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Blizzard has invited Luna “lunaloveee” Eason and Eleni “Avelline” Rg to join its upcoming Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational event on April 21. 

When the event was first announced, individuals on Twitter called attention to the need for more diversity among the 20 invited players. 

“I hate that I have to point this out but 2/20 women is awful. I get that events like these are supposed to market the game but the invitees get exponential growth and the ladies will continue to fall behind growing their communities. Look how much I grew from my BG invite,” Team Liquid’s Slyssa tweeted.

The Hearthstone community speaks up

Multiple Hearthstone community members and players chimed in with their thoughts via Twitter threads. This was in addition to personal experiences published on TwitLonger. 

Jacinta Patricia “Jia” Dee, a caster for the current Hearthstone Grandmasters 2021 Season 1 event, expressed her thoughts on women’s representation in gaming.

“I think a lot of misunderstanding on the topic of representation comes from whether you see it as an end goal OR a solution to a problem hindering an end goal,” she added. “I see it as the latter, the end goal being what (I hope) we all want: equal opportunity in all spaces within gaming.”

The Twitter thread continued to detail her thoughts on toxicity towards women and the importance of representation.

Meanwhile, Pathra Cadness shared her own experience via TwitLonger. She noted that the low percentage of women represented in the gaming scene created a cycle of harassment. Many women didn’t feel they belonged in the scene.

Cadness detailed her experience with a past Hearthstone Grandmasters event and the aftermath of it. “So many people who supported me have told me they were not able to watch me anymore cause they couldn’t stand seeing what was written in chat,” she wrote. 

Similar to Cadness, Hearthstone player BabyBear made a post on TwitLonger. She recalled how other competitors treated her at local tournaments when she first started playing the game. 

“I didn’t give up and worked really hard to get better and started having some good results at online and offline tournaments,” she added. “When I got recruited by Sector One, the biggest Benelux team, I got DM’s from other players telling me I didn’t deserve the spot. People were saying I only got the spot because I was a girl, diminishing all the hard work I put into the game.”

BabyBear then recalled the messages she received via Twitter’s direct messages, Twitch and Discord channels.

“I still really love the game and competing, so I hope things will finally change for the better,” she concluded in the post.  

Alexandra “Alliestrasza” Macpherson, a Hearthstone streamer, thanked the individuals who spoke up about the need for inclusivity. 

“It takes a lot of courage to publicly share personal experiences & to stick up for what is right,” Alliestrasza wrote in a Tweet. “I’m incredibly inspired by the women in our community.”

Blizzard’s response and plans for diversity and inclusion

Along with the updated Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational announcement, the game’s official Twitter noted the reasoning behind the change. 

“Why we’re doing this: representation and inclusion matter, and we’re committing ourselves to being better,” the following Tweet read. “It’s vital that our events represent the reality of the Hearthstone community made up of numerous talented and deserving women who dedicate themselves to the game every day.”

The thread added that Hearthstone will do better in the future to provide greater representation for women during community events. “This is only one piece of our future plans around diversity and inclusion,” the Tweet read. 

The Hearthstone Crossroads Inn-vitational begins on April 21 at 10 a.m. PDT.

Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!
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