Blizzard’s brutally male-dominated Overwatch League is going to see a dramatic shift as the first female player is taken on by an Overwatch League team. Actually, the fact that Overwatch is so male-dominated has led to a considerable amount of controversy, as the community has debated several times in the past the reasons behind this.
All that may be about to change
We have information that the dominating female player Zarya Se-yeon, known as Geguri, may be accepting an offer from a dominant team. At the very least, she’s said as much streaming on Twitch. While Geguri hasn’t really specified which team she’s joining, the odds are on New York Excelsior, which she has close ties to, and all the players of which are Korean speakers, which would allow her to merge tactics with other members of the roster. New York Excelsior is also exceptional for their large roster, which makes their taking on another member that much more likely.
It’s unlikely that Geguri will be serving on the A-team right off the bat
NYE has an academy team, and it’s likely that any new member joining the team will be put on that first, until they can demonstrate that they can actually contribute within the ambience of the Excelsior squad. Geguri’s skills are more than obvious, and anyone who watches her live streams can see this right away.
However, there’s no official statement as of yet
When contacted, Overwatch officials revealed that there has been no contract filed to link Geguri with a Overwatch League team. It’s current form on the Overwatch League that a contract for any new addition to a roster be filed with the League, and that the League has to approve that contract.
Why are there so few women pros in Overwatch?
Once an esport becomes highly male-dominated, it can be hard for female players to break in. However, what many people perhaps don’t realize is that a good deal of the top pro talent in Overwatch comes from Korea, and Korean culture frowns down upon women moving into a house with, and living in the same quarters as a group of unattached men. This means that top Korean female pros might shy away from the communal environment of a top pro team.
There’s also a certain element of Overwatch being a ‘men-only club’
This means that female pros may encounter, if not outright harassment, even just being treated differently from male pros. In the atmosphere of a professional team, treating someone ‘differently’ – for example, by not criticizing mistakes she makes – can be fatal. Team management might be concerned about management issues that could arise from having female members on a team. However, if Geguri’s Twitch stream is on the spot, all that is indeed likely to change.