In recent years however, this dream has become more of a reality with International esports superstars like Sasha Scarlet Hostyn and Katherine Mystik Gunn each raking in a comfortable $312 845 and $122 000 in winnings per tournament respectively. According to Global News the richest game is Dota 2, which has awarded $169.7 million in prize money to date. As a traditionally male nominated industry, women are now proudly contending their positions on the local and International eSports leaderboards going head to head with their male counterparts.
On the local front, Julia Bish Robson - an eSports contender and spokesperson for the Predator gaming brand, started her studies in Dentistry at the University of Cape Town. Julia’s interest in gaming was piqued by a friend and soon became a serious hobby to indulge in during her university downtime. “I was playing games with friends and then soon started looking out for monthly LAN parties where I could play against other gamers on a more serious platform.” Making a living from eSports is deemed incredibly difficult as the competition is tough with over 1000 pro gamers competing internationally for a percentage of the winnings. Although the South African industry has grown in leaps and bounds, it still has a long way to contend with other, more established gaming countries.
“Starting as a female player in a male dominated and fiercely competitive environment has its evident challenges, but I believe that as with any industry you prove your worth based on your work ethic, abilities and skill set.” Julia has a passion to develop the local gaming industry and started the first sponsored all-female CS:GO team in South Africa in 2017.
To be a serious contender also requires dedication and training; Julia allocates on average eight hours per day to gaming sharpening her skills in Apex Legends and Counter Strike on the Predator device. Having the correct hardware is as important to any gamer with the assurance that a device can handle gaming and maintain performance under prolonged hours of streaming. "Predator provides me with the technology I need to stay on top of my game, whether it be at home or traveling.
A very active participant on the live streaming channel Twitch, Julia interacts with her followers and acts as a mentor to her fans daily. “As a gamer, I believe that skill is not determined by gender, but by your passion.”
Julia shares some of the latest must watch trends on the local and international gaming stage:
- Thanks to the rise in popularity of the digital esport viewing, fans are moving to spectate esports tournaments and events in physical locations - bringing even more revenue opportunities to sponsors and increasing the commercialisation of esports.
- ESports teams, particularly in America are now a venture capital backed industry, eSports teams now give naming rights to the investor, similar to that of national sports team.
- Esports viewership is experiencing an increase in female fans and players - from pro stage through to enthusiasts.
- Fortnite is one of the most commercial games in the world, breaking world records in downloads as well as players.
- Epic Games moved over to the mobile gaming platform, giving users mobile access to Fortnite players.
- Twitch.tv is deemed the biggest gaming stream avenue ahead of YouTube site.
breaks through in a male dominated industry
eSports Contender and Gaming Enthusiast Julia Bish Robson breaks through in a male dominated industryView
“As a gamer, I believe that skill is not determined by gender, but by your passion.”
“As a gamer, I believe that skill is not determined by gender, but by your passion.”View
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Women in Gaming BannerView