The Genesis 3 eSports event hosts Super Smash Sisters, the largest gathering of female Smash players ever.
Women have always been somewhat underrepresented in most sports. Although they’re much more welcome in eSports, there have still been cases of harassment and prejudice against them. Maybe it’s because of how games are targeted for them but men have always ruled eSports. Things are slowly beginning to change though. Women are slowly gaining ground in eSports through events like Super Smash Sisters. The brainchild of Lil “Milktea” Chen and Emily “EmilyWaves” Sun, this was held as part of another event called Genesis 3 last weekend. Genesis is an annual competition for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros.
27% of U.S. eSports viewers are women https://t.co/VBCLgL5cgX
— remeshed (@RemeshedCom) January 15, 2016
Super Smash Bros. Tournaments and Women.
If you look at recent Super Smash Bros. tournaments, a majority of the competitors are usually men. This isn’t to say that women don’t have a place in these events though. The reason for the low turnout of women is more of a perception issue. The Smash community is mostly made up of males in their early teens to late twenties. Girls who want to join will usually have second thoughts the moment they realize the demographic of the community.
The solution that Lil Chen and Emily Sun thought of was to organize their own event that focused on slowly integrating women into the larger Smash community. This actually started with Nebulous, another set of events that EmilyWaves organized. However, the turnout for these events weren’t really that good. Sun noted that there were about five competitors that signed up for each of the two events that she hosted.
The Birth of Super Smash Sisters.
The announcement of Genesis 3 was when the idea for Super Smash Sisters blew up. It started with a couple of ideas being bounced off of Twitter and eventually on the Genesis 3 Facebook page. Unlike Nebulous, interest for a ladies-only side event during Genesis got more favorable responses. Following this, lady gamers from across the States now wanted to be in on the event.
With the idea getting positive responses, Sun asked for Lil “Milktea” Chen’s help in promoting the event. Chen was a veteran of the Smash community and agreed to promote Super Smash Sisters. For her, having an event this large was a big deal. In all her years as part of the community, this was the first time to be a part of a women’s only competition. It was really just unprecedented in the history of competitive Smash Bros.
The Real Winners.
There were more than 50 women who competed during the Super Smash Sisters event. A far cry from the Nebulous events that only had five participants each. At the end of the day, the East Coast crew triumphed over NorCal to become the first Smash Sisters champions.
The results of the event though weren’t as profound as what it accomplished. For the first time, women were able to freely compete and express themselves in the fighting game that they loved.
— GameCo Inc. (@GameCoInc) January 2, 2016
The real winners of the event weren’t the East Coast crew. No, the real winners were everyone who organized and participated in it. It was a win for women gamers as well as eSports. Make no mistake about it though, Super Smash Sisters is just the beginning. Hopefully there would be more events like it in the future.
It would be interesting to see how the communities of other competitive games empower women. The Dota 2, League of Legends, and Street Figther IV/V communities will undoubtedly have something similar planned.