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 first spotlight, we spoke to NSE’s Becky Wright all about her journey into the world of collegiate esports.
The full video of the interview is available on the British Esports YouTube channel, or follow the link below!
Becky ‘Beedub’ Wright is currently the Senior Partnerships Manager for NSE, but when she’s not working in the university scene, she’s working on the Fourth Spirit Dota 2 podcast, and as a Manager for the Desoladies.
We asked Becky an assortment of questions around her role, and representation in esports, and these are her responses.
Q1. What is your favourite food?
“Favourite food is Mac and Cheese. Cheese, I just love it, pasta, love it, put it together, it’s even better.”
Q2. What is the best game you have ever played?
“The best game I’ve ever played? That might be Far Cry 3 actually. I might replay it, I was actually thinking about that the other day. I love Far Cry 3, like it’s not one that comes to mind when I think of my favourite game but it might be the best game I’ve ever played – or Dota maybe.”
Q3. If you could hold an esports event anywhere in the world, where would it be?
“I mean, part of me just wants to say London because it’s just on my doorstep and I could just easily go. But, imagine if there was an esports event in like Venice or something, that would be kind of interesting. Canals, esports, they don’t really go together hand in hand but I think that would be really cool.”
Q4. PC or Console?
“PC. I used to be console, but then I got my first PC in 2016, and I haven’t looked back since.”
Career and background Questions:
Q1. How did you get started in esports?
“My first introduction to esports was through my brother, he was playing a lot of RTS games and CS:GO and like Dota, so even though I had seen him playing it a lot, I hadn’t actually gotten involved myself until he kept talking about Dota all the time, and I was like ‘okay now you have to teach me about this game’. I’ve played games forever, I’ve had consoles forever, but never had a PC, so I got my first PC in 2016 and I said ‘introduce me to Dota, let’s play’.
“I was just sort of hooked on that ever since, and then it opened up this whole other side of gaming for me. I was very much an RPG gamer, I never really played online before, so yeah, he kind of opened up this whole new world that I hadn’t looked into before.
“I’ve been playing Dota ever since, involving myself within the Dota community, and working on side projects within that – so that’s my intro into esports.”
Q2. When did you realise you wanted a career in esports?
“I think the more I got involved with the Dota 2 community, I was getting exposure to more people who actually worked within that field for their actual full time job. It never really occurred to me that you could have a career working in esports, I’m not really sure why it didn’t.
“I went to university to study graphic design, I was being a graphic designer for my full time job, and I was looking at other avenues and other industries to work in. I worked in a variety of different fields before I got working in esports I was in the automotive industry, I worked in properties for a little bit, I worked for advertising agencies, which were all really good experiences that ultimately led to where I am now.
“But, it was sort of a convoluted entry into where I am now – being a graphic designer, and then moved to Canada where I worked for Ford for a bit doing their graphic design work and marketing materials, and then I came back home and decided I didn’t want to be freelance anymore.
“Then, I went back into a full-time position and back into the workforce in marketing, because I had gained enough experience to go back into work as a fairly Junior marketing person, even though I had worked up to being a Senior graphic designer previously. I did that for about a year and a half, whilst also working on my side projects within the Dota community. This was the work I was doing with Desoladies, which is a women’s group, and also the work I was doing with the podcast as well just gaining as much experience as I could in the esports community.
“Then I got my first job with NSE as their Social Media and Community Manager, and then moved to the Partnerships side of the business.”
Q3. Where do you see yourself in esports in the next five years?
“In the next five years, I don’t know – I might still be at NSE! I love where I work, I’m very content here so maybe still with NSE. I mean, who knows.
“I think if I’m not at NSE, maybe the next natural steps would be for a team, or looking for a team, but I am quite happy where I am, I love working with the students.
“As long as I am still making an impact somewhere in the esports industry and working on things that I care about, that’s all I can really ask for.”
Q4. How does it feel to be part of the Women in Esports Committee?
“I was so excited when I was asked to be a part of the committee! For a while, I have looked at Women in Esports through my work co-managing the Desoladies for so long, and it’s something that I really care about.
“I think that there definitely has been progress made in the last few years. I remember when we first announced the Desoladies group and what we were doing there, we had a lot of pushback from the rest of the community.
“And while you still get people hating on it and ‘why is this needed I don’t understand’, generally, I would say that the esports and gaming community has become a bit more accepting and understanding – but there’s still so much more work to do.
“That is why I am excited to be part of this committee, because I think there’s still a lot of education that can take place in saying why this is needed and why it is important, giving more opportunities for competitive play, or resources to people who need it – I think those are all super important.
“I am very pleased to be a part of the committee, and I think we can do some really exciting stuff together.”
Q1. Do you feel that women and marginalised genders are represented well enough in esports?
“I would say not well enough yet, but, I do think there is progress. I was watching an esports tournament the other day on Twitch and out of the three panellists, two were women and one was a man – and nobody said anything about it in Twitch chat. That was something that really stood out to me because like five years ago, I’m sure people would have been saying something.
“Representation is happening in certain aspects, but I still don’t think it’s well represented within the professional side at all. Unless I am mistaken, I really can’t think of any mixed teams that exist.
“It’s great to see lots more initiatives for women’s competitions and women’s tournaments out there which I think will encourage that mixed team scenario to potentially happen in the future, but at the moment it’s getting better, but we’re not there yet.”
Q2. Do you feel there is progress being made for representation in the collegiate scene?
“Yeah, so we try to track our own community and see what changes are being made there in terms of gender diversity, and I think while it’s still overwhelmingly male, that number is slowly coming down each year and is becoming more balanced.
“Even if it’s only a few percent, there is the trend that more women are entering the space and entering that community.
“Something that we have found really interesting is that each year when the esports societies form, we try and find out who is sitting on those committees, and student leaders who are women have gone up a lot. We saw there was an 11% increase in women in those leadership roles within their societies, which overall 26% of those esports committees are made up of women.
“Whereas, within the actual community itself, I would probably say it’s more like 10-15% women, so just by having those leadership roles, we hope that would also encourage new women to enter the community.”
Q3. What would you like to see change in the industry to promote further inclusion?
“I think we just have to continue doing more of what is already being done. The thing I would like to see changed is the attitude shift, so whether that is people within the industry or just the wider community of esports fans, an attitude shift needs to take place where seeing a woman involved in esports is not a standout point. It’s something that doesn’t need to be commented on, it doesn’t need to be mentioned – it’s just a non-issue.
“By doing what all of these initiatives around the world are doing, whether that’s the committee, or whether that’s other initiatives in different countries, I think all of that work will help that attitude shift – and I think that is what needs to happen.”
Q4. What does Women in Esports mean to you?
“Women in Esports means to me that there’s such a wealth of talent and passion and diversity within that group. I think that there’s so much that women can offer in the space, whether that’s a slightly different perspective, or different talents, I think there’s so much we can offer to this industry.
“When I think of the perseverance also of women in the industry, I’m really impressed, especially with people who are front-facing like broadcast talent or the players themselves. You see online the kind of hatred and abuse they can get for just being a woman existing in the space, so I think there’s a lot of perseverance, a lot of talent and a lot of passion, and I love it!”
If you want to learn more about Becky, and the work she is currently doing with NSE, you can check out her social media here.
For the full interview with Becky, head over to the British Esports YouTube channel.