As disparities in pay exist on the basketball court and soccer field, female pro gamers in eSports also contend with pay inequity in the virtual space. That lack of parity is showing up in real-time in their household income. In our study of nearly 1,000 respondents who identify as pro gamers (extremely serious about playing, participate in competitions), about 30% are female. Among them, female pro gamers reported a total household income of less than $10,000, while male pro gamers reported a total household income greater than $150,000. This reporting is interesting because the most reported industry in which they work is IT/Programming.
When asked about their future, 65% of female gamers responded feeling optimistic compared to 83% of their male counterparts, yet the disparities continue into the fintech space. Only 62% of female gamers stated they held cryptocurrency, versus 87% of male gamers stated they held cryptocurrency. When comparing credit scores, 63% of female gamers stated having at least good credit scores compared to 88% of male gamers. Half of female gamers stated having enough money set aside for a rainy day, while three-fourths of male gamers stated having enough.
Digging a little deeper into the types of games played by female and male pro gamers, we found some curiosities that may be fueling the disparity, such as the platforms female gamers most commonly use. Our data shows that female gamers responded highly to playing puzzle/word or number games while male gamers responded highly to playing fighting games. Fifty-one percent of female gamers said they played on a mobile device, while 59% of male gamers said they played on a console such as a PlayStation or Xbox.
But that doesn’t explain why female pro gamers who play competitive eSports and compete in tournaments like The International Dota 2 games experience a lower earning capacity than their male counterparts. Female gamers deserve better, not just because they are women but because they have earned it. Just ask Nadrah Saufi, who, along with her teammates, made history for being the first Commonwealth eSport Championships (CEC) Dota 2 Women’s Division gold medalists.