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Female esports players – 3 women taking the gaming industry by storm

Female esports players

If you want to be in competitive esports, gals, you can make big things happen! Just look at these three female esport players for inspiration: Katherine Gunn, Sasha Hostyn, and Xiaomeng Li. You might know them better by their gamer names: Mystik, Scarlett, and VKLiooon.

Female esports players: Katherine Gunn, aka “Mystik”

Guinness World Records honored American Katherine Gunn, better known by her player name “Mystik.” She received a heck of a distinction in the 2015 Gamer’s Edition: the highest female video game earner of all time at $122,000 earnings at that time.

A big portion of that income came from her win of 2010’s WCG Ultimate Gamer reality show broadcast, where she took first prize. It was a cool $100,000 that she took after going head-to-head on Halo: Reach against Yaz Ammari (player name ClowN).

After the WCG Ultimate Gamer win, Katherine Gunn said these awesome words about female esports players,

It’s an honor to win the responsibility of showing that women can compete in these types of videogame events and tournaments.

To earn that ultimate title, Gunn took down 11 competitors over 10 different game titles during the two-month run of the SyFy games. Kat, as she’s also known, showed diversity by all the various game genres she mastered and and by being the first woman to hold the title of WCG Ultimate Gamer.

Katerine Gunn is also a cosplay fan, and she created the professional gaming and cosplay team called Less Than 3. You can catch her streaming on Twitch TV, playing for Team Dignitas, and strengthening her personal brand.

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Sasha Hostyn, aka “Scarlett”

Another amazing pro gamer is Sasha Hostyn, whose player name is Scarlett. She’s a Canadian gal who does Canada proud.

Sasha began her career in 2011 and today is well known in the StarCraft II community for several wins and gotten plenty of prize money too over the several last years.

That money can go towards new equipment to stay on top, such as a gaming PC, gaming chair Canada, headset, mic, and webcam.

She was the first female winner of a major StarCraft II tournament. To grab top place, she beat out Kim Yoo (player name sOs), a higher-ranking competitor who was the highest-paid StarCraft II player ever.

The 2018 win took place in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She was also only the second person to win that tournament who wasn’t from South Korea.

Sasha Hostyn
Sasha Hostyn during gameplay. Photo by Kevin “Silverfire” Chang, CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Among the top accomplishments for Sasha Hostyn is making the top 50 admirable gaming people in 2014 and top 10 highest earning female eSports gamers worldwide in 2018. Hostyn’s career hasn’t been without its controversies though as her wins of the all-female StarCraft championship called Iron Lady (2011, 2012) prompted outcries because she is transgender.

When that backlash over Iron Lady happened, Sasha Hostyn said,

It is true I am [male-to-female] transgender, and I kinda expected this reaction. I have never tried to bring attention to myself for anything other than my play, so I don’t feel like this should be a big deal.

And she’s right – it’s her playing ability that matters! She identifies as female so let’s respect her wishes and do so. It’s ignorant to do otherwise and it’s negative energy the world doesn’t need.

Xiaomeng Li, aka “VKLiooon”

Have you heard of Hearthstone? If you know the online card game then the chances are good that you’ve heard the name Xiaomeng Li or her player name VKLiooon.

The Chinese pro gamer made headlines in 2019 as the first female to take the title of Hearthstone Global Champion. Not only was it a big 3-0 win over America’s Brian Eason (player name bloodyface) but she also garnered $200,000 in prize moolah along with the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals trophy!

Perhaps best of all was that she had to qualify for the tourney through open tournaments instead of the international competitive circuit the way the HearthStone Grandmasters did. That’s because it’s a different process where she lives in China.

And her quote after she took the title was encouraging to any up-and-coming female esports players:

I want to say for all the girls out there who have a dream of esports competition, for glory, if you want to do it and you believe in yourself you should just forget your gender and go for it.

Xiaomeng Li has spoken up before about harrassment she’s faced in esports. For instance, a man once told her that women shouldn’t be in the tournament sign-up line where she she was standing as it’s “not for you.”

Well now things are a lot different as she’s playing to fans. Her wins include being the first woman to win Season 1 of China’s Golden series.

Go female esports players, go!

Given gender discrimination on the gaming scene, including League of Legends, it’s great to see these three ladies achieving victories and continuing to pursue their dreams.

Of course, it takes lots of practice and dedication to reach the top ranks, as with most things. I’m cheering on these awesome players, how about you?

6 thoughts on “Female esports players – 3 women taking the gaming industry by storm”

    1. That’s what struck me, Christie. I remember the comment from a concert pianist once when someone said how lucky he was to play piano like that. “You could say all the hours of practice were lucky!” Xx <3

  1. I know nothing about esports players so found this to be a very interesting read. I have no doubt there is a lot of gender discrimination at play so congratulations to these women for serving as role models for the next generation.

    1. Thanks Sean. It is great to see women accomplishing their goals, whether it’s esports or anything else – and also great to have their accomplishments applauded as you’re doing here :)

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