SILAB Talks About the Challenges Women Face in Esports

SILAB Talks About the Challenges Women Face in Esports

The Road to MWI may have concluded, but there’s still much to do for the state of women in esports.

SILAB, an organization dedicated to shining a light on the efforts of women in esports, just successfully held its first major event.

The Road MWI was an open qualifier where the winner would represent the Philippines in the upcoming Esports World Cup. With 1,016 teams competing, SILAB has shown with a simple tournament that there’s a hunger for these events.

MPL PH shoutcaster and SILAB cofounder Chantelle Hernandez acknowledged this sentiment during an interview with the media. Even during the grand finals, she was getting feedback from friends and fans.

Nagco-comment sila sa akin during the broadcast na na-miss nila yung femals scene ng MLBB. And we’re at the point that we’re almost there, but we’ve always been ‘almost there’.” Chantelle laments the fact that there has always been strong interest among women to participate in esports but they rarely get the chance to participate or be recognized.

SILAB Talks About the Challenges Women Face in Esports
The founding members of SILAB during the Road to MWI awards ceremony. From left to right: Overdrive Studios Founder and CEO Dani Rogacion, Liga Adarna Commissioner Queen Wasabi, and MPL PH Shoutcaster Chantelle Hernandez. (Photo credit: MOONTON Games)

Fellow SILAB cofounder Queen Wasabi echoed Chantelle’s feelings. “Masaya, pero at the same time nakakalungkot,” she told the media. A common comment from the players during the Road to MWI playoffs, which was broadcasted live in a studio, was that they were nervous and couldn’t play at their best. According to Queen Wasabi, this is just the unfortunate reality for female players. “Paano mo mae-expect ang mga babaeng ito na masanay sa pro level kung walang opportunities?

That’s, of course, SILAB’s primary goal — to give women the opportunity to excel in esports, and they’re not stopping with MWI. SILAB already has plans for future events that are not solely focused on tournaments. They’ll be holding workshops and seminars aimed at equipping women with skills that can help them pursue a career in esports.

Proving Themselves, Time and Time Again

Despite the success of the Road to MWI tournament, there’s still a prevailing stigma about women in esports.

“It’s sad that in this day and age, sa lahat ng ginagawa natin sa pagsulong ng mga babae sa esports, ang dami pa rin hindi naniniwala,” said Queen Wasabi. 

“[For women], hindi pa nakikita yung play pero there’s already a connotation that you’re not good enough,” said Chantelle when discussing the discrepancy in how males and females are seen in esports. That’s a sobering thought when you consider that Omega Empress, the winners of the Road to MWI tournament, was also the team that won the Philippines a silver medal in the 2023 SEA Games and placed third in the last MWI.  

SILAB Talks About the Challenges Women Face in Esports
Omega Empress during the Road to MWI grand finals. (Photo credit: MOONTON Games)

All the more reason why SILAB’s initiative and success should be celebrated. “The Road to MWI finals is a huge step for women,” said Queen Wasabi. “Sobrang laking pagsulong ito para sa kababaihan sa esports.”

“It’s going to be a long journey towards that equality that we’re all looking forward to,” said Chantelle. “But as long as there are still women who are up for that challenge, we’re here for you.”

Banner photo from MOONTON Games.

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