“Mom, I want to play video games for a living.”
This alone would have most parents laugh nervously before attempting to steer their teenage daughter into the general direction of textbooks, university options and a B-something degree.
In recent years, however, this dream has become more of a reality with international e-sports superstars like Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn and Katherine “Mystik” Gunn raking in $312 845 (R4.6 million) and $122 000 (R1.8 million) in winnings per event respectively.
The richest game is Defense of the Ancients 2 (DotA 2), which has awarded $169.7 million in prize money to date.
As a male-dominated industry, women are now contending their positions on the local and international e-sports leaderboards, going head-to-head with their male counterparts.
Professional gamer Julia Robson says: “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.”
Robson started the first sponsored all-female CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive) team in South Africa in 2017. She allocates on average eight hours a day to gaming, sharpening her skills in Apex Legends and CS:GO on a Predator computer.
She says 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.