Beyonce said it best. Who run the world? Girls.
In general, Esports and Gaming have since been established as a male-dominated industry. Whether it’s spoken of or merely implied, it’s rather uncommon to see female gamers step up into the competitive light as much as their male counterparts.
And if they do, it’s most likely they’re to participate in a separate female-only competition. There are very rare co-ed instances when it comes to major competitions and esports leagues.
However, it doesn’t mean girl gamers are unable to rise up to the challenge.
Gamer Girls exist
In a previous article, we mentioned that Gamer Girls do exist and that they’re not mythical creatures.
While it’s easy to fake a “gamer girl” personality to be an instant sensation on the internet, there are girls who consider video games as one of their biggest and strongest passions in life. Set aside your gamer girl bathwater and other related merchandise! When it comes to gaming, these girls also have remarkably fast in-game reflexes enough to amaze just about anyone.
Just like their male counterparts, gamer girls are active on their games of choice, a part of online guilds or clans, and some even stream their gameplays for everyone to see.
Sexism in Games
Whenever a gamer girl brings up that she is, in fact, a “gamer” in any online communities— chances are she’ll be subjected to humiliation and mockery, mostly by women-loathing men (incels as they commonly call it, or the exact opposite of simps.)
Unfortunately, this is because female gamers are usually not taken seriously in most competitive games. They are judged more according to their physical appearance, as if having a pretty face means you cannot be technically counted as a “gamer,” just because. Worse part: girl gamers are labelled as frauds or cheaters.
If a team with women members loses the match, the loss is often blamed on them. If the team wins, even if a girl gamer contributed highly to the success, the victory is credited mostly to the male players.
Nonetheless, that didn’t stop gamer girls to continue doing what they love the most: playing their favorite video games.
8 Girl Gamers who Entered the Professional Esports Scene
There are a number of girl gamers who are thriving in the professional Esports scene. Here are some of the names to watch out for in the gaming industry:
Sasha Hostyn (Scarlett)
Sasha Hostyn or also known as “Scarlett” is a 26-year-old Canadian esports player who’s known to the most successful girl gamer in the professional scene. She currently plays under Brave Star Gaming and is specialized to play the Zerg and Protoss race in Starcraft II.
Her journey in the competitive scene started when she joined an all-female tournament called NESL Iron Lady in April 2011 and emerged as the champion twice in a row. She received the nicknames “The Queen of Blades” and “Swarm Zerg” which later became widely known in the Starcraft II community.
Sasha’s current earnings is $365,627.40 and she has played under professional teams such as Eclypsia, Team Acer, Dead Pixels, Newbee, etc.
Starcraft II is another male dominated game which is often compared to chess, as it requires high strategic skills and extremely difficult mechanics— but it never stopped Sasha from becoming one of the best players in Starcraft II. She continues to prove that she’s capable of outsmarting and outplaying male competitors in the tournament.
Katherine Gunn (Mystik)
Katherine Gunn, who is more known by her online username “Mystic,” is a well-known esports player and cosplayer.
In 2010, she won the second season of WCG Ultimate Gamer and also competed in the Championship Gaming series.
Her influence in the gaming scene was solidified when she was featured in the Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition for being the highest-earning female gamer.
At present, Gunn frequently streams on Twitch. She is also found in gaming-related events such as BlizzCon as a brand ambassador for companies like Gigabyte, Newegg, and more.
According to her official website, Kat continues to “work behind the scenes to better, innovate, and pursue her passions in all aspects of the video game, anime, and pop culture space.”
Ricki Ortiz (HelloKittyRicki)
Ricki Ortiz, also known as HelloKittyRicki, is a professional gamer specializing in fighting games like Marvel vs Capcom and the Street Fighter series.
She joined the fighting game community in the early 2000s, and has since been spotted in high-profile tournaments.
In 2010, Ortiz was awarded second place in the Evolution Super Street Fighter IV tournament. She also came in second in the 2016 Capcom Cup, winning $60k USD by the end of the competition.
When asked about her Street Fighter character of choice, Ortiz has been firm on Chun-Li since she first played the game at nine years old. In an interview with ESPN, Ortiz stated “[Chun-Li is] the one who makes the game fun for me.” It came to a point where she had a great difficulty switching to a different character when the character was nerfed in 2017.
Christine Chi (potter)
Making a name for herself in the heavily male-dominated Counter-strike scene, Christine Chi is considered as one of the top earning CS Esports players of all time.
She’s a five-time world champion amongst other talented Counter Strike players. In 2011, she won a $2,400 prize for bagging the first place in the Electronic Sports World Cup, a title she has received six times.
Chi only goes to show girls can compete in competitive Counter Strike matches. There is absolutely no need to have an undercover male player go under a disguise to join a girls-only tournament, which actually happened only recently.
Marjorie Bartell (Kasumi Chan)
Kasumi Chan (real life name: Marjorie Bartell) is the first female gamer to make it to the finals in the Championship Gaming Invitational. The gamer has truly made history when it comes to proving girl gamers can compete along with their male counterparts.
Bartell also placed highly in other tournaments, such as being the first placer in the 2007 Championship Series Gaming.
She is known to focus on fighting games, such as Dead or Alive 4. Her online game was even taken from one of the title’s characters.
Anna “Ant1ka” Ananikova
Anna “Ant1ka” Ananikova is a Russian professional e-sport player in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene. Ant1ka proved that the statement “guns are not for girls” is wrong as she displays her good accuracy and fast reflexes in game.
She recently played for Lazarus Esports Female team and had a good career from 2015-to present. Ant1ka and her previous teams keep placing 1st and 2nd in all the tournaments they have participated in.
She has earned $39,469 in her tournaments and is still an active CS:GO player. However, she currently does not have a team right now and is still taking it slow in her gaming and esports career.
Siobhan “HaganeNoTema” Bielaowicz
HaganeNoTema is one of the famous names in the world of fighting games. Women might be generally considered at a disadvantage in a real life fight, but when it comes to fighting games, girl gamers like Siobhan prove that they can fight men as equals.
The Australian female player shows incredible skills in games such as Attack on Titan Tribute Game, Brawlhalla, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Among these games, the Attack on Titan Tribute Game is where she participates the most when it comes to tournaments.
Since 2014, HaganeNoTema’s name has never left the top rankings. Her notable tournament achievements are winning 1st place in 1v1 Damage Duel Championship (2018) and Akina World Championship (2018). The esports star has total earnings of $122,650.00 in all 24 tournaments she participated in her career.
Jacinta Dee (Jia)
Jia is a member of Bren Esports, a highly distinguished esports organization in SouthEast Asia. She is breaking gender boundaries by becoming a high-profile Hearthstone player.
Dee is making a name for herself in the professional Hearthstone scene. In August 2019, she won as Top 4 in the Hearthstone Master Qualifier Bucharest-Americas Ladder.
She also bagged the first place for the World Showdown of Esports in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Aside from being a professional player, Jia is also a professional Hearthstone caster.
Only in an ideal world would there be no difference between male and female pro gamers. Esports still has a long way to go when it comes to integrating the genders completely; instead of having separate girls-only tournaments and women-only teams.
However, there are many female esports pros who are becoming the role models of other aspiring players. They continue to prove that if they can do it, other girl gamers can too!
Rise up, gamer girls! If you’re looking for a sign to give professional Esports a go, may this article inspire you to keep going and give it a shot. Continue playing, perfecting your skills, and soon enough— you can dominate the scoreboards too.