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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU eSports sees a rise of women in the industry

At Ashland University, the eSports program has three women in it, and they are looking to change the game
Ben Nichols
The women that compete for the Ashland University eSports team.

With the rise of the eSports industry comes a variety of new faces and audiences, especially for women.  

At Ashland University, the eSports program has three women in it, and they are looking to change the game.  

The women in the program consists of senior Sadae Smith, senior Katie Scheutzow, and freshman Ella Buckendahl. They each have their reasons on why they love eSports.  

“I used to play a lot of games and used to be a streamer, so I had some friends mention the eSports program so I looked into it,” Scheutzow said.  

With Scheutzow having friends to mention eSports, Smith had a similar experience but with her family.  

“Me and my brother are really close, so when my brother got into video games then I got into it,” Smith said.  

Smith has played the game Overwatch ever since it came out, and heard about collegiate eSports in which the game is trendy.  

“My brother and my dad got me into it. I remember playing the lego games, but I’ve been playing Overwatch a little bit since the beta released,” Buckendahl said. 

Of course, with any online gaming, it is mostly male dominated and you can find people that can act strange towards women in the gaming community.  

“It was definitely worse on console,” Smith said, especially when she played Overwatch. “A lot of times I couldn’t even talk.” Because of her gender, people would either act weird, or just not want to play the game.  

With Buckendahl, she to has had similar experiences. 

“It depends on the fanbase of the game” Buckendahl said, as she mentions that when she plays games like Rainbow Six Siege, she does not try to talk in the game 

In Smith’s experience, her switch from console to computer games was a better experience, but she still gets encounters every once in a while.  

“Collegiate eSports has not been as bad, but there have been a few situations with other colleges and they would see a girl on the other team and they would freak out,” Schuetzow explained.  

In collegiate esports, you do not see many females competing, so schools on the other team do not know that they are playing against a female from AU.  

Being in a male dominated industry did not throw anything off in terms of being comfortable in the space for them.   

“I wish there were more females in the space,” Smith said.  

The headspace was known to be male dominated, and they entered the industry having knowing this .  However, there are many female role models that play games that they like. 

“I’m not sure if I have a specific favorite, but there are a lot of girls that play video games like Kyedae.” Schuetzow said.  

With eSports on the rise, and women getting interested in it, there are many benefits for women to join.  

“You get to meet really nice people” Smith said, as she explains that they have the same passions with each other.  

She wants more girls to join because she is graduating next semester and a legacy must be continued.  

“I’m kind of scared that when we all leave that I will be the last female player in the program,.” Smith said.  

Even though the eSports program only has three girls, Schuetzow wants the program to grow. 

“I think regardless, girls should join so that they can be that leading light for other women,” Schuetzow said.  

Since the eSports scene is diverse, the women of Ashland eSports have some advice to give to new women who are interested or want to join the team.  

“There are times where I did not want to play the game or that I thought I was not good enough, but finding the headspace and motivation to play even if the odds are stacked against you is really important,” Smith said.  

“If I wouldn’t have had that mindset, I would not have gotten this far,” Smith said. As she explains that you must have confidence in yourself and that this can carry out with other aspects of your life.  

If women are questioning whether to join, there are many options to get involved.  

“There are so many communities out there for girls and gaming, you can find a nice group of people to start with so you are not by yourself,” Schuetzow said. 

With the Ashland eSports women telling their point of view, it is true that women are definitely the game changers of eSports.  

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