Esports doesn’t have a lot of women yet, very much like traditional sports and while esports as an industry is nowhere comparable to the sports industry, in a lot of ways, the systems work similarly in terms of structure and hierarchy. According to Upfluence, while 50% of gamers are expected to be female, only 5% of pro gamers are women. However, there have been some conscious efforts by organizations to motivate women to get into esports.
AnyKey, an organization which works on representing talent and fostering communities has been one of the pioneers in advocating for the inclusion of women in esports. Organizations such as Team Secret, Dignitas and CLG have female only teams in Counter-Strike, while in Dota2, the Chinese organization Newbee became the first team to recruit a female pro player in a professional team. More recently, manufacturers of gaming peripherals such as ZOWIE have joined the cause by catering to the female gamer demographic via custom product lines such as Divina.
Today, we take a look at the women across Dota 2 and CS:GO who have managed to break through and left their marks on the respective communities.
From CoD:4 to CS:GO and PUBG, Lauren ‘Pansy’ Scott has been one of the top casters in the esports business for a long time and has built up a steady fan following over the years. Hailing from the UK, Pansy is one of most popular community members among the communities of most of the popular FPS games, and while CS:GO remains her claim to fame, she has more than once delved into other projects as well. Known for the usual wit and wordplay that is expected of the Brits, Pansy is the only female commentator in the CS:GO scene but she still holds her own when it comes to making a play come alive.
One of Dota’s most loved personalities Dota 2 caster and host, Jorien ‘Sheever’ van der Heijden, has one of the most inspiring stories in all of esports. In May 2017, she announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and while many were saddened and shocked by the news, the real story is that of her recovery. Over the course of the next year or so, Sheever went through her treatment, and while she still hasn’t fully recovered, she is back to doing events more regularly now. Her passion for the game and sweet and mild mannered nature makes her one of the better hosts and she has been a regular at TI’s as well.
One of the newer members in the Dota community, Moxxie only managed to break into the scene recently and one of her first big gigs was the Dreamleague Season 10 Minor. Many appreciated her commentary, and her pairing with Kyle was quite new and refreshing. Let’s hope that Moxxie continues casting Dota 2 and we get to see and hear more from her in the future.
Heather ‘sapphiRe’ Garrozo is one CS:GO’s top observers having covered over 12 top tier events in 2018 alone. A former pro, turned observer she is also the VP for Marketing for Dignitas and manages the female CS:GO team for them as well. The only female observers in both Dota and CS:GO, Sapphire is one of the names that comes to your mind instantly when someone says observing and CS:GO in the same sentence.
Having coached 3 teams, since 2016, Murielle ‘Kips’ Huisman is one of the more prominent coaches in the Dota scene currently. She was recently working her third stint with TNC Predator at the Kuala Lumpur Major and has worked with both Fnatic and Vega Squadron earlier.