Whether making or playing them, LGBTQ+ gamers have a long history in video games that is only recently being recognized. 2007’s Mass Effect broke ground by allowing the player to have same-sex relationships, and 1998’s Fallout 2 was the first game to allow same-sex marriage. In recent years, some LGBTQ+ gamers have started to call themselves “gaymers” to give themselves a safe space and a support network.
Now, LGBTQ gaymers have started to make waves in eSports. In light of this, the competitive gaming industry could improve its treatment of LGBTQ gamers (esp. transgender and non-binary gamers). However, it is still awesome and fun to see queer gamers in Esports succeeding. Here are six LGBTQ gamers in eSports that more people should know.
Dominique “Sonic Fox” McLean
Known for dominating fighting games such as Dragonball Fighter Z and Mortal Kombat, gay eSports player Dominique Jackson is currently one of the most prominent eSports players in the United States and competitive gaming. He is also known for gaming as his fursona, a furry blue wolf suit and mask that he wears as the persona “Sonic Fox”.
In 2019, McLean has won the Mortal Kombat 11 championship at Community Effort Orlando. This is first victory in the 2019 Mortal Kombat Pro Kompetition and the latest in a string of accomplishments as an Esports player. In 2018, McLean won the Esports player of the year award after rising to the top of Dragonball Fighter Z tournament bracket.
United States trans gamer Ricki Ortiz is a Street Fighter player. She represents the North American gaming clan Evil Geniuses and become a Capcom Cup finalist in 2016 through playing Street Fighter V. During that time, she finished 2nd place and earning a cash prize of $60,000. As a matter of fact, this is the biggest win of her career to date.
Early in her career, Ortiz achieved numerous Top 8’s from 2003-2009 at the Evolution Championship. Here, she played a series of fighting games that included Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Street Fighter IV. The top 8’s earned from these games netted her sponsorship with Evil Geniuses.
Canadian trans gamer Scarlett is both a Starcraft II player and a Dota 2 player, though she is mostly known for the former. In 2018, she won the top prize in the Incel Extreme Masters Starcraft 2 tournament that took place in Korea. Taking home $50,0000, this made her the first woman to win a major, global Starcraft tournament.
Not only is Scarlett one of the most successful women in Esports, but she is also one of the most highest earners. In 2016, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized her as the of the highest paid woman in competitive gaming, having won over $200,000 in her career. She has been a pro gamer for eight years, her career having begun in 2011.
Hailing from England, Autumn Burchett is a trans-feminine non-binary Magic The Gathering player. In 2019, they have won the first-ever Mythic Championship, Magic The Gathering’s first professional tournament. The $1 million dollar tournament was held in February in Boston, Massachusetts and was called the biggest MTG event by their parent company Wizards of The Coast.
Autumn Burchett has also won their fair share of MTG tournaments in their home country. In 2017 and 2018, they won back to back victories in the English National Championship. All of their championship wins so far have culminated in them being the first non-male player to win a Pro Tour and the first English Pro Tour Champion.
Austin “Muma” Wilmot
American player Austin “Muma” Wilmot is a gay Overwatch player, a member of the Overwatch team the Houston Outlaws. He is a main tank and he considers himself a leader on his team, something he explained further in a Player’s Lobby essay written in 2018.
In the 14 tournaments he has played so far, he has earned over $14,000.00. Prior to playing Overwatch, he played Team Fortress 2, where he was a former two-time ESEA Invite champion with team Froyotech.
American trans player Xaltis is Super Smash Bros. 4 player whose main is the duo Princess Rosalina and the star Luma. In 2017, she won first place at the Super Smash Bros. 4 weekly tournament match held in Florida at Versus Gaming Center.
She has played Smash Bros since 2007, starting with Brawl before eventually moving on to Smash Bros 4. Furthermore, she is also sponsored by Aether Sports and is well known in the South Florida Smash community and beyond thanks to her Twitch channel and her attendance at tournaments such as Evolution Championship Series and Community Effort Orlando.1