Sexism, abuse and harassment: Just another day as a female Hearthstone streamer

Li "VKLiooon" Xiaomeng after becoming 2019's Hearthstone World Champion. Source: Blizzard
 

 

The 2019 Hearthstone World Champion was a woman. Arguably the most successful competitive Battlegrounds player in the world is a woman. Numerous other women currently stand among the most-viewed streams in the game's category on Twitch, have had competitive success, finish each ladder season in the top 0.01%, and have built brands with little to no help from anyone else.

 

Yet the road to success has been filled with potholes, spike strips, and dead ends.

 

Over the weekend, numerous current and former players began speaking out about the sexism, harassment, and roadblocks they have encountered in their years within the Hearthstone community. Former professional players, current Grand Masters, popular streamers, Blizzard Entertainment (the game's developer), and the online community were all mentioned as creating an environment where women don't feel safe, equal, or valued.

 

What sparked the discussion (or was perhaps the tipping point) was an upcoming event held by the game's developer, Blizzard Entertainment, that featured 20 of the most popular players from around the world. Only two are women.

 

Shortly after Hearthstone's official Twitter account tweeted out the event, the flood gates opened up and women began speaking out:

 

 

 

While change cannot happen overnight, members of the community felt it was important to speak out to bring attention to the plague sweeping the scene, advocate for Blizzard to be more cognizant of the problem at hand and let one another know that they are not alone and it can happen to anyone.

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