Who would have thought, in the year 2014 we’d be having a discussion regarding the segregation of sexes in an online collectible card tournament? Yet here we are, and here the International eSports Federation stands guilty of only allowing male players to participate in their upcoming multi-national Hearthstone tournament.

News of the restriction came after a Finnish qualifier tournament for the IeSF announced only Finnish male players would be allowed to participate. After PCGamer inquired further it was revealed the decision to separate male and female players was “to avoid possible conflicts e.g. a female player eliminating a male player during RO8) among other things.”

Since the IeSF was only allowing male players to participate in the finals, the Finnish tournament officials wouldn’t be able to guarantee the winner would be eligible to progress if they were a woman.

The IeSF itself is a South Korean based organization whose mission is to increase the number of member nations, create regulations for international eSports and host an international world championship all to promote eSports as a “true sport”. In order to accomplish this goal the IeSF has viewed the segregation of sexes in eSports as a necessity in order to better match current sports guidelines.

The IeSF currently only hosts women only tournaments for two games, Starcraft 2 and Tekken Tag 2. Men on the other hand may participate in Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, and Ultra Street Fighter IV. As for why neither male or female players may play against each other in Starcraft 2 or why female players can’t have or be involved in any of the other listed titles remains to be seen.

The IeSF has been quick to respond to the allegations through Twitter and Facebook where the organization has stated they are working to “make sure there are no discrimination whatsoever.” An official statement is said to be coming shortly.

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.


  1. While it makes sense to seperate the sexes when it comes to real sports. (Men ARE stronger than women when it comes to physical strength and endurance)

    Its absolute nonsense to seperate them in an esport where physical strength isn’t needed. Men and women might have different ways of thinking and employ different strategies but the differences are not big enough and no sex has a big enough advantage over the other to justify seperating them.

    The IesF is just trying too hard to be like the olympics.

  2. “make sure there are no discrimination whatsoever.”

    … cool story bros.
    I laughed at this for a good 5 mins.
    I didn’t think in our day and age this discrimination shit will be possible but here it is.. in broad daylight… after reading this article i feel embarrassed that i am part of humanity even more than i did before.

  3. “In order to accomplish this goal the IeSF has viewed the segregation of sexes in eSports as a necessity in order to better match current sports guidelines.”

    Wow what a joke. If these chumps wanted their “e-sports” to match current sports guidelines the first step would be to make these “e-sports” require some type of athletic ability and strength.

  4. I’m pretty sure Dota 2 is a whole different issue.

    There are no professional Dota 2 female players. None, zilch, cero, nada.

    Some reach semi-professional or regional status. But very few do, most stay in local tournaments.

    My guess is that sponsors only pick “hot” women, regardless of how they play. But even that theory doesn’t explain the lack of independent competitive Dota 2 female players.

    • Imagine a female player on a 4 male team, there most certainly would be sexual tension between them. Why you ask? They would live in a gaming house and interact on a daily basis. I believe the problem is the male not being able to keep the dick inside the underwear, not the female, who knows :).


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