Top 400 Women In Esports Combined Make Less Than Half The Top Man's Earnings
As I'm sure you're aware by now, there's an awful lot of money to be made in esports, as companies like Epic and Ubisoft continue to invest hefty levels of cash in nurturing the competitive scenes for their games with large-scale events that attract thousands of viewers and attractive prize pools that further incentivise pro players to bring their A game. Add to that revenue from Twitch streams and various sponsorship deals, and making a career out of professional gaming is a more viable option than it's ever been.
Unfortunately, it seems to be a more viable path for men than women, as a detailed new study has discovered the top 400 women in esports make less than half of what the top male esports pro makes on his own. Via VG247, the British online Marketplace took a look through data provided by EsportsEarnings to work out just how much money the top female esports players make, and the findings really aren't great.
Incredibly, not one woman actually makes into the top 300 highest-earning esports players. The highest-ranking female is Starcraft II player Sasha 'Scarlett' Hostyn, whose total earnings of over $330,000 only gets her to 329. The second highest female earner is Halo: Reach's Katherine 'Mystik' Gunn, who doesn't even get into the top 500 with $122,000.
As others quickly pointed out, the highest-earning male player, that's DOTA 2's Johan Sundstein, has an eye-watering $7 million to his name. In fairness to him, a large portion of that is the result of two big international wins, but there's no denying that the report paints a grim picture of the large divide between male and female players on the esports scene.
There's no denying that Sundstein's earnings being more than 20 times Scarlett's earnings is more than a little out of whack, while adding up the earnings of the top 400 female players only comes to $3.03 million, which doesn't even come close to what Sundstein's earnings.
Some will inevitably argue that the divide in earnings between genders here is down to the fact that the male players simply win more competitions and thus net larger prize pools, but the gulf being this big surely suggests that there's a very real problem at play?
There's certainly no denying that the male players on the list worked incredibly hard to get their cheddar, but you have to question whether female pro players are getting the same opportunities. Certainly, it's been clearly documented that women in the esports scene face a heckuva lot more harassment than their male peers. Hopefully these findings inspire a deeper conservation about the gender divide in esports, instead of simply more mud-slinging and name-calling.
Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft/Epic Games