5 Influential Women in eSports

The eSports industry has been growing rapidly over the past decade. As eSports are becoming more mainstream, one prominent factor remains the same. The lack of diversity in eSports is not only profound but widespread and slow changing. Now, this may seem a little pessimistic, but there are substantial facts to back this up. Take a look at any of the top streamers on twitch, Mixer and more. The male to female streamer ratio is outstandingly uneven. Also, look at the top 100 best paid professional gamers in the world. No women make that list. The highest paid female gamer in the world only ranks as the 307thbest paid gamer when compared to men. This lack of diversity is outstanding. However, there are many in the gaming industry that are doing their best to bridge the divide. These five influential women in eSports are changing the game.

1. Sasha (Scarlett) Hostyn

Sasha (Scarlett) Hostyn

Named by Forbes 2018 as “one of the most powerful women in international sports”, Scarlett is a force to be reckoned with. Her game of choice is Starcraft II, a game which she absolutely dominates. She is known for her unique play style and use of her Creep spread. Currently playing for team Newbee, she is coined as “the queen of Starcraft II” and the “Korean Kryptonite”. Scarlett has participated in over 116 tournaments. With earnings reaching an estimated 337,000 dollars, she is currently the highest payed female gamer in the world. However, she is only ranked 307thon the men and women’s combined scale. 

2. KittyPlays

Kristen Valnicek “KittyPlays”

Kristen Valnicek, a British Columbia native, has garnered over 1 million followers on twitch. She streams everything from Counter Strike, Fortnite, PUBG, and more. She recently partnered with major esports organization Gen. G to become their head of gaming initiatives. She among others are helping to form an all female U.S professional Fortnite team.

3.  Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim

Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim

Geguri was the first female player to be signed to both an Overwatch APEX team and an Overwatch League team. As of 2019, she was included in Time’s list of “Next Generation Leaders” for “Fighting Gender Bias in Gaming”. Furthermore, having only earned about $10,000 from gaming so far, Geguri is one of the lower earners on our list. However, at only 19, she has a long way to go! 

4. LoserFruit

Kathleen Belsten “LoserFruit”

Our number 4 spot goes to anyone but a loser! Kathleen Belsten is one of Australia’s most prominent streamers. With over half a million subscribers on Twitch, it’s easy to see why. She streams a variety of content including Overwatch, Just Dance, Fortnite, and more. 

5. ItsHAFU

Rumay Wang “ItsHAFU”

Rumay Wang is a highly popular Twitch streamer. She boasts a streaming schedule of over 60-80 hours a week. Rumay plays a variety of games such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone. 

While these five individuals have tremendously helped the advancement of women in eSports and gaming, much remains to be done. There are striking numbers to prove this. Did you know that a shockingly low percentage of women actually play major eSports games? Take a look at the list below. (Percentages are based on the number of women players compared to the overall number of male players)

Counter Strike – 24%

DOTA 2 – 20%

Hearthstone – 26%

Rainbow 6 – 23%

Overwatch – 26% 

However, with the likes of the women above, we have a lot of hope for in the future! The future for female gamers is bright, as new initiatives take effect, and more female streamers become prominent every day. In the coming years, we most certainly will see more influential women in eSports. There’s no telling how diverse eSports will become in the future. What we do know is that with these women and more leading the cause, we will see the world of eSports change forever! 

Want to hear more stories about women in eSports? Check out the following articles!

My Experiences as a ‘Girl-Gamer’ & Fighting Marginalization

The Fear of Voice Chat: The Struggles of Women in Solo Queue

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