The Swedish organisation Female Legends has announced a sizable 5 million SEK (£423,000) investment with a view to getting more women involved in esports across the board.
As reported by Esportsare, the project, titled ‘Future of e-sports’, is aimed at creating a safe and more inclusive space with more diversity to enable more girls and women to play games and develop their skills with a view to them becoming esports stars of the future. The funding has been provided by Swedish Arvsfonden, or Swedish Inheritance Fund, is a state fund which has existed since 1928, the aim being to support non-profits and voluntary organisations to improve conditions for children, young people and the disabled.
Female Legends will be collaborating with fellow Swedish gaming organization Sverok, University of Skövde and computer store Inet who will be supplying 45 computers for the project.
Liza Lind, Chairwoman of Female Legends, detailed in the press release about this news that esports is one of the few sports where men and women are on an equal footing. Despite this, there is a decline in girls playing games when they hit their teenage years in contrast to boys. This project wants to change that.
Female Legends boasts over 1600 members; it runs bootcamps and educational conferences all targeted at getting more women into esports and improve the environment for those already involved.
We were able to speak to Liza Lind. Here is an exclusive Q&A with Esports Insider:-
ESI: This is a sizable investment, can you give us more details as to how you’ll be using the money to bring this project to life?
Liza Lind: First of all we will have three people working full time with this project, which will give us the possibility to really accelerate Female Legends as an organisation. We can now do a lot more!
In the project we will work with esports camps for females aged 13-26 years. Our objective is to get girls networking and improving in esports, while we at the same time investigate what parameters are influencing why so many girls stop playing esports in their early teens, and what obstacles they meet. We are also focusing on educating about esports, especially for parents and people working with children and teenagers. This will be achieved by three educational conferences with focus on esports and improving the culture on the internet.
ESI: What does success look like for this project, what exactly are the goals?
Liza: The first goal is to collect our experiences within and outside of the project and write a handbook to make esports more inclusive and equal.
The second goal is to achieve a bigger understanding for esports, especially among parents and teachers. Our third goal is to show that esports need a higher degree of organisation, like “regular” sports. There should be clubs where you can go practice (like soccer, tennis or whatever). We think that this will contribute to a better online climate, since leaders are needed in esports as well as in other sports.
ESI: Thoughts on female only tournaments and competitions? In the short term and long term?
Liza: Short term good, long term not good. Esports can be played by (almost) anyone, and there is no difference between men and women that makes either group better at esports.
There are simply other obstacles that makes it harder for women to prove themselves in esports. Short term women need female tournaments in order to dare competing. We know by experience that many women do not compete in unisex tournaments out of fear of harassment. Female only tournaments can help women get self esteem enough to dare moving on to unisex tournaments and investing in a career in esports.
Esports Insider says: This seems a great initiative and good to see Female Legends get the backing it deserves for an honourable goal. Best of luck to the organisation going forward and we’ll check back in down the line to see what progress has been made!