Breaking the mould: Women shaping India’s e-sports landscape

Indian women are leading a silent revolution. They are redefining e-sports, not just as players but as visionary architects. With passion and grit, they are sculpting a future where gaming knows no gender boundaries

   
Women in India's e-sports

In the electrifying world of Indian e-sports, a quiet revolution is underway. Here, women are not just participants; they are architects reshaping the landscape of competitive gaming. Beyond the glowing screens and nimble keystrokes lies a narrative of grit, triumph, and unbridled passion.

Lately, Indian female gamers and streamers have been taking the gaming world by storm. These trailblazing women have risen to become the faces of the Indian game streaming arena.

Consequently, each click feels like a stride towards dismantling stereotypes, where resilience, not gender, determines success. These women’s narratives weave together tales of talent, determination, and an unyielding pursuit of excellence.

Women in e-sports

Anjali Atheya: A fusion of beauty and precision

In the heart of Kanpur, Anjali Atheya, also known as The Bella, a 21-year-old streamer, effortlessly merges the worlds of makeup artistry and gaming prowess. Her journey is a testament to the boundless possibilities that unfold when passion finds expression in different arenas.

Anjali Atheya aka The Bella

“Makeup wasn’t just a hobby; it was a passion that I pursued with a professional goal in mind. I also loved gaming, and I’ve been at it since I was around 10. Hence, I feel it came naturally,” she says.

Having dedicated numerous hours to honing her skills since childhood, she effortlessly embarked on a career path that seamlessly aligned with both her expertise and her passion.

“When I decided to become a streamer, it felt like a natural evolution. I was already very comfortable with gaming and adding interactions with viewers felt like a natural extension of my passion,” Atheya adds.

However, the gaming space has seen limited involvement from female gamers. Entering a domain fraught with challenges was no easy feat, yet she persevered and overcame the hurdles.

“But negativity doesn’t define my experience. Instead, I choose to focus on the positives. I brush off the negativity and channel that energy into creating even better content. Ultimately, I stream for the amazing community that’s built around shared interests and genuine support. Their appreciation is what fuels my passion and motivates me to keep pushing forward,” she asserts.

Saloni Kandalgaonkar: Crafting narratives in the gaming cosmos

From Team Vitality India to S8UL Esports, Saloni Kandalgaonkar, also known as MiliKyaMili, has emerged as a luminary in the gaming galaxy. Her journey transcends team affiliations; it’s a profound exploration of content creation, connecting with a broader audience, and leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

“Representing Team Vitality India provided me with valuable experience, and joining S8UL Esports has opened up new avenues for me in the gaming world. Being part of S8UL’s star-studded roster of India’s leading gamers has been a significant boost and has allowed me to explore different aspects of gaming content creation to grow as a creator,” she enthuses.

Saloni Kandalgaonkar aka MiliKyaMili

Cultivating a substantial fanbase demands unwavering dedication and active engagement. Saloni’s vision of leaving a lasting impact on the gaming industry is one of the ways in which she’s accomplishing it.

“I prioritise interacting with my community by regularly engaging with them through live streams and my social media channels. It’s essential for me to listen to their feedback, suggestions, and concerns, as it helps me identify areas for improvement in my content,” she says.

“One of my primary goals is to inspire and empower the next generation of gamers, particularly women who dare to break barriers. I am committed to promoting diversity and representation within the gaming industry. To achieve this, I will continue to leverage my platform to advocate for positive change and actively participate in initiatives that promote diversity and inclusivity in gaming,” she adds.

Payal Dhare: Gaming against the odds

Originating from Madhya Pradesh, Payal Dhare’s journey into gaming defies societal norms. Her story isn’t just about gameplay; it’s a rebellion against the stereotypes that once deemed gaming unfit for girls. In the realm of PUBG Mobile, Payal found her voice and, in the process, became an inspiration for millions.

“I faced numerous societal norms discouraging girls from playing games. However, I refused to let these stereotypes hinder my passion for gaming. Despite my mother’s initial reservations, my father consistently supported my aspirations of leaving a mark in the gaming world,” she reminisces.

Payal Dhare aka Payal Gaming

“The breakthrough came when my gaming videos went viral within the first week. Realising the potential, I committed to uploading content regularly, understanding that consistency would attract more followers. Ultimately, I started gaining recognition as a prominent gamer and becoming the first female gamer in the country to amass millions of followers on social media,” she adds.

Now, Payal strives to inspire other girls like her to break free from societal norms. She uses her platform to provide the help that she feels she needed when she started.

“Through my platform, I consistently strive to inspire and empower other women to pursue their passions fearlessly, regardless of societal norms or gender stereotypes, especially within the gaming industry. My message to other aspiring gamers, especially women, is to stay bold and resilient. Despite the challenges, don’t give up easily. Work hard to turn your dreams into reality,” Dhare asserts.

Orchestrating inclusivity in gaming

Anand Mishra, CEO and Founder of Glazer Games, isn’t just creating a gaming platform; he’s orchestrating a symphony of inclusivity. His vision goes beyond pixels on a screen; it’s about establishing a universe where every gamer, especially women, feels valued and heard.

“At Glazer Games, we’re all about creating a gaming community where everyone feels valued and included, especially our female gamers. We believe in showcasing the incredible talent and passion of women in gaming by putting them front and centre in our tournaments and shows,” he says.

In a world where diversity is often a buzzword, Anand Mishra has breathed life into the concept by actively showcasing female talent in tournaments and shows. Glazer Games has become more than a platform; it’s a sanctuary where girls thrive, break barriers, and pursue their gaming ambitions.

“We’re striving to create a gaming landscape where every girl feels welcomed and valued by shining a spotlight on female gamers, offering top-notch training, and promoting inclusivity in every aspect of our community. Our commitment to fostering diversity and empowering girls in gaming is at the heart of everything we do,” he adds.

As we envision the future of esports, Anand sees girls playing a leading part in the narrative. Glazer Games has become a testament to the transformative power of passion, persistence, and breaking barriers in the dynamic universe of gaming.

Rising beyond boundaries

In the symphony of clicks and keystrokes, these women, along with being trailblazers, are redefining what it means to be a gamer in India. As the pixels settle, their stories linger—a testament to the evolving landscape of gaming that knows no gender boundaries. The journey continues, and each click, each stroke, and each engagement is a step towards a gaming universe where women don’t just play; they lead.

In celebrating these narratives, we are not merely applauding achievements; we are acknowledging the breaking of the shackles that once confined gaming to a narrow narrative.

From the bustling streets of Jaipur to the heart of Madhya Pradesh, these stories echo the sentiment that gaming is not a gender-exclusive space; it is a canvas waiting to be painted with the strokes of passion, resilience, and unbridled talent.

These narratives serve as beacons of inspiration for all aspiring gamers, irrespective of gender, to step into the gaming arena with confidence, purpose, and the unwavering belief that in the world of esports, everyone has a story to tell and a game to win.

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