Last week, I wrote about the abominable reality of being a woman in the world of eSports.
This week, it seems some good has come out of the other multiple uproars over the absence of females in the Fortnite World Cup, where every single finalist was male.
Dating app company Bumble have teamed up with eSports organization Gen. G to form a group of professional Fortnite players and the world’s first all-women esports team. They’ve called themselves “Team Bumble.”
Currently, Gen G fields other mixed-gender esports leagues. Chris Park, the CEO, said in a statement, “We take seriously our opportunity and responsibility to support emerging segments of the esports community, especially by creating and strengthening platforms for women.”
The team will include famous female eSport competitors including Kristen “KittyPlays” Valnicek (945,000 followers) Madison “maddiesuun” Mann (who is 20 years old), Tina “TINARAES” Perez, Carlee “Carlee” Gress and Hannah “Hannah” Reyes.
This team is not set in stone: future players will be brought on as needed.
“The future is bright and I can’t wait to see the impact we make together!” Valnicek said in a statement. The 28-year old Canadian is one of the most followed streamers on Twitch, which is the largest streaming platform for gamers with more than 15 million daily active users.
Bumble will provide a streaming room at the Gen. G training facility in Los Angeles and work with them to create new platforms to “drive female empowerment in the gaming community.”
As Amrita Khalid says in Endgadget today, “While the demonstrated interest of companies will help, it’s up to the male-dominated gaming community at large to become more tolerant of their fellow players.”
Let’s hope this new group sets a precedence for more female-orientated teams and normalise women players in eSports.
As Perez, one of the founding team members, told The Verge, “I never had [a female role model] growing up in the e-sports scene … I want to be the role model that I never had for these people.”