Veteran esports commentator Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles has called on game developers to do more to tackle sexist abuse in their games, especially if they want to integrate more women into the professional scene.
MonteCristo has been a prominent name at the top of esports for some time. He was a caster in both League of Legends and the Overwatch League, until he left OWL in 2020 and went on to become a commissioner for CS:GO league Flashpoint.
As such, he has seen the best and worst of the gaming world, and believes that issues regarding sexism and misogyny need to be addressed from the top down, starting with the developers.
Monte explained as much during a chat with Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields and Richard Lewis on The Four Horsemen. Speaking of women’s esports tournaments, he said: “It feels like a lot of these initiatives are a smokescreen to disguise the fact that these developers either can’t or refuse to fix the problems with harassment on voice chat that prevent women from wanting to play…”
“They prop up these programs because they won’t actually fix the fundamental underlying problem, which is that on the casual level, it’s extremely unwelcoming for women,” he continued. “It’s like if you blamed the NBA because a woman got harassed on a court in New York City in a pick-up game. That’s a ridiculous premise but it’s basically what we’re trying to solve here.
Adding that “the developers need to take f**king responsibility for the issue,” Monte was clearly impassioned and received a lot of support online.
Summarizing his point in a tweet later, Monte said: “The problem of getting more women as professional players starts with the devs who either can’t or won’t deal with the abuse that happens on their ladders.”
Monte comments received a wave of support on social media, but whether any meaningful change comes from it is another question.
While top game developers will always be conscious of finding ways to better tackle toxicity, being able to control voice chat is much more difficult, and so far, devs and publishers have been unable to stamp out the problem.