With the Women in Esports committee recently expanding, the initiative is continuing to grow and blossom.
But, who are the people behind the Women in Esports committee? In this series, we highlight each member of the committee, their role in esports, and how they view female and marginalised gender representation in the industry.
For this spotlight, we spoke to Jasmine Hong, Operations Executive at British Esports, about her journey into the role, representation within the industry, and her thoughts on being one of the newer additions to the committee.
The full interview with Jasmine can be found on the British Esports YouTube channel, or through the link below.
Q1. What is your favourite food?
“Okay, so I came with this question floating in my mind all day. I really like spaghetti. I guess that’s a really broad umbrella, but spaghetti is probably my favourite food. In Stardew Valley, they ask you for your favourite thing, and I always put spaghetti in mine.”
Q2. What is the best game you have ever played?
“So my favourite game is probably Breath of the Wild. It’s my first Legend of Zelda game, but I like how you can tackle all of the quests in any style you like – you don’t have to fight head-on.
“I’d climb to the nearest mountain and just shoot arrows or bombs just to avoid having to fight them head-on, so perfectly my style.”
Q3. If you could hold an esports event anywhere in the world, where would it be?
“I’m going to be really boring and say London so I don’t have to travel. I know London, there’s a lot of good food around, and I know the area so it’s kind of comfy for me – a home away from home.”
Q4. PC or Console?
“PC for sure. Aiming on console, not for me, even though my favourite game is Breath of the Wild which is on console!”
Q1. How did you get started in esports?
“So, I started off playing League of Legends, and realised I was bad at it so I would never go pro, but I was still really interested in being part of the scene. I did watch a lot of pro esports back then, and I was like ‘I feel like there’s a way for me to get here without me actually having to play the game’. Same as with theatre, there’s always actors on stage, and you’ve always got people behind the scenes helping, so I thought there was definitely something here I could do that would match my skill set.
When I went to university, I went to the video games society and they had a lot of teams competing in NUEL and NSE. I ended up being friends with one of the teams, and I helped them do analytics, and do scouting of the enemy team for them – it was a big operation. I really enjoyed that so I tried to branch out from that into grassroots esports organisations, where I helped do analyst work there,
I basically kick-started from the university scene into grassroots esports, and then I found British Esports, volunteered for them, and after a year I came and worked for them!”
Q2. When did you realise that you wanted a career in esports?
“It’s always been an up-and-down decision for me. When I first started at uni, I decided I wanted to get into the scene somehow, then it was like ‘yes, I really want to be in this industry’, but at the same time it was like ‘am I really going to find a job here?’, ‘do I have the skills?’, ‘I’m not even studying the right course’. So it was like yes, but I don’t think I can actually do it realistically.
“Then, I volunteered with British Esports, and I was like ‘oh this is kind of fun and now I have experience’, so it was uphill again. It was getting close to my graduation for my bachelors when we held the Champs grand finals while I was still a volunteer, and I was thinking ‘I have to graduate soon and get a real fancy corporate job, I don’t think I can spend so much time on esports again’. And then, when we had the actual grand finals I was there live, standing on the stage and doing all of the cool stuff you see people do – and after that I said I needed a job in esports.
“I realised I needed to somehow break into the industry as this is something that I really want to do, and it was just there standing on the stage with the headset giving cool comms made me feel like this was something special – and I wanted to have that feeling again, and again.”
Q3. Where do you see yourself in esports in the next five years?
“I want to be everywhere all at once! Apart from my everyday job, I also do broadcast, and observing, and I really enjoy that. In five years, I wanna see myself being able to dip and dive into all of these roles on like a hobby level, but also as part of my full-time job as well. I don’t know exactly where I see myself, but I want to be doing all of these roles – I want to do everything!”
Q4. How does it feel to be part of the Women in Esports committee?
“This is another ‘I can’t believe it moment’, I feel really honoured that I am able to give insight into this committee, and be a part of what seems like a really important team that’s helping to grow change.
It means a lot to me because I feel valued as a representative of a woman in esports, and I feel like it’s a really special moment for me being part of a team that I think has real potential. We have some of the most productive meetings, like the one we had at XL, when I sat there and had that meeting I thought ‘I feel like I’ve been able to contribute’, and I feel like I have my purpose in the committee, and I’m very proud to be part of it.”
Q1 – Do you feel as though women and marginalised genders are represented well enough in the industry?
“I don’t think they’re represented well enough, yet. I think we need to reach that point where we don’t have to ask the questions, we should just be people in an industry who do their jobs. So I think at the moment, no, I think that they’re not represented well enough – we’ve got a long way to go, but change is coming and everyday something new happens, a new initiative, new hope, and people finding jobs everyday. It’s a big step to take, but we are getting there.”
Q2.What are your thoughts on female-only tournaments in comparison to co-ed?
“I have mixed thoughts on this, and I don’t think I’d take only one stance on this. I can see both sides of it, and I change my mind everyday on it because I’m not 100% and I don’t think anyone is.
“Female-only tournaments – I think there’s a way to make it work. If you’re doing it right, it can be really empowering and a really good experience for all involved. The problem is, how do you run a good one? No one seems to have the right answer yet because the industry is so young, and I don’t think anyone has the answers currently to run a female-only tournament that serves all of the purposes it needs to, It’s complicated, and sometimes it can be good, and sometimes the main goal should be to have everyone in the same tournament.
“I think females should be in the ‘main’ competition, and there should only be the ‘main’ competition, there should be the same level of competitiveness, of prizing, and interest from public and investors into these tournaments. On one hand we shouldn’t be separating them, because esports is esports, people should just be people, but on the other hand, we need these tournaments to highlight these talents that are missing out on their opportunities to go into the ‘main’ tournaments. It’s good and bad, but it just needs some time.”
Q3. What would you like to see change specifically to make esports more inclusive?
“I want to see companies taking more responsibility in terms of the way they hire, and being transparent on the stance that they take. There’s a lot of companies out there who would rather say nothing at all, ignorance is bliss, but I think what we need is for companies to be there and say ‘we do not / we do accept this.’ We need the leaders in this industry to be there at the top and say ‘this is our company and this is our space, and if you are in our space you condone these practices that we are supporting’.
“I think it’s wishy-washy and nobody is really saying anything, and all the people in the public who are driving the change without any help from the top, that’s really adding to the struggle of promoting inclusion in the industry. So I think we need companies to take responsibility and take initiative.”
Q4. What does Women in Esports mean to you?
“Women in Esports is a little piece of my heart, it’s a little home that I have in there. It’s my home, but it’s also my baby.
“I think it’s a sign of the times (to quote Harry Styles), it’s the sign of the change that I keep saying is coming – it’s now and it should be driving the future. I can’t wait to see what esports looks like in, I was going to say 10 years, but even in five, the esports industry is growing so quickly we don’t know where it’s going to be. I think Women in Esports is at the forefront of that, and I’m really proud and humbled to be part of this fight, to be on the frontlines of the battle.
“Women in Esports is the way I am making my mark on the world, and it’s where I’m leaving my footprints behind.”
If you want to learn more about Jasmine, you can check out her Twitter, or watch the full interview over on the British Esports YouTube channel.
Eager to learn more about Women in Esports, and the committee? Make sure to follow the Women in Esports social accounts for the latest news, as well as the committee hub on our website for more content.