserved solely for the ladies.
[Image: Blizzard Entertainment]