Women In Esports The Rise Of The Female Gaming Community

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The world of esports and competitive gaming has traditionally been dominated by male players. However, in recent years, women have made great strides in staking their claim in this rapidly growing industry. Female gamers and teams are shattering stereotypes and proving that esports excellence knows no gender.

Key Highlights

●   As of 2022, 48% of gamers in the US are women, compared to just 38% in 2006

●   Globally, 46% of the 3.2 billion gaming community are women

●   In 2019, only 5% of esports competitors were women; more female pros are emerging but significant room for growth remains

●   The highest career earnings by a female gamer belong to StarCraft II legend Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn at $445,871

●   In 2022, female esports tournaments generated 23.76 million hours
of live viewership

●   13% of female gamers identify as LGBTQ+ and 20%
come from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds

●   Early 2024 data shows 40% of PC gamers are women

●   The Shopify Rebellion Valorant team drew the most viewership at a women’s event in 2022, with over 3 million hours watched

●   The 2022 MLBB Women’s Invitational attained 2.1 million viewers
across 57,000 average live viewers

●   Gaming icon Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter boasts 3.7 million YouTube subscribers, making her the largest female personality in esports

●   In 2024, FIFA’s new FAMEHERGAME initiative aims to provide opportunities for women FIFA players to compete and shine

Analyzing Female Gamer Demographics

After generations of gaming being viewed as a predominantly male pastime, women now make up a significant portion of video game enthusiasts across all platforms. Understanding the demographics and interests of female gamers is crucial for the continued growth of the industry.

Women In Esports The Rise Of The Female Gaming Community

Esports Competitors

While women comprise 46% of gamers globally, esports remains heavily male-dominated; just 5% of competitive esports players in 2019 were female. This vast discrepancy highlights the need to encourage more women to pursue professional gaming and equip them with the training and opportunities to excel as elite gamers. Game publishers and tournament organizers must do more to support budding female talent.

Regional Distribution

In the US, women now represent 48% of total gamers, rapidly closing in on gender parity. Asian regions also boast high female participation, including 40-45% in South Korea and China. During pandemic lockdowns, a remarkable 95% of Chinese women increased their gaming time for entertainment. Across Asia, women account for 500 million of the total 1.3 billion gaming population.

Racial/Ethnic Diversity

Today’s female gaming community demonstrates immense racial and ethnic diversity:

●   White: 63%

●   Hispanic: 17%

●   Black: 14%

●   Asian: 5%

●   Other: 2%

Additionally, 13% of female gamers identify as LGBTQ+ while 20% come from BAME backgrounds, dispelling outdated notions of gaming as an activity reserved predominantly for straight white men.

Age Distribution

Over one-third (33%) of female gamers are between the ages of 25 and 34. However, women and girls of all ages actively participate, getting introduced to gaming early and often continuing their passion well into adulthood.

Platform Preferences

From powerful gaming PCs to smartphones, female players enjoy games across all devices:

●   52% use the PlayStation 4

●   46% use the Xbox One

●   40% use the Nintendo Switch

●   40% play games on PCs

Women In Esports The Rise Of The Female Gaming Community

They also devote considerable time gaming: studies show women spend an average of 8.3 hours per week
playing video games.

Live Viewership and Fandom

Beyond playing themselves, women also eagerly spectate top-tier esports as enthusiastic fans. Key viewership statistics include:

●   30% of esports event audiences are female fans

●   In 2019, 35% of self-identified “esports enthusiasts” were women

●   2022 saw 23.76 million hours of viewership across prominent women’s tournaments and leagues

●   Women make up the following profile of fans globally:

○   South Korea: 32% female

○   China: 30%

○   United Kingdom: 25%

○   United States: 17%

Notable All-Women Teams

Several exceptional all-female professional rosters compete at elite levels of play:

Shopify Rebellion (Valorant)

The queens of Valorant shocked the gaming world by winning the 2022 VCT Game Changers Championship to cement themselves as the number one women’s team globally. They also drew the highest viewership of 2022 for a women’s squad, with over 3 million hours watched.

Dignitas Fe (CS:GO)

This legendary Counter-Strike lineup took home back-to-back championships at the prestigious Intel Challenge Katowice tournament in 2018 and 2019. The team recently transitioned to competing in Valorant.

Nigma Galaxy Female (CS:GO)

Emerging CS:GO champions in their own right, Nigma Galaxy Female dominated the 2024 ESL Impact Katowice event to claim the $50,000 top prize.

Highest-Earning Female Pros

While still earning substantially less than top male professionals, these talented women lead their gender in career prize money:

1. Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn (StarCraft II)$445,871

Women In Esports The Rise Of The Female Gaming Community

2. Li “Liooon” Xiao Meng (Hearthstone)$241,510

3. Katherine “Mystik” Gunn (Multi-Game)$122,550

Game Genres Preferred by Female Gamers

So which game genres and titles do female players prefer to play in their leisure time?

Most Popular Genres

●   Puzzle/Card Games: 36%

●   Simulation Games: 32%

●   Platformers: 30%

Women favor game types that test IQ, strategic thinking and visual/spacial cognition.

Most Played Esports Titles


The tactical 5v5 shooter exploded onto the gaming scene in 2020 and quickly became a top title for female competitive play. Women’s Valorant events drew over 45% of total viewership hours for women’s esports in 2022.


Epic Games reports roughly 10% of Fortnite’s gargantuan 250 million player base is female. The battle royale phenomenon captivates women gamers of all ages through its fast-paced build-and-fight gameplay.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

In 2022, the mobile MOBA game accounted for over 30% of total viewership for women’s tournaments and continues gaining traction globally.

Initiatives Supporting Women in Esports

Recognizing systemic barriers facing female gamers, companies and organizations actively work to support women entering the industry through scholarships, special events and highlighted coverage:

●   Women in Esports – Founded in 2019 by British Esports to promote inclusion and participation of women across the esports ecosystem through education, community-building and elevating female industry experts.

●   Rocket League: Ally Women’s Open – Launched in March 2024, this tournament series run by and for women Rocket League players has a prize pool of $40,000.

●   FIFAe FAMEHERGAME Program – Aims to provide training, tournaments, networking and promotion for aspiring female FIFA pros looking to compete at elite levels.

Women In Esports The Rise Of The Female Gaming Community


Women continue pushing ever further into the esports limelight both as champion players and engaged fans. But lasting progress requires sustained effort from all industry stakeholders to accelerate female inclusion throughout gaming communities, ensure welcoming and safe spaces for women to play and spectate, and fundamentally shift corporate cultures to tangibly demonstrate that woman can — and will — game at the highest levels.


Why are there so few professional women gamers?

●   Lack of prominent female role models in esports dissuades young girls from seeing competitive gaming as a viable career

●   Toxic misogynistic harassment from male players creates an unwelcoming environment

●   Implicit gender bias during talent recruitment overlooks skilled female players

Which country has the most women gamers?

China boasts the world’s largest female gaming population at over 300 million as of 2020.

What percentage of women gamers face sexism while playing games?

Shockingly, studies report 58% of female gamers endure abuse from male players while playing online. 28% personally experience sexual harassment in the form of disturbing comments and threats.

Enjoyed this article? Stay tuned more in-depth coverage of the phenomenal women driving esports into the future.

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