Let me start off with this, it’s no surprise these days women run the world… But there is still a long way to go for equal opportunities. Most industries if not all, have been male dominated, however in the past 30 years, women have been tackling challenges and overcoming obstacles, so they can be considered as equal to their male counterparts.
The gaming world, has been 100% male dominated in the past, with a few women rising to the challenge, however in the past few years, more and more female gamers, have shed a big light on their accomplishment and skills, they have inspired so many other girls to overcome the usual stereotypical “boys club” and have created a new league of their own.
In total, female gamers around the world have generated over 10M USD of prize winning. Pros like Scarlett, Mystik, have made headlines with large prize pool wins… And female streamers / game hobbyists like Pokimane have attracted big companies like Epic Games with partnerships.
However, how is it like for a female Fortnite player in the Middle East?
I had a chat with two of the most prominent players on the ME Server, two ladies, who have shown such class, politeness, humility, but most of all, AMBITION! It’s hard enough being a woman in the middle east, but also a gaming career oriented woman, well I almost thought it was impossible… But not until I spoke to these inspiring ladies.
I had the honor of having a great chat with Mary from Nasr E-sports & Adriahh, and got the inside scoop on what it takes to be a gamer in the ME, their challenges and their plans for the future. This is what I found out:
1) The support of your family is ESSENTIAL:
One thing I noticed talking to both these ladies, was how overwhelming their parents loved and supported them.. Adriah’s father is an OG gamer (Forza and RA), her brothers also grind COD & Fortnite, this ultimately created a safe and nurturing environment that allowed her to explore her love of gaming, and turn it into a career. She literally said “I’m actually blessed to have supportive parents” – But to prove my hypothesis about how essential parents were, Mary as well, had parents that were supporting her and ACTUALLY encouraging her to play games from an early age, she knew she was lucky to have such parents, because her and Adriah, both confess how hard it is for a girl in the Middle East to convince her parents, that she wants to break away from the traditional vision they have for them and pursue a passion which can in turn become a career at some point.
But Mary & Adriah, are both lucky to have had such parents, as sadly, this does not reflect the reality of the majority female gamers or upcoming gamers in the Middle East. The Middle East is sadly plagued with traditions and customs that have been created over hundreds of years ago, some because of religion, and others because of social perception. But to set the record straight once and hopefully for all, and for any parent that might one day read this article, I want to say that a Woman was not created so she can get married only, a Woman was not created so she can have children only, a Woman was not created so she can serve her Husband… Women are capable of doing all the above, and more, at the same time, while maintaining a career, they are multi taskers, ambitious and inspiring. They endure pain, and emotional stress more than a man could ever endure.. Trust me, I know.. My wife is the one that kills all the bugs in our house :p
2) Overcoming male perception:
It’s no surprise that women are beautiful inside out, and often if not all the time, are judged by how they look, rather than how they perform. Especially in the Middle East, being a very testosterone driven society, women need to over achieve to get noticed, and even then, they are judged and accused of using their beauty to advance… It still is a challenge, even after speaking with Mary, who until now, gets plenty of messages in her live stream chat from boys/men who are telling her to go back to the Kitchen, but Mary is not silent, she fights back and makes sure to at least try to change the perception which some of her audience might have of her. Adriah’s concern is similar, she does not want to be judged based on how she looks, but on how she plays, she does that every day, by playing non stop, choosing clips, spending the night editing, and posting those clips, and that’s her main reason, why until now, she does not put up a facecam when she plays, at least for now, because she considers that she needs to become the best of the best, (which she is btw) before she can take that step, and I totally understand.
3) The Middle East Fortnite Community is EVOLVING:
One point I got from both ladies, was that the ME scene is evolving, and especially in the past 2-3 years, they have started to embrace women in esports much more, with team affiliation, support from top players and respect from the community. A small indication of that, is my tweet a few days ago asking about the top female players in the ME, filled with replies from prominent MALE players in the scene. Both girls are happy with how much the scene is evolving, but still think there is a long way to go, because there are still girl gamers, who are not in the spotlight, maybe even hidden, because they still think they might not be welcomed in the community. However, with the rise of players like Adriah & Mary, more and more gamers will come to the realization that they can do it too… This is the secret sauce for female gamers to rise and show the world what they are capable of… They need to be inspired and motivated by the success of others just like them, because if Mary & Adriah can do it, they can do it too! I can tell you one thing for sure, a few days ago, I was inspired by Mary, after watching her play a SOLO SQUAD game, getting 23 Kills, I closed her stream, loaded Fortnite, went in for a Solo Squad game, and got killed 3minutes later lol. But at least I was inspired to try and be like her.
So in conclusion, Fortnite is for everyone, and every day, our female Fortnite players are streaming and playing, they are inspiring 10 other girls, who also will inspire another 10, and so on… It’s a domino effect that eventually will peak with maturity and make way for equal opportunities and COMPETITION. But the price to pay is HARD WORK, patience, consistency and passion. Adriah and Mary spend hours per day dedicated to their craft, and were not handed everything on a silver platter, they had to earn it, by playing and challenging some of the best players in the region. So, if you are a female gamer, reading this article, please be inspired, finish reading this, launch the game, open your twitch account, train and be sure that you can do this and become the best.
Notes from the editor: There are plenty more points discussed with the ladies that were not covered in this article, however, if you have read the full editorial, and reached this point, then you are going to be happy to hear, that we are doing our first ever Twitch Live interview with Mary & Adriah to talk about everything in more details, and open up Q&A from fans and the audience!
Until then girls, don’t put a ring on it, put a joystick on it!!!
- July 8, 2020