Women of the League
Today is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate and recognize women’s rights and the fight for equality. Women are an essential part of everyone’s lives, be it your mother, daughter, friend, doctor, teacher, or role model. We’re everywhere men are, including, as a more recent development, in the gaming industry. Women help make games, voice characters, and write stories. They are even participating in eSports. Without their contributions, the industry would not be as large as it is today.
I love Overwatch, as most people already know, and the Overwatch League would be half of what it is without the women who strive to make it better. There are many women behind the scenes, some of which many of us didn’t even know existed. Blizzard has published an article thanking all these powerhouses for the work they’ve done to improve the League. They’re all fantastic, but I have my idols within the League that I’d like to recognize.
Geguri and Soe
Geguri is the first woman professional Overwatch player in the League. She’s a tank player for the Shanghai Dragons and perhaps one of the most beloved players by women viewers everywhere. Geguri has proven her skill time and time again regardless of the hate she receives for it. Women across the world look up to her for her courage to compete in a male-dominated industry. She’s a role model for those of us who dream of playing professionally. Geguri deserves all the love and support she gets.
Soe Gschwind-Penski is a commentator for the Overwatch League. Like Geguri, she’s faced threats, and harassment yet continues to do what she loves. She’s a role model for women who want to work in the industry as commentators, casters, writers, or players. Viewers see her whenever the League is live, joking with her friends, sharing knowledge about Overwatch, and having an all around good time. Soe is one of the main reason’s I want to work in the game industry.
The Problems Women Face
This recognition doesn’t mean we don’t still actively fight against sexism. Women are harassed because of their interest in video games or targeted because of their skill level. Both the women I’ve mentioned have faced backlash for merely existing in this industry. Soe received death threats from a tweet she made last International Women’s Day about thanking the men who supported her and gave her a voice when she had none. Geguri was accused of cheating because people thought she was too good at Zarya. Women have yet to escape this harassment, but with more inclusion in the industry, we’ll hopefully see a shift in attitudes.
Of course, I couldn’t write about women in gaming without mentioning the wonderful women who work for DVS. They write articles for our readers and work behind the scenes to make this site so successful. Regardless of the stigma surrounding women in the industry, they all do what they do because they love it. It’s because of women like them that women like me strive to better ourselves in the industry and fight for equal recognition. Where would we be without that?