New analysis from OddsMonkey has found that female e-sports stars earn much less than the average elite gamer. Here, Peter Watton takes a closer look at the findings, and suggests ways we can help boost female representation in the industry.

The world of e-sports has certainly seen a boom in recent years, with many people choosing to take their hobby to the next level by competing in championships for the chance to take home a cash prize. But, while gaming can be a lucrative sport for some, female players are largely unrepresented in the industry.

At OddsMonkey, we analysed the data from Esportsearnings.com, and compared the total winnings of the top 100 female players with the top 100 highest-earning e-sports stars. We discovered a shocking disparity, with the average female player earning just a fraction of the prize money won by those at the peak of the industry.

What we found – Female Gamers Earn 98% Less

Our results showed that, while the average earnings of the top 100 players sat at around $1,991,618.32, the top 100 female gamers won an average of $33,202.21. That’s 98.33% less!

This means that, for every £100 earned by the average elite gamer, an elite female gamer earns just £1.67.

What’s going on in the top 10?

Looking into the data in more detail, we also analysed the average earnings for the top 10 players in each category.

Top 10 female players for prize money
RankPlayer IDPlayer NamePrize Money
1ScarlettSasha Hostyn$393K
2LiooonLi, Xiao Meng$238K
3MystikKatherine Gunn$123K
4HafuRumay Wang$84K
5Ricki OrtizRicki Ortiz$81K
6NinaNina Qual$78K
7GeguriKim, Se Yeon$70K
8TINARAESTina Perez$66K
9AliceMaureen Gabriella$57K
10Kasumi ChanMarjorie Bartell$55K

 

Top 10 players overall for prize money
RankPlayer idPlayer namePrize money
1N0tailJohan Sundstein$6.97m
2JeraxJesse Vainikka$6.47m
3AnaAnathan Pham$6m
4CebSébastien Debs$5.6m
5TopsonTopias Taavitsainen$5.48m
6KurokyKuro Takhasomi$5.20m
7Miracle-Amer Al-Barkawi$4.80m
8Mind_controlIvan Ivanov$4.58m
9GHMaroun Merhej$4.20m
10MatumbamanLasse Urpalainen$3.77m

 

As you can see, there’s a shocking disparity between the average earnings of the top 10 female players, and the top 10 players overall.

Sasha Hostyn (also known as Scarlett) is the highest earning female e-sports star, taking home a total of $393,000 throughout her career. This is just 5.64% of the $6.97 million earned by Johan Sundstein (also known as N0tail), the highest earning player overall.

Not only does Scarlett earn less than the highest earning player, but she currently ranks at number 325 in the top 500. That means there are 324 male players taking home more winnings.

So, what can we change?

Scarlett is certainly a competent player, and her achievements in StarCraft II are testament to her skills. And, Liooon winning the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals in 2019 is further proof that the problem isn’t down to skill, but potentially the lack of female representation in the gaming sector.

While gaming has long been considered a ‘boys’ club’, the figures suggest that male and female interest in the industry is almost equal. 41% of gamers in the US are female, and this number has been as high as 46% in recent years (Statista). But, this stigma and idea of gaming being ‘only for boys’ seems to persist, which can make e-sports intimidating for young women interested in pursuing it as a hobby or career. And the reality is, many just don’t want to deal with the toxicity that elite female players can face.

So how can we make gaming a safe space for women?

All-female teams and clubs have done a lot to help boost participation numbers and encourage women to compete. We also need to start celebrating the successes of female gamers more, showing off the great role models we have for the next generation. By normalising the idea of women in e-sports, we can hopefully make the industry more accepting, and a much more attractive proposition for female gamers.

This extends to the industry as a whole too. From game development to marketing, we need to work to remove the stigma and make it more accepting.

The fact that Female Gamers Earn 98% Less shows the gender disparity in e-sports truly is shocking. But, by celebrating the success of elite female gamers and reducing the stigma that surrounds the industry, we can help make it a more welcoming space for everyone.

The research conducted by OddsMonkey shows that the gaming industry really has a long way to go. To keep up with the latest news and guides, make sure you check out the rest of Tech on the Go’s gaming hub.