It finally looks like the image of a male-dominated eSports scene is numbered as outstanding female players make their mark and stand above the competition.
Just recently, Blizzard Entertainment video game StarCraft II saw its first female champion as Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn dominated the competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She participated and won the Intel Extreme Masters, which is reportedly an Olympic-sponsored tournament. In addition to the recognition she received as the tourney's top player, the $50,000 prize likewise sweetened the deal.
Kicking Off The Winter Olympics 2018
The Intel Extreme Masters competition is the first of its kind connected to the International Olympic Committee, according to sources. Players from around the globe entered to represent their nations in Pyeongchang and to kick off the Winter Olympics 2018.
South Korea is recognized as one of the top countries when it comes to various eSports-related events. The country flaunts the best win record when it comes to the RTS genre.
Not A Cakewalk By Any Means
It is noted that Sasha Hostyn, who represented Canada, was the only female entry in the highly-competitive real-time strategy game tournament. Furthermore, she went up against players who were on their home turf, which has been known worldwide as the spiritual home of the StarCraft franchise over the years.
"Scarlett" managed to work her way up the ladder and eventually defeated Kim "sOs" Yoo Jin, a veteran with 2 WCS Global championships under his belt, to claim victory with a 4-1 win over her opponent. She had a great start with a 3-0 lead, but Yoo Jin managed to take one game. Ultimately, she closed out with another dominant performance to nab the top prize.
Wouldn't be the winter olympics without a Canadian victory \ o /— Sasha (@onfireScarlett) February 7, 2018
She was by no means considered an underdog from the start, given her Guinness World Records recognition as the highest-earning female player in competitive gaming in 2016.
Her participation in the Intel Extreme Masters 2018 tournament for StarCraft II was almost shot down when a scheduling hitch with another competition came up. Thankfully, the officials of the World Electronic Sports Gaming event coordinated with the organizers of the IEM, which allowed "Scarlett" to join the qualifying matches for North America.
Blizzard Entertainment Prepares For Another First
While the world already recognizes Sasha Hostyn as the first female StarCraft II champion, another eSports tourney is prepared to mark another diversity milestone. The Overwatch League is about to welcome its first female player as Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon is rumored to sign up with the Shanghai Dragons along with two other South Korean players.
Meanwhile, it seems like an interesting coincidence that both games detailed above were developed by Blizzard Entertainment.