Female Apex Legends players hit out after only 2 women picked in NICKMERCS tournament

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A number of female players and streamers in Apex Legends have hit out on social media over a perceived lack of inclusion, after only two women were picked to play in the MFAM Gauntlet tournament on March 31.

The MFAM Gauntlet is a community tournament series organized by NICKMERCS. A captain is selected for each team by the organizers, who are then given the opportunity to pick two more players to complete their trio.

Once all teams were selected, only two women had made the cut; Laurice ‘GuhRL’ Habibi and ClaraAtWork. This was highlighted by competitive player and streamer ‘lightyrs’.

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This sparked a wider conversation, with a number of pro players calling for more female players to be invited. Others, however, argued that there are fewer women who aim to play competitively than men, and with thousands of dollars on the line, captains are more likely to pick established pros.

SPIRE coach Patrick ‘hundredz’ Kwon argued that while there are women with “pro-capable talent” in Apex, they do not compete at the same level as male pros.

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“You cannot constantly post clips of yourself in diamond rank, only play in celes cup, stream mostly for content, and then expect to be picked over Sweet. I’m pro diversity, but that’s illogical,” he said.

Streamer DIEGOSAURS disagreed, however, claiming that women are simply not given the chance to prove their abilities.

In fact, one of the winning teams at the event featured GuhRL as the captain, and ClaraAtWork’s team finished 12th out of 20 teams.

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SoaR streamer VioletLex said that more captain slots should have been given to female players.

TSM member GuhRL also weighed in, defending the player and captain choices as nothing more than selections based on who people “know and respect”. Some captains, she said, chose friends to play with and were not necessarily biased against women.

Other tournaments, such as the 2022 TSM Invitational, have stipulated that each team must pick one female player. At the TSM-organized tournament, five of the top 10 players at the end of the 60-player event were women, including GuhRL and VioletLex.

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Apex Legends esports does not split competition like Valorant, with a VCT Game Changers circuit for women and people of marginalized genders. However, there have been women-only Apex tournaments organized by community members.

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