Food for Thought: FPL Teams With Pro Status
This is an opinion piece and does not represent the viewpoint of GAMURS.
It is undeniable that talented female competitors often have a difficult time earning the same reputation that a talented male competitor may receive. Often being stereotyped and brought down to the discourteous level of eGirls that only gain popularity within the competitive scene by exposing their body for views, I believe a serious argument can be made that females, until as of late have not had a very fair opportunity to compete and gain a reputation solely off of their skill as a player. Thanks to the culmination of a dedicated female community and some males that are bold enough to stand beside them, there is now a league whose only intention is to provide female gamers and opportunity to compete in an environment that neglects any possibility of stereotypical acts that may tarnish the ambitions of these females who yearn to achieve “Pro Status” one day. The Female Pro League, or “FPL” for short, has done their very best to provide females with this welcoming environment for females. Receiving praise from many for their efforts, FPL is certainly on the right path to revolutionary success, but are there problems within the name itself that may distract someone from the true goal FPL aspires to achieve?
Within competition, a professional gamer or “pro,” for short, traditionally is an individual whose talent and success ranks them amongst some of the best within the scene. There is even constant argument within the pro scene as to whether or not an amateur who gets signed to a pro team should even be considered pro prior to actually getting a pro placing. These debates are often ignited whenever a young, talented individual joins a pro team and, naturally, FPL has entered this discussion based off of the name itself. Considering the name FPL has, it would make sense that female teams who earn a top-eight or top-16 placing based on size would be considered "pro teams," at least within the league itself based off of traditional tournament standards. However, how far should that pro status extend and should these pro female teams relish the rewards that are often reserved only for the best pro teams?
From what I have noticed, “reward” appears to be the most substantial topic to debate. Most don't care about a female team carrying the title “pro,” but the fame and rewards that come with being under organizations that typically hold their spots for only the best pro teams appears to be the biggest circumstance some feel offended by. Some of the top amatuer teams may feel that these female teams aren't as talented as their respective team and may be taking advantage of the segregation of genders to gain the obvious rewards pros get without having to actually compete at the environment these top pros compete at.
When talking about this dilemma with Brent J. Beckner, who is the owner of an organization named Reign Pro, he had this to say. “I can't count the number of funding request I've received from rosters who haven't ever placed above T75, If they ever even competed at an event. Most of which are looking for full funding because they won a GB match.”
On one end, one may argue that these females should get a full sponsor if an organization is willing to pay them, but others may still feel aggravated that these females are getting full sponsors that they feel could be put into better use with another, more talented team. I believe this is a dilemma that has been self-inflicted on FPL’s behalf for segregating. Although I support the idea of a Female League, segregating an entire gender will always lead to speculation that the top female teams may not be as talented as the people within FPL glorify them to be.
After talking to Olivia “xPriismz” Parsons, the President of Female Pro League, it seems very clear that her goal is to not ignite this debate of whether these female teams are deserving of the rewards they may get, but more to simply create an environment where females can compete without having the face the sexist remarks and expectations some males and eGirls apply on them. This is certainly an issue that is caused only by those outside of FPL.
What do you think about FPL teams with pro status? Let me know in the comments section below.
Zachery Chevere can be contacted on Twitter @eSportsZach and emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org