Esports analysts Semmler, Thorin fire criticism after ESL reveals 2022 women's circuit for CS: GO

Thorin and Semmler fire off on women-only esports tournaments, criticized for their take (Image via Sportskeeda)
Thorin and Semmler fire off on women-only esports tournaments, criticized for their take (Image via Sportskeeda)

Esports figures Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat and Duncan "Thorin" Shields have been involved in a back-and-forth debate between members of the esports community. The controversy follows their comments on ESL's "women-only" circuit.

ESL's announcement, made in December 2021, was met with a variety of reactions. Semmler tweeted about the news and received backlash from various communities, leading Thorin to join his side.

Semmler asks when men in esports will have their own tournament

According to ESL, the organization will be holding a women's CS:GO circuit sometime in 2022 with a prize pool of $500,000. Two regional leagues will be competing, namely Europe and North America.

This prompted a mix of responses. Many were happy to see an attempt to improve inclusivity in the male-dominated sport, while others felt it was discriminatory against women. The issue bubbled just underneath the surface, however, until a tweet from Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat:

The tweet was ill-received by many, who argued that women-only leagues promote inclusivity and encourage more women to get into esports. They felt it provided a safe environment for women to grow in and use as a stepping stone to greener pastures.

Semmler, however, wasn't in line with the opinions that were shared under his tweet.

He replied to Lauren "Pansy" Scott (a British CS:GO caster and former ESL employee), stating that the messaging was more focused on insulting men rather than what he felt was the reason - that women lose when they compete against men.

The problem ramped up even further when Semmler continued to make tweets about the situation. However, one particularly rubbed many the wrong way. He called someone out for having pronouns in their Twitter bio, implying that it made their opinion invalid.

Ryan's tweet was made in response to another tweet sarcastically shading Semmler's take on the issue.

Thorin, an esports analyst and a friend of Semmler's, also joined the argument and began hitting back at the backlash they were receiving.

Many of Thorin's arguments seem to be direct hits at "women in the industry," who he alleges have been projecting their issues on to men.

Since the incident, Thorin has continued to tweet about the incident and respond to various commentors, having engaged in back-and-forth tweeting for over five days.

Esports community hits back at Semmler and Thorin's takes

While some seem to agree with the pair, many esports professionals and followers — male, female, and otherwise — have tweeted their support for female-only tournaments.

Jake Lyon, a player and coach for Overwatch's Houston Outlaws team, explained in a TwitLonger article why he felt the circuits were necessary in the industry right now.

Aramori, an Overwatch coach and player for Team Mochi, explained in a thread her experiences in the esports industry. She spoke about how sexism and the suppression of women's participation in esports takes place on a systemic level.

Meanwhile, many continue to speak out about the issue, which has led to a much-needed discussion on the obstacles women and marginalized gender identities face in the gaming industry on a competitive level.

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