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René Bresgen

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Deutsche Telekom launches the Equal eSports Initiative

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  • Deutsche Telekom campaigns for greater diversity in esports and gaming
  • Funding program to support women participating in professional and recreational sports 
  • Deutsche Telekom and SK gaming put together the first professional women’s esports team
Equal eSports Initiative

With the #equalesports initiative, Deutsche Telekom is campaigning hard for greater equality and diversity in esports and gaming. Download (jpg, 2.1 MB)


More than half of all Germans play computer and video games, 48 percent of whom are women*. However, estimates indicate that less than 5 percent of professional esports players are female. Deutsche Telekom would like to change this: with the #equalesports initiative, it is campaigning hard for greater equality and diversity in gaming – in both professional and recreational spheres. The initiative’s partners include leading esports organization SK Gaming and the esports player foundation, which provides support for esports in Germany.

The new funding program was presented today by Birgit Bohle, Chief Human Resources Officer of Deutsche Telekom, and Michael Hagspihl, SVP for Global Strategic Projects and Marketing Partnerships. The goal of #equalesports is to embed diversity and inclusion as core values within esports and the entire gaming industry. Women should have the chance to pursue their passion on an equal footing – without being marginalized or discriminated against. Two things are particularly important for this: role models and support. 

“Gaming and esports are now integral parts of everyday culture for many teens’. With this new initiative, Deutsche Telekom would like to support the movement and strengthen key issues such as diversity, inclusion, and digital education,” says Birgit Bohle. “Diversity and equality have been core elements of Deutsche Telekom’s Group strategy and corporate culture for years now. For us, it is also essential to support women in business.”

“Esports and gaming have been a core element of our sponsoring and marketing strategy for years. We use #GoodMagenta to describe projects, actions, and initiatives that make a positive contribution to meeting social challenges in the digital world. Our Equal eSports initiative combines these two issues and forms the perfect symbiosis. We want to make the gaming scene more sustainable and help create a culture in which all gamers can live out their dreams, regardless of gender, origin, culture, or social status,” explains Michael Hagspihl. “With SK Gaming and the esports player foundation, we have two strong, experienced partners on our side. The goal is to work together to advance diversity in the gaming community using our own programs.”

Offers for greater diversity in esports and gaming

#equalesports underscores the participation promise made by Deutsche Telekom. It is campaigning so that everyone can take part. Together with its two partners, Deutsche Telekom has initiated various activities and offerings.

  • Pro women’s team: “We want to encourage women to assert themselves in a male-dominated professional sector,” says Alexander Müller, CEO of SK Gaming. “For this reason, we are working together with Deutsche Telekom to put together the first professional team in Germany made up entirely of women for the world’s biggest esports game, League of Legends.” The pro gamers will be trained professionally in order to compete in competitions at the highest level. 
  • Female player program: In addition to funding for professional sports, young talented gamers will also be provided long-term, sustainable support on their journey to becoming world champions. Together with the esports player foundation, Deutsche Telekom will offer female gamers in-game coaching, fitness training, and dietary and sport-psychological advice. The talented gamers will also be given support in their daily lives to help them find a balance between their esports career and school, vocational training and work. “With this funding program, we want to firmly establish female gamers within the scene and support them on their career path with the help of Deutsche Telekom,” says Jörg Adami, CEO of the esports player foundation, the world’s first non-profit esports funding institution. 
  • Equal eSports Council: The epf is bringing more role models and mentors together with the Equal eSports Council. It is made up of 13 top players and greats of the esports scene such as Melly, Miss Rage, Anna Baumann, and Kristin Banse.This council will manage the program together with a network of powerful women from business.
  • Workshops: Workshops for parents and teaching aids help make the opportunities of an equal gaming culture visible and enable people to overcome the challenges associated with it. 

Accompanying #GoodMagenta campaign

The new initiative will be accompanied by a campaign which will be rolled out all across Germany in Deutsche Telekom’s flagship stores. A pop-up brand experience at the Deutsche Telekom headquarters in Bonn will also allow people to experience it for themselves. The campaign will also include workshops, communications via social media, and its own content hub which will bundle all associated content and activities. You can find more information at www.equal-esports.com.

*Source: “Jahresreport der deutschen Games-Branche 2021”, game, the German Games Industry Association, results based on the GfK Consumer Panel (2019/2020; n = 25,000), January 2021

About SK Gaming: www.sk-gaming.com
About the esports player foundation: www.esportsplayerfoundation.org

About Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom at a glance

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