So last weekend were the Dota 2 Starladder finals in Kiev. I didn't get to see quite as much of it as I wanted to, since it was a family weekend with the folks and siblings. However, Saturday night my sister and I found ourselves watching the Dota 2 girl finals live on stage, as they were apparently scheduled in between the regular matches.
So at first we were like, woo! Girls! Go girls! Cause everyone knows girls have a pretty hard (or one could argue, easy) time in the online world, what with most guys convinced they are somehow less skilled in gaming due to their gender. Yet here were some skilled Dota 2 playing girls, representing the much neglected female community within Dota 2. Exciting stuff. I was thinking this might finally prove to people that there is no need to be sexist towards girls in gaming, we can be skilled! We can own stuff! See? Gender makes no difference!
However, despite the decidedly girly play style that was being shown, and despite the abundance of pauses and the fact one girl even made a phone call excitedly relaying their rampage (yes we all saw what you did there!) what really blew my hopes out the window was this.
The whole idea about gender equality is to create an environment in which males and females are treated equally. For the gaming industry this mainly means guys stop flaming girls based on their gender, and stop the use of phrases like "Y U NO IN KITCHEN LOL". The thing is though, in order for girls to be taken seriously in the gaming scene, it is important that they conduct themselves professionally, or at least, as professional as the current guy pro teams. What they should definitely avoid, is using their gender to gain fame/popularity/sponsors. Which is exactly what's happening on above mentioned picture.
It does not make any sense to argue against sexism when this picture is obviously asking for it. I'm not saying these girls are against sexism, (obviously it appears they aren't) but one can hope.
So, to be honest, I am disappointed. Not only did the girls refuse to set a good example of female Dota 2 players, they in fact did the exact opposite. They basically showed the community that judging them by their looks is totally okay and even encouraged.
So to set the record straight, I'm pretty sure I speak for a bunch of girls out there that this is not the way we want to be perceived. The whole idea that the girl league should be kept separate is questionable to begin with, and trust me, there are girls out there who enjoy playing Dota 2 at a high level and DO consider half-naked photo shoots to be over the top ridiculous.