I love gamers. As most of you may already know, I devote a huge chunk of my life to gaming. Even before I started working in the industry, I have clocked so many hours skilling up, playing with friends, watching tournaments, etc. Specifically, competitive gaming was something that has had a huge influence on my life, and will continue to be for a long time.
So when I have to repeatedly prove myself to my fellow gamers simply because I am a female, I get frustrated.
Because people assume I know nothing of competitive gaming, that I don’t have any skill, that I don’t know I embedded myself in that history here in Australia, that I have never competed in tournaments and led my team to SWEET, SWEET VICTORY.
A team of men I captain, by the way.
I remember chatting at the booth of a brand (that I will not name) at last year’s PAX Australia. Conversing with 2 guys about one of my favourite topics (CS) I remember gushing about the good old 1.5 days, source TV, and how warmod was a failure (sorry Garfield). They were surprised, and one guy turned to the other and said, “This girl’s legit!”
My response? “Uhh, of course. I work in esports” – because at the time, GameSpot still covered esports and I was the person in Australia to do it.
Him: “Yeah but there are heaps of chicks who ‘work in esports’ and not know anything about it”
Really? Feeling uncomfortable, I brushed it off with a laugh and left the booth.
Rewind further back. I am at a competitive event, for once not competing, but representing media.
“This is the LoL area,” the admin explained to me, “Oh, LoL stands for League of Legends…”
I refrained from rolling my eyes.
I am sitting in an internet cafe. Amidst my team, I draft out our hero picks and bans for this game. It is our first Dota 2 tournament in a long time.
Later, my teammate confided in me, “I could have been naked and painted blue and nobody would have looked at me”
So what, I say. I was one sole woman of what, 30-something competitors. So bloody what. Let them stare. I need to stay focused on the game to take us to victory.
It’s like I need to wear a t-shirt listing all my achievements in chronological order to simplify the process of proving myself every time I meet somebody new.
Instead, I remain patient that one day I simply will not face the doubt and disbelief anymore. Or I’ll just start cross-dressing at tournaments.