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Female-only Counter-Strike leagues: a necessity or a step back?

Auguste Massonnat

Auguste “Semmler” Massonnat is a beloved esports caster and a host for large CS:GO events, most notably this year’s PGL Stockholm Major and BLAST Premier: Fall Finals.

Recently, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community stumbled upon another hot topic. Although this issue has been on the minds of some players for quite a while, it has reached its peak (or rather hit another one of those) when a respected member of the CS community Auguste “Semmler” Massonnat posted a series of Tweets detailing his stance on the issue.

Some Twitter users found the caster’s comments inflammatory and unfair towards women, so the talent went ahead to clarify his stance on this issue.

However, these comments nevertheless caused a shockwave of responses within the community. Most notably, the main online hub for all things Counter-Strike, the r/globaloffensive subreddit, was hit by a post accusing the caster of having a meltdown over this discussion. This post quickly gathered more than 3 thousand upvotes from the users, generating so many comments that it eventually spiraled out of control and had to be locked down by the moderators.

Philip Dyer

More known under the alias 2kliksphilip, Philip is a popular Counter-Strike YouTuber and a fan of all Valve titles in general. Can’t blame him!

The yet another rise of this topic even prompted a prominent Counter-Strike (and not only!) YouTuber 2kliksphilip (or, rather, his “brother” 3kliksphilip) to post a ten-minute long video detailing his opinion on the issue.

Here, the YouTuber points out how different games tackled this question. For instance, the most prominent title is Riot Games’ VALORANT – and since it’s in the same market niche as Counter-Strike, it makes this example have even more weight. Established as a competitive game from its inception, Valorant gives everyone a fair opportunity to compete, obviously including women. Valorant’s Game Changers series offer female-only leagues to demonstrate and nurture female talent.

However, the grass is always greener on the other side: and this is no exception. While Valorant is indeed known for its inclusivity, its community ironically sometimes asks for the exact same thing Semmler got a cold treatment for in the CS:GO community: mixed female and male matches.

Either way, this topic seems quite a challenge to tackle, otherwise this discussion wouldn’t have taken this long.

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