My experience with esports has been a rollercoaster. I’ve always been interested in playing, but never really interested in watching. However, my first ever experience with esports, was going to MCM Comic Con in London and seeing a Hearthstone tournament live. It was thrilling, and I had to be pulled away by my boyfriend at the time to go see other things. I am also interested in Overwatch League, and occasionally try to drop in and watch League matches. Not so much for the excitement, but to try and learn something from them. Unfortunately, I suck and I’m stuck in bronze on both Overwatch and League. However, I don’t dedicate myself to it fully the way others do, and I probably should if I want to succeed.
Anyway, back to the main story! My next experience came many many years later, when I finally went to University. I went to the fresher’s fair, carrying around my bag to pick up all the free goodies, very nervous and not knowing what to expect. I came across the esports society, and to my surprise, there was a girl leading the table. I was so excited. I instantly went over and got to talking, took their card and went on my way. As soon as I got home, I joined their discord excitedly, and was soon making friends with everyone. Then, signups came for University tournaments such as NSE and NUEL. I was excited and nervous, because I knew I was bad. I was put on teams with people so much better than me, and it made me ashamed of my own progress.
League of Legends tournaments were a great experience for me. I got on well with my team, we played for fun, and no one got salty. It was brilliant, and I would definitely do it again. Overwatch on the other hand, was not such a great experience. Unfortunately, I was the only girl on my team, and I experienced a lot of sexism. Of course I played healer, ‘because I’m a girl’. Not only that, but I was told how to play my hero, even though I had countless amounts of hours on them. I knew what I was doing, but was treated as if I’d never touched a game in my life. It was embarrassing, and made me want to quit then and there. I persevered, trying my hardest for myself, but also out of spite. They forced me to play the same hero over and over, even if I knew the situation called for a different one. In the end, I made my own decisions and rebelled against their screaming voices in my ear, and played who needed to be played. In the end, we won the games because I made the right calls. We didn’t get very far into the tournament, but I was pleased regardless with my own efforts and my ability to stand on my own two feet.
This was definitely a mild deterrent for me in esports, and I wondered if there was ever going to be a place for me in the community again. They accepted me and weren’t mad at me for being bad at the games, so I was grateful for that. However, it turned out that they weren’t the greatest of people, and I soon left that community. Now, I am onto bigger and better things. At the moment, I am desperately trying to climb out of bronze in league of legends. That is my biggest target. I have done it only once, and I will do it again! My main roles are ADC and support, so I feel I have to rely on the others to cooperate and not throw the game, which is very hard to do when you have a Yasuo on your team! They are the two hardest roles in ranked to play, as you are not necessarily going to carry the whole team the way a Darius might, or a fed Fizz. You just have to pray and hope for the best, that all the bananas you throw as Soraka will work in your favour! I plan to get back into ranked on Overwatch again soon, but I find it difficult to focus on two ranked games at the same time, so I desperately want to get into silver, so I can eventually make my way to gold. Luckily, I have a very good friend helping me out on my journey, so it isn’t always so stressful!
As of late, I have joined the wonderful community of Gameress. As the numbers grow and the community continues to flourish, there are grand plans to make competitive teams in as many games as possible! There are already League, Overwatch and Rocket League teams in the works. I can't wait to feel accepted, understood and empowered in a woman's team!