When it comes to bridging gaps both cultural and age-related to unite individuals sharing a common passion, competitive gaming communities shine. But even with all the diversity these communities bring about, we still see a distinct lack of female representation at large gaming gatherings. That’s not to say females have no representation at all–they do–but one can’t deny that major gaming events tend to draw a predominantly male crowd, spectator and competitor alike.
This topic isn’t easy to address. Often, those within a given scene who wish to welcome everyone may not know where to begin when it comes to opening the appropriate doors to do so; conversely, those working to keep such doors closed may be doing so without realizing the effects of their actions. With this in mind, Lil “milktea” Chen, who has discussed this topic at length, recently teamed up with Emily “EmilyWaves” Sun to open some of those doors.
Super Smash Sisters, which took place last weekend during Genesis 3, consisted of two sets of crew battles–one casual, one competitive–pitting all-female teams against one another in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Not only did the event produce an impressive turnout, it also caught the attention of the Genesis tournament organizers and the streaming team at Big Blue eSports, all of whom, according to a recent interview with Red Bull eSports, were more than happy to do whatever they could to help Super Smash Sisters succeed.
The event drew undeniably skilled competitors who had obviously spent hundreds of hours gripping GameCube controllers and throwing down on Final Destination and Battlefield. But, perhaps more importantly, it also attracted the attention of players with markedly less experience, helping to solidify the importance of gatherings like these.
Not only do such events encourage female players to get out there and compete, they do so by offering an environment ready to welcome and encourage those of all skill levels. It’s imperative for the health and growth of all gaming scenes to be able to provide such players with a positive, safe environment in which they can learn while engaging with others who share common interests.
In the video below, the final two crews from the competitive side of the event–East Coast and NorCal–do battle to determine which region fielded the best players in this milestone tournament. The replays come complete with commentary from EmilyWave and Panda Global’s Robert “Wobbles” Wright, though it may be a bit hard to hear due to the overflow of vocal support from onlookers.
With Genesis 3 merely a week behind us, it’s too soon to say what sort of impact the Super Smash Sisters crew battles have had on competitive gaming, but we can say for sure that the interest in such events exists, and this certainly won’t be the last of its kind.