ESL Women CS:GO 2022 circuit revealed – #GGFORALL reactions mixed
This week, ESL Counter-Strike has unveiled a pretty wide-reaching new initiative. #GGFORALL is a program aimed towards women in esports. It will contain a number of measures, but most notably a new ESL woman’s CSGO circuit. The initiative is aiming to build up a women’s CSGO scene, with regional leagues and LAN events. This will be supported by a woman’s council and talent development program. This is what’s going on with the ESL woman’s CSGO circuit, and how some of the reactions have been:
ESL Woman’s CSGO Circuit
The main element of the #GGFORALL announcement is the CS GO woman’s circuit. This is going to be an entire circuit for the game with a prize pool extending up to $500,000. There will be online regional parts of the league to foster new talent. These will then lead into two global finals. They’ll be held at DreamHack Dallas and DreamHack Winter. These are two of the DreamHack 2022 events already announced.
This will be a standalone pro league, with different teams competing. On top of this though, more competitive events have been announced. These include online cash cups and smaller tournaments at events like DreamHack Valencia.
The League will be beginning with its first split in March. This part is going to last through May. Then, the top teams will move forward to the League Final at DreamHack Dallas in June.
>wants to tackle discrimination
>announces women only tournaments
— retro (@coleboyya) December 21, 2021
#GGFORALL is the hashtag!
Alongside the events themselves, the ESL Woman’s CSGO circuit is having some infrastructure to support its efforts. One element will be a new woman’s player council. This will provide feedback on how the project is going. The aim is to help make sure this initiative is longer lasting than previous efforts, and hopefully with better results.
The #GGFORALL initiative will also be including a talent development program. This will aim to find new woman casters and on-screen talent for future CSGO events.
Reactions to the #GGFORALL initiative
Reactions to the ESL women’s CSGO League have been a bit mixed. This could probably be expected given how previous schemes to involve more women in esports have been received. Some people have taken issue with the idea that esports is gender-segregated at all. For the most part, most games aren’t male-only, it just kind of works out that way. Segregated Leagues aren’t appreciated by some elements of the fanbase who would rather talent programs worked to foster female talent without dividing them up into a separate league.
Did I miss where #ggforall is suddenly something new? I'd take the $500,000 and bet that it still doesn't pave the way to mixed rosters in a meaningful fashion.
— iBones (@iBonesTV) December 22, 2021
Another issue that has been raised is how a gender-segregated league deals with trans players. Organizers have said they’re working on integration for this, but treating it as an after-thought isn’t a great look.
We plan to be as inclusive as possible and will reveal the full details in January as part of a follow-up announcement.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) December 21, 2021
Reactions to an initiative like #GGFORALL are probably always going to be mixed in esports. Few people would deny that women are largely under-represented in esports pro level though. The toxicity of fans and viewers of esports leagues has often been quoted as a hurdle to that.
"#GGFORALL initiative to tackle discrimination, promote mental wellbeing"
The man just proved the whole point of why we need it
— ChrisJafar but Break Season (@Chrissao_) December 21, 2021
If this new CSGO initiative can get past this hurdle, it will be at least something of a success. That is easier said than done though. Online harassment and toxicity is just as likely for a a woman’s only League as a mixed League. The #GGFORALL announcement has been met with some mixed reactions, but most are welcoming something being done about a clear problem of gender disparity in esports, even if they disagree with the exact method of organization.