F1 Esports Launches "Women’s Wildcard" Qualifier for Pro Exhibition

Motorsports in general is running out of rich old guys willing to spill money into it, any honest attempt to reach a new audience should be applauded, not ridiculed.

I agree they should be making attempts, but they should do them properly. I find this attempt, in particular, shortsighted. They're not thinking that it could worsen the situation instead of improve it for women.

First, there's the whole 'wildcard' aspect to it. In sport, a 'wildcard' is defined as: "an opportunity to enter a sports competition without having to take part in qualifying matches or be ranked at a particular level." That's already starting from the principal of "There's no way you'll make it this far if you have to beat everyone, so let me give you a hand", which, if you want to make the argument that women can be just as competitive as men at e-sports, is an insult to the women competing and giving their all.

Second, let's put the hypothesis that this woman, who enters the competition, for whatever reason, has a horrible race, causes a crash, maybe even takes out another favorite driver, in the process. IF this happens, can you see the bad press this will get for women in e-sports, especially since she didn't qualify through the same place as everyone else? "She just got a free pass in, what is she is even doing here!"; "Like a Mahaveer Raghunathan, doesn't belong here"; the comments could go. It's that kind of outcome that they're not thinking about, they just want to get a woman into their ranks without regard to how she may end up being perceived, and the damage that may be done to the image of women in racing e-sports.

They could be lucky and this woman will be an amazing driver, entirely possible, and everything will go great. But there is a better way to do this, in my opinion, even if would take a little longer to set up.
 

Northstar

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They're not thinking that it could worsen the situation instead of improve it for women.

I'm not sure how it could worsen it, society already treats female gamers rather poorly (if they even acknowledge them).

First, there's the whole 'wildcard' aspect to it. In sport, a 'wildcard' is defined as: "an opportunity to enter a sports competition without having to take part in qualifying matches or be ranked at a particular level."

A qualifying event you say? You mean like the one this thread is discussing?

That's already starting from the principal of "There's no way you'll make it this far if you have to beat everyone, so let me give you a hand", which, if you want to make the argument that women can be just as competitive as men at e-sports, is an insult to the women competing and giving their all.

Is it also insulting when they separate a competition into different regions? Because I'd imagine there is a good list of participants that could have made it further in any given competition had they just lived in a different region.

Second, let's put the hypothesis that this woman, who enters the competition, for whatever reason, has a horrible race, causes a crash, maybe even takes out another favorite driver, in the process. IF this happens, can you see the bad press this will get for women in e-sports, especially since she didn't qualify through the same place as everyone else? "She just got a free pass in, what is she is even doing here!"; "Like a Mahaveer Raghunathan, doesn't belong here"; the comments could go. It's that kind of outcome that they're not thinking about, they just want to get a woman into their ranks without regard to how she may end up being perceived, and the damage that may be done to the image of women in racing e-sports.

The only time I could see that happening is if the media source was the kind that wouldn't give her a fair chance even if they won the whole thing in convincing fashion.

But there is a better way to do this, in my opinion, even if would take a little longer to set up.

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Storm--Trooper-
Motorsports in general is running out of rich old guys willing to spill money into it, any honest attempt to reach a new audience should be applauded, not ridiculed.
It's not being ridiculed we are just saying it's not needed, all you guys with your super hero capes on saying your going to help the females from a life without esports is the problem. If they decide they want to compete they will. Has anyone actually asked any female drivers if they want this? My wife has no interest in video games at all and I'm not going to try and change that. It seems like it's trying to solve a problem that isn't a problem.
 

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While there's no doubt that there are women who are interested in cars and racing, it's probably quite safe to say that statistically, men on the whole would be far more interested.
You will have no problem at all providing those statistics then, as even ten years ago the viewership for Top Gear was 42% female, so statistically the most well known car show on earth was not of 'far more interest to men'.

https://a2mcdermottj.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/top-gear-sexist-boys-club-or-self-parody/

It's these kind of blatantly sexist assumptions that are at the root of this problem.

It's not being ridiculed we are just saying it's not needed, all you guys with your super hero capes on saying your going to help the females from a life without esports is the problem. If they decide they want to compete they will. Has anyone actually asked any female drivers if they want this? My wife has no interest in video games at all and I'm not going to try and change that. It seems like it's trying to solve a problem that isn't a problem.
Damn, a sample size of one, that's me convinced then!

Maybe some of the 42% of the Top Gear audience might be however?

Or the near 40% of the BTCC audience

Or that 50% of the fans new to F1

And those figures are despite the absurd assumptions being made about if women are interested, what would they look like if some effort to get women further involved existed.
 
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No effort is needed as your own stats have proven.
Just the response I expected.

Yes an effort does still need to be made, because the absurd and inaccurate assumptions you clearly demonstrated still exist remain, and that puts women off active participation.

You do actually understand that watching something and actively taking part in an eSport event around it that has an entirely male top tier are actually different but related things?

You don't get to argue that no effort needs to be made because women are not interested and then expect to be taken seriously when you get proven wrong and try and claim it's now not needed.

Well of course you can, but its not a good look really.
 
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What's the better way?

(I'm not involved in this initiative/series by the way, just genuinely curious)


A whole championship for them, just like the men have. An e-sports W Series. With big money and prizes to win, like the men, to make it worth it.

Or you could also just leave the tournament, like it is, since it already has no gender restriction on entries, and wait for a Michèle Mouton to rise through the ranks on her speed and skill, no shortcuts, and show everyone how it's done, just like the legend Mouton showed fellow legends like Hannu Mikkola and Walter Rohrl.

A qualifying event you say? You mean like the one this thread is discussing?

Yes, a qualifying event in which 90% or more of the competition you would face, should you go the normal route, is removed.

I'm not sure how it could worsen it, society already treats female gamers rather poorly (if they even acknowledge them).

"Society" is a very large group of people. Even saying "gamers treat females poorly" is quite a broad stroke. Besides, even if they are down on the dirt, like you say, why is there a need to, potentially, dig deeper?

Is it also insulting when they separate a competition into different regions? Because I'd imagine there is a good list of participants that could have made it further in any given competition had they just lived in a different region.

Actually, the separation by nations/regions, and then allocating qualification slots to those regions, is something that bothers me. They do it for regions to be equally represented, but that goes against the spirit of finding the best of the best. If we are looking for the best then we have to let the best rise through, and that means everyone taking on everyone. If I were to run a tournament, I wouldn't divide by nation or region. There would be X amount of slots for the finals and it would be a free-for-all, with as many entries, per region/nation, as they could/wanted to enter. If a significant majority of all competitors are European, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from the Americas, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from Asia, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from Oceania, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from Africa, so be it. Let those who show the mettle, on the track, shine no matter where they're from.

The only time I could see that happening is if the media source was the kind that wouldn't give her a fair chance even if they won the whole thing in convincing fashion.

I would be surprised if there was a major media outlet that would treat her poorly, even if she failed drastically. The issue is, will most people care about what the media says? The kind of people that would love to have ammunition to throw, against women in e-sports, certainly won't care. So more thought should have been given into not providing said ammunition.

Whether we like it or not, the woman who wins this wildcard qualifier, will have been given a gentler hill to climb, than her fellow competitors, in the Pro Exhibition. If she happens not to be at the level of the rest of the field, inevitably, legitimate questions will be risen on whether she is worthy of being at that level, not because she's a woman, but because her skill-set is not up to par. However, you know those people, I mentioned above, will make it about her being a woman.
 
1,710
The simple fact of the matter is that statistics can be easily manipulated to prove anything an individual may want to prove. The fact that 42% of Top Gear viewers were female is a case in point. Were those women watching with their boyfriends, husbands, female friends or alone? That stat does not show up.

Men can just as easily watch a show which appeals more to women but choose to watch with their wives or girlfriends as a way of showing their love and wanting to share the experience. It doesn't necessarily mean they would watch it on their own. I used to watch QVC and other jewellery shopping channels with my Mum as a way of spending time with her and just being quite inquisitive about many things. Doesn't mean I care much about jewellery.

The same could be said for BTCC or F1.

Now, without going to every single woman on the planet and finding out if they believe a separate eSports event for women is either a) a good thing b) a bad thing c) don't know/don't care/undecided, we'll never know.
 

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Actually, the separation by nations/regions, and then allocating qualification slots to those regions, is something that bothers me. They do it for regions to be equally represented, but that goes against the spirit of finding the best of the best. If we are looking for the best then we have to let the best rise through, and that means everyone taking on everyone. If I were to run a tournament, I wouldn't divide by nation or region. There would be X amount of slots for the finals and it would be a free-for-all, with as many entries, per region/nation, as they could/wanted to enter. If a significant majority of all competitors are European, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from the Americas, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from Asia, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from Oceania, so be it. If a significant majority of all competitors are from Africa, so be it. Let those who show the mettle, on the track, shine no matter where they're from.
And that's why the people who run it will never get you to arrange it.

Unless they have a global representation to the finals they massively limit the audience and the ad revenue they get from those audiences if one locale end up dominating (and yes this does have a real world racing match - the lack of American drivers in F1 has long been a limiting factor in F1's popularity in the US).

This is, at the end of the day a business, and those business considerations will always factor into it. They want finals that are representative of the audience, and to also try and grown the audience in areas or groups that are not currently well represented and/or they want to attract.

Now that very concept may offend those of a purist nature, but the cold hard truth is that Motorsport (and by extension the eSports that now support it) are businesses, and that is not going to change.

The simple fact of the matter is that statistics can be easily manipulated to prove anything an individual may want to prove. The fact that 42% of Top Gear viewers were female is a case in point. Were those women watching with their boyfriends, husbands, female friends or alone? That stat does not show up.

Men can just as easily watch a show which appeals more to women but choose to watch with their wives or girlfriends as a way of showing their love and wanting to share the experience. It doesn't necessarily mean they would watch it on their own. I used to watch QVC and other jewellery shopping channels with my Mum as a way of spending time with her and just being quite inquisitive about many things. Doesn't mean I care much about jewellery.

The same could be said for BTCC or F1.

Now, without going to every single woman on the planet and finding out if they believe a separate eSports event for women is either a) a good thing b) a bad thing c) don't know/don't care/undecided, we'll never know.
Because when you spend that much money on marketing you don't just guess.

F1 fan surveys show that direct feedback from women (and under 25s) is growing, with women being the largest grown area, so when they say that 50% of new F1 fans are women, they are basing that on direct evidence, focus groups, social media activity and a hell of a lot more.

Women watch motorsport, women watch car programmes, not just with partners because they feel duty bound, but because they want to. They are one of the fastest growth areas in terms of audience, as such efforts to grown, retain and get that audience more involved is a sound business choice you can be damn sure is backed up with a wealth of data.

Data that will have gotten more an more accurate as viewing is switching away from traditional TV to mobile devices, tablets and PC's. Allowing little confusion about exactly who is watching and the demographic they fall into.
 
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And that's why the people who run it will never get you to arrange it.

Unless they have a global representation to the finals they massively limit the audience and the ad revenue they get from those audiences if one locale end up dominating (and yes this does have a real world racing match - the lack of American drivers in F1 has long been a limiting factor in F1's popularity in the US).

This is, at the end of the day a business, and those business considerations will always factor into it. They want finals that are representative of the audience, and to also try and grown the audience in areas or groups that are not currently well represented and/or they want to attract.

Now that very concept may offend those of a purist nature, but the cold hard truth is that Motorsport (and by extension the eSports that now support it) are businesses, and that is not going to change.

Very true, with regards to business. I must confess I'm not a fan when business gets ahead of raw competition. Like pay-to-drive drivers, as one example, but these things do cost money.

On the other hand, we are talking about virtual motorsport, where organizational costs are not as high.

And it's not just F1. The World Rally Championship has been heavily skewed towards France. Nine years of Sebastien Loeb, followed by six of Sebastien Ogier. But hey, one can't argue that they don't deserve it, fair and square.
 
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Scaff

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Very true, with regards to business. I must confess I'm not a fan when business gets ahead of raw competition. Like pay-to-drive drivers, as one example, but these things do cost money.

On the other hand, we are talking about virtual motorsport, where organizational costs are not as high.

And it's not just F1. The World Rally Championship has been heavily skewed towards France. Nine years of Sebastien Loeb, followed by six of Sebastien Ogier. But hey, one can't argue that they don't deserve it, fair and square.
Virtual motorsport that is directly linked to the real motorsport, as such the costs are immaterial, it's all part of the brand.

The only major motorsport eSport event that isn't linked directly to a series is still linked to the FIA. It's literally impossible to separate them, as the licence to create the games makes sure that happens.

And while I would never argue about the two Seb's, you have to remember that neither of them would have got a seat at the global level without the start they made in regional events. Both earned a place at the top table via French Rally Championships, very much regional events. That France has one of the healthiest regional rally championships (actually it has a number of them - the FFSA run six) is no small part in that either, something the countries of origin of the WRC driver line-up all have in common.
 
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Virtual motorsport that is directly linked to the real motorsport, as such the costs are immaterial, it's all part of the brand.

The only major motorsport eSport event that isn't linked directly to a series is still linked to the FIA. It's literally impossible to separate them, as the licence to create the games makes sure that happens.

What I'm saying is: it'll cost you quite less, logistically speaking, to organize a virtual GP/championship than a real GP/championship. So you won't need to bring in as much money to break even and then turn a profit. Maybe they could afford the straight-up, fair competition approach, and still turn a decent profit. Of course, I'm thinking out loud as I don't know the numbers behind their finances.

I understand wanting to expand your audience but I, personally, feel this isn't the best way, at least not the safest bet, I would say. It could go well and it could go poorly, kind of a 50/50 split, and depends on the quality of who emerges from the qualifier. I would be more interested in a female racer that arrived on the scene like Emily Jones who, if I recall correctly, qualified with the same rules and path as everyone else. Great to see her in the GT Sport finals.
 
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Just the response I expected.

Yes an effort does still need to be made, because the absurd and inaccurate assumptions you clearly demonstrated still exist remain, and that puts women off active participation.

You do actually understand that watching something and actively taking part in an eSport event around it that has an entirely male top tier are actually different but related things?

You don't get to argue that no effort needs to be made because women are not interested and then expect to be taken seriously when you get proven wrong and try and claim it's now not needed.

Well of course you can, but its not a good look really.
I think you are getting me mixed up with someone else, what absurd assumptions have i made?
Ok you win, putting all the females in a female only event with " a chance " the best of them might get to race with the men is a great idea.
 
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Wouldn't it be better to educate the idiots who bring a hostile environment towards females than to shove them all into a different event and say there you go girlies?
I think you are getting me mixed up with someone else, what absurd assumptions have i made?
Ok you win, putting all the females in a female only event with " a chance " the best of them might get to race with the men is a great idea.
Can you help me understand who the "idiots who bring a hostile environment towards females" are if they're not people you?
 
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I find it laughable that some men try to arbitrarily decide what is or isn't good for women, all the while not realizing what they're doing is exactly why these things are happening. Also funny that the same ol' same ol' of someone completely not understanding(or not reading) what they're replying to and trying to twist it as if it's the other way around.

women don't need your invitation in order to achieve a final.
 
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Storm--Trooper-
Just the response I expected.

Yes an effort does still need to be made, because the absurd and inaccurate assumptions you clearly demonstrated still exist remain, and that puts women off active participation.

You do actually understand that watching something and actively taking part in an eSport event around it that has an entirely male top tier are actually different but related things?

You don't get to argue that no effort needs to be made because women are not interested and then expect to be taken seriously when you get proven wrong and try and claim it's now not needed.

Well of course you can, but its not a good look really.

Can you help me understand who the "idiots who bring a hostile environment towards females" are if they're not people you?
What?
All I'm trying to say is imo this event is not needed. I would of just advertised the normal one as an esports event open to everyone and perhaps has male and female known driver pictures on the advert saying something like open to all ages and sexes regardless of skill level come and have some fun. If there are male players giving off toxic views towards female drivers then give them a life ban. I have no problem with say having an over 50s event as like me my reflexes are not what they used to be but not an over 50s female or male only event if you know what mean?
 

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It's not being ridiculed we are just saying it's not needed,
If what Northstar says is true about motorsport running out of the demographic that primarily funds it, then it absolutely is needed to reach out to women or any other demographic to increase interest within' those demographics and as a result, introduce new cash flows.
 
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My question couldn't have been that hard to understand. You're clearly against this idea, yet somehow you separate yourself from the problem with the community. I'm trying to understand who in your eyes is the problem in the community.
All I'm trying to say is imo this event is not needed. I would of just advertised the normal one as an esports event open to everyone and perhaps has male and female known driver pictures on the advert saying something like open to all ages and sexes regardless of skill level come and have some fun. If there are male players giving off toxic views towards female drivers then give them a life ban. I have no problem with say having an over 50s event as like me my reflexes are not what they used to be but not an over 50s female or male only event if you know what mean?
As it's been pointed out numerous times, no women have taken part in this event in 4 years. So your solution is slapping a woman's photo on a poster, who would that be seen as how no woman has taken part in the event?
And if you have a poster saying "open to all sexes", that implies that it wasn't always the case for the event.
 

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What?
All I'm trying to say is imo this event is not needed.
And we are disagreeing and explaining why.

I would of just advertised the normal one as an esports event open to everyone and perhaps has male and female known driver pictures on the advert saying something like open to all ages and sexes regardless of skill level come and have some fun.
One, no known female driver exists in the championship, so who exactly do they use. Two, every promo shot, video and piece of visual media from the championship would still be male dominated. This idea simply doesn't solve the problem. Having a women only event does, it places women front and centre of the event and all of the visual media surrounding it.

Its quite simple, its a perfectly valid stepping stone event that if it works will allow a greater and greater female presence in the entire championship, until it reaches a point when its not needed as female participation is no longer needed.

If there are male players giving off toxic views towards female drivers then give them a life ban.
Which still doesn't change the current make up of the championship.

I have no problem with say having an over 50s event as like me my reflexes are not what they used to be but not an over 50s female or male only event if you know what mean?
You do know that reads as you would be happy to have an event that favours you and your demographic, but not one that you believe does the same for women?

And just to be clear, I'm 51, so that has no ageist bias to it at all.
 
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You do know that reads as you would be happy to have an event that favours you and your demographic, but not one that you believe does the same for women?

And just to be clear, I'm 51, so that has no ageist bias to it at all.
No it reads that it doesn't matter if you are male or female in esports which is the point i was trying to make. I understand fully what you are trying to say about the event but I believe it is ill thought out. We will just have to disagree on this but like i said earlier I hope its successful as more players regardless of sex is only a good thing for esports.
 
1,710
Very interesting how this has split opinion. Providing a separate event for men and women could be seen as being rather sexist. If in today's society, things should be viewed as being progressive and modern, why not allow men and women to participate in the same events?

Segregation is surely not the right way to go. Just seems to be a contradiction- if women should be afforded the same rights as men, why deliberately create division?
If specifically there was something to suggest that women were not welcome to participate with men in eSports, I would champion a separate event. However, I have personally not seen any evidence of this.
 
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No effort is needed as your own stats have proven.
Based on analytics of my channel which is all simracing content, 98% of my viewers are male, and outside of a small handful of people (a few dozen at best) I’ve not come across any female racers in the DiRT Rally community either.
 

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Very interesting how this has split opinion. Providing a separate event for men and women could be seen as being rather sexist. If in today's society, things should be viewed as being progressive and modern, why not allow men and women to participate in the same events?
They can, the F1 esport event does exactly that, it simply has an extra path to encourage more women to take part.

Segregation is surely not the right way to go. Just seems to be a contradiction- if women should be afforded the same rights as men, why deliberately create division?
If specifically there was something to suggest that women were not welcome to participate with men in eSports, I would champion a separate event. However, I have personally not seen any evidence of this.
How many women have you seen on any of the F1 eSport videos who are driving in the event?

Their absence is the evidence.

No it reads that it doesn't matter if you are male or female in esports which is the point i was trying to make. I understand fully what you are trying to say about the event but I believe it is ill thought out. We will just have to disagree on this but like i said earlier I hope its successful as more players regardless of sex is only a good thing for esports.
But it does matter if your a certain age, why?

I personally think this is the best solution for a difficult and complex situation, and can pretty much be sure that no matter what they had done, some people would have an issue with it and would rather the status quo remained in place.
 
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I was referring to the stats about women interested in motor sport not esports.
I haven't seen your channel so don't know if it's male targeted or how you can know someone's sex who is viewing it.

But it does matter if your a certain age, why?
I explained why in my reply.
 

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I explained why in my reply.
You referenced that you would like it because it would give you an advantage, that doesn't explain why that would be needed by all over 50's.

Do you not see why it would come across as contradictory to support specific events for one demographic, but not another?
 
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My question couldn't have been that hard to understand. You're clearly against this idea, yet somehow you separate yourself from the problem with the community. I'm trying to understand who in your eyes is the problem in the community.

As it's been pointed out numerous times, no women have taken part in this event in 4 years. So your solution is slapping a woman's photo on a poster, who would that be seen as how no woman has taken part in the event?
And if you have a poster saying "open to all sexes", that implies that it wasn't always the case for the event.

Based on analytics of my channel which is all simracing content, 98% of my viewers are male, and outside of a small handful of people (a few dozen at best) I’ve not come across any female racers in the DiRT Rally community either.

They can, the F1 esport event does exactly that, it simply has an extra path to encourage more women to take part.


How many women have you seen on any of the F1 eSport videos who are driving in the event?

Their absence is the evidence.


But it does matter if your a certain age, why?

I personally think this is the best solution for a difficult and complex situation, and can pretty much be sure that no matter what they had done, some people would have an issue with it and would rather the status quo remained in place.

You referenced that you would like it because it would give you an advantage, that doesn't explain why that would be needed by all over 50's.

Do you not see why it would come across as contradictory to support specific events for one demographic, but not another?
You referenced that you would like it because it would give you an advantage, that doesn't explain why that would be needed by all over 50's.

Do you not see why it would come across as contradictory to support specific events for one demographic, but not another?
You are completely missing my point, we are talking about male and female being equal in esports, an over 50s event would not discriminate on the sex of a person.
 

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You are completely missing my point, we are talking about male and female being equal in esports, an over 50s event would not discriminate on the sex of a person.
An over 50's event would discriminate on the basis of age.

Are all over 50's incapable of competing fairly with other ages? why pick 50? why not 40 or 30 or 60?

I 100% get your point, its just contradictory to your standpoint on a female feeder series.
 
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An over 50's event would discriminate on the basis of age.

Are all over 50's incapable of competing fairly with other ages? why pick 50? why not 40 or 30 or 60?

I 100% get your point, its just contradictory to your standpoint on a female feeder series.
Damon hill is still physically fit, why do you think he's still not competing in F1?