Some sectors of the Starcraft 2 world were abuzz a few weeks ago when the professional talent farm known as SlayerS Clan announced that Kim Shee-Yoon would be joining the team as SlayerS_Eve. While not much is known about the 22 year old, the fact that she doesn’t own a penis sent shockwaves throughout the pro gaming community. I mean, how exactly is she supposed to humiliate her opponents post-match without a sausage slap to the face?
Oh, wait. Maybe an end to literal and figurative dick-waving is just what gaming fucking needs.
Let’s face it gentlemen,* videogaming as a collective whole isn’t exactly a nurturing environment for females interested in joining in on the fun. Sure, things remain fairly civil within the confines of a shared gaming space, but factoring the anonymous internet asshole variable into online play means female names, avatars, or voices are often greeted with suboptimal behavior. In most cases, it’s confined to simple derision, bragging, or frequent references to fellatio. Or, in the case of Team Fortress 2’s community, a slew of instant marriage proposals. Keep it classy, soldiers.
The problem, of course, is that the gaming community as a whole is not mentally prepared to accept outsiders into its hallowed halls. “Non-traditional gamers” may be ready to give Halo 12 a shot, but that doesn’t mean the legions of dropship troopers out there are ready to welcome them, especially if they have breasts. Or they’re…. okay, I guess that’s pretty much the only thing other than “old” that’s encapsulated by “non-traditional gamers.” Sue me.
So, what will SlayerS_Eve change? Nothing, yet. As it stands, she’s not a particularly talented player, with rumors circulating she’s currently placed between Gold and low Masters league (mind you, in Korea of all places). Instead of being hired for skill, she’s being taken in for a bit of an apprenticeship to see if SlayerS can turn her into one of the first real female pro gamers. And, assuming she puts in the same practice as the rest of her compatriots, why shouldn’t she? Starcraft 2 doesn’t require brute strength, reaching high cabinets, or forceful penetration, so there’s no physiological reason Kim Shee-Yoon can’t compete.
I’m not expecting Eve to be amazing… at least, not any more than I’d expect myself to turn pro if SlayerS pulled me straight out of Gold League and into battle bootcamp. What I do expect, though, is for guy gamers to slowly raise their expectations of how females can perform in professional matches. Of course, the primary challenge is up to the ladies to conquer; they’re the ones who must make it into finals rounds of major tournaments or… god forbid… take home a trophy. It’s only a matter of time until a woman stands in the victor’s circle of NASL or MLG Dallas or EVO, but the reality is it’s going to be a while. In the interim, try to play nice, maintain a professional air, and for everyone’s sake, stop screaming about your dick into the mic.
* I use this term as loosely as possible. And the fact that you’re snickering over the word “loosely” isn’t helping things, either.