Riot Gaming #InternationalWomensDay
It's International Women's Day which is a campaign to #BeBoldForChange and to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political (and gaming!!) achievements of women. Many successful gamers within the female community will admit that the stereotype of women not being good at video games has proved some difficulty throughout their careers.
Riot Gaming are the first gaming organisation to be ran successfully by four passionate and driven women in gaming. This is why on days like #InternationalWomensDay we want to highlight some key members of Riot Gaming and their fantastic achievements throughout their gaming careers and the struggles they've faced along the way!
"I am Ellen 'dreamcrazzy' and I currently play competitive Call of Duty for Riot Gaming NA. I have been competing on and off since 2010. My biggest achievements are as follows:
- 4th Pro Circuit League COD - 2010
- Winning 'Gamers for Giving' - 2013
- Winning eBash (local LAN) - 2013
- 7th place at UMG STL
- Placing t32 with a female team at UMG ATL
- Winning multiple online tournaments
- Winning Female Pro League Season 1 & 2
There are always challenges being a female competitor, it seems more so lately than ever before. In the past I've had a lot of respect and people always wanted to play with me. 'Egoing' didn't happen that much then it does now. I do get turned down by some people because of my gender, they think I'm not good, or simply because they don't want to play with a female.
There was this team that was undefeated on the GB ladder and we beat them. The next day one of my friends were playing with this team and they needed one more to come play, I'd asked to jump in and they said no purely because I'm a girl, despite beating them the day before! It made no sense in my opinion, especially when I dropped 16 kills against them in the Search and Destroy and beat them more than comfortably in Hardpoint.
That is the biggest challenge - getting people to play with you! No matter what my achievements were... it's still not good enough for this community. Which sucks!! Even when I was playing with Pro Player 'Aches' a few weeks back it doesn't matter! Men just don't think women have what it takes in the competitive gaming scene. This is why I haven't given up, and I just keep trying to prove people wrong yet again!"
"My name is Jennifer DeFonzo and I am the team captain of Riot Halo. Our team consists of myself, Katey (Divine Damsel), Jourdan (Dreamyy Dreamm) and Monique (Monza). We have all been competing in the Halo scene for different amounts of time. We are all strong individual players and friends outside of the game, which makes playing and competing with each other a lot of fun! We will be competing in the Female Pro League this month and plan to attend HCS events this year and moving forward.
I've personally been competing in Halo since 2007. I first touched Halo 2 when I was 11 years old and played the game casually. I was a member of the PMS Clan (an all-female clan) and honestly, I was complete trash at the game. My brother still managed every now and then to sneak me into FFA lobbies with good players like Pistola and Stryker. I was always at the bottom of the list, but I loved the feeling of playing with the best and slowly watching myself improve. Then when Halo 3 released shortly after this, I decided I wanted to start competing. The first event I attended was MLG Orlando 2008 and we placed third round, which was a disappointment even though it was my first event. From that point forward, I started grinding and I attended most MLG events throughout the rest of Halo 3 and Halo Reach hoping to make a name for myself.
My greatest achievement was placing 28th at MLG Providence 2011 on a team called 'Warden Girl' (http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/news/mlg-providence-halo-reach-top-32). The team name was originally a joke because for those of you who remember, back then there was a DMR loadout and a Needle Rifle loadout called 'Warden'. There were only a few pros like Hysteria who actually used the Needle Rifle but I liked it, and since I was the only girl on the team, the name 'Warden Girl' just kind of stuck.
That event we exceeded our expectations and when we beat Luckside's team to make it into Champ Bracket, and again when we goosed a top AM player to advance to top 28. At the time, a female competing at this level was hard to come by. Despite my accomplishments, after the event I immediately received backlash from the community and on the MLG Forums. People said that I got 'carried' and that Providence couldn't have been a 'real' event if someone like me was placing semi-pro. Gandhi, a Halo caster, even approached me for an interview after the event but I declined as I didn't want any more negative attention that belittled myself and what was originally a very happy and proud moment for me. This was probably one of the greatest challenges that I faced as a female competitor, and at this time I seriously considered whether competing in Halo was right for me.
I think International Women's Day for us is about recognising and embracing female talent. We can all agree that for female competitors to be taken seriously, they need to prove their skill just like everyone else. But International Women's Day is about breaking down the negative stigmas and celebrating the accomplishments of both females and males in what is a currently male-dominated community.
My name is Emily 'Emzz' Jones, and I currently play Call of Duty for Riot Gaming EU. I have been competing since I turned 18 in 2011. The first event I attended was i46 on Modern Warfare 3 with three of my male friends after we had watched the previous event and thought we'd see what it was like for ourselves. I enjoyed myself so much that I have been competing online and offline on Call of Duty ever since.
At my second event I attended as a last minute pickup for a friend as the original player could not attend and had work commitments to fulfil. This was under the XA organisation alongside the youtube TheTrout91. This was the first organisation that I had played under and as I was the only female competing at the event there was a lot of attention drawn towards the team. After this I moved onto playing on teams with all female rosters. One roster in particular was myself Morgz, DribblinGiraffe and MessyJessy. Our placement on Black Ops 2 at i49 I think is still regarded as the highest placing all female roster at an event (in Europe).
I then went back to playing on male rosters and ended up finding myself playing the Call of Duty Ghosts World Champs online qualifier for the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately we placed 2nd and missed out on a place at the event, but then I retried the following year on Advanced Warfare with different team. Again I fell short at the final hurdle and placed 2nd at the Regional Qualifiers which were held in London.
Since then I have continued to play on both male rosters as well as female rosters and I have currently found myself back on an all-female roster at Riot. Back when I first started competing there were not very many female players who competed compared to how many there currently are which shows how far the female Call of Duty scene has progressed. I think there is now more pressure on female players to perform at events than there was back when I first started competing. Personally, I find it easier being part of a female team because when being part of male teams there is a lot more pressure on you to perform and as a female it's currently very difficult to even find male players who are willing to team with you because of your gender. I honestly don't think many male players fully understand what it's like being a female trying to compete in a male dominated community."
"I was never the biggest fan of international womens day or men's day. But being an owner of Riot Gaming and growing it has made me realise that we should be appreciative of some of the outstanding things Riot have achieved!
A few examples of what we've accomplished so far:
- We're known for having the best female Call of Duty and Halo teams
- We've gained a lot of respect in a male dominated sport and we continue to grow
Personally my gender hasn't affected my time in gaming in the slightest, if anything it has made me stronger and more willing to push me and all teams under Riot for greatness."
As you can see we have some fantastic stories from just a few of the females under Riot Gaming and there are so many more we'd like to share with you!
You too can keep up to date by following the Ladies of Riot on Twitter. Because there are so many of us we found no better way of showing everybody's twitters other than a word cloud!