Following the enormous outcry of gamers angry that International eSports Federation had forbidden women from some of its tournaments
, including Hearthstone
, the organization decided to open up the playing field to both genders.
"Upon hearing these concerns, the IeSF convoked an emergency session of the IeSF Board to respond," the Federation posted on the official site
. "As a result, IeSF shall have two event categories: 'Open for All' events and events that are reserved for women. The events which were initially set aside as the male division will now be open to all genders, and the events which were initially set as the female division will remain as they were."
The IeSF defended its former rationale for segregating men and women in the event, saying that it did so to encourage female players to engage in the tournaments: "The IeSF's female-only competitions aim to bring more diversity to competitive play by improving the representation of women at these events. Without efforts to improve representation, e-sports can't achieve true gender equality."
[To clarify since there's some confusion in the comments: Men can now participate in all five games. Women can now participate in all five games on the same teams as the men. Women can additionally play in women-only brackets for SC2
and Tekken Tag
. Those two games are included in the games men can play in the mixed gender lineup (Tekken Tag
wasn't available to men originally, just as Hearthstone
was blocked from women, but this has been rectified). Neither men nor women are now barred from any game in the tourney