In a video, Slysssa shared her esports journey with the world and talked about what it’s like to be a woman in competitive gaming.
Team Liquid Hearthstone Battlegrounds player Slysssa posted a new video about her esports origin story. In the video presented by Alienware, she talked about how she got into Hearthstone and how she overcame different challenges. She also went into how it's possible to balance a gaming career with family life. Read on for details!
How Slysssa got into competitive gaming
Slysssa has always loved video games thanks to her mother's influence as a computer teacher. She also aspired to be just as successful as older brother, who played traditional sports. This love for video games and competition persisted when Slysssa became a math teacher and a coach.
"I was a teacher and a coach," she said. "I really just like the process of helping people understand something — teaching, talking about coaching, and helping that click with someone else. I find myself always internally teaching that's like what my inner voice is doing at all times."
At the beginning of Slysssa and her husband's relationship, both of them didn't know about each other's love for video games. A year later, they both discovered their shared passion for the activity. Slysssa's husband then introduced her to the world of esports through The International (TI) broadcast.
Slysssa, Hearthstone esports, and Team Liquid
When Slysssa faced health challenges due to an autoimmune disease, she left her teaching job. Her husband suggested streaming on Twitch because of Slysssa's skills in Hearthstone and teaching. Initially, Slysssa saw herself as an entertainment streamer rather than a competitive one.
However, after she received comments about improving her gameplay, she took the feedback seriously, studied hard, became more competitive, and achieved better ranks and scores.
"So my first competition was actually an invite to an all women's tournament — the WSOE 2," Slysssa said, referring to the 2018 World Showdown of Esports for Hearthstone. "I ended up going top four, which I was so proud of myself and I was like, "Oh! Oh, I can do this. Like I just if I keep working, I can compete.'"
Slysssa also recalled how difficult it was to get an invitation to the Hearthstone Masters Tour. However, she tried it out on a free weekend and succeeded with a top-two placement. She then described her experience as a last-minute addition to a Hearthstone tournament that was criticized for a lack of diversity.
"I replaced a very well-liked player, and people did not like that this girl that they've never heard of was replacing their favorite player," she said. "And they thought, at the time, that I was replacing him because of the backlash that the tournament received for not having enough women competitors. When people who don't know me see me show up they're like, 'Oh, they're just filling in a girl spot. They just need the girl.' And then by the end of the tournament, I'm the top point earner of the whole tournament."
When Slysssa first received an email from Team Liquid, she thought she was being pranked. She triple-checked the email address to confirm that it wasn't a scam.
"I didn't think they'd be ever emailing me," Slysssa recalled. "That was a shock because I've always seen Team Liquid as the pinnacle of esports."
The balance between gaming and family
By being so focused on her streaming career, Slysssa forgot about her husband's wish to start a family. Eventually, they decided to balance both streaming and family time. Slysssa now wakes up early to spend quality time with her daughter. Then, she focuses on streaming work. After picking up her daughter from the nanny, Slysssa switches back to being a dedicated mother.
"So I hope that women know that if you have a family, your family can be your main focus. But you can also focus still on your old hobbies or your old career or your current career," Slysssa said. "You don't have to give up everything just to be a mom — or you can. That's good, too.
"I know there's a lot of women who are afraid that if they just be a mom and focus just on their family, that people will criticize them for that. No. You need to do what is best for you and your family.
"So if that means becoming a full-time mom, then that's great. If that means being a working mom, that's amazing. Whatever you want to do and whatever works for your family."
Slysssa talks women in esports and gaming
Slysssa also noted that gaming should not have an age limit based on gender. At the end of the video, she emphasized the importance of believing in oneself and overcoming challenges as women in esports and gaming.
"I think you have to find that confidence and realize like, 'No, this is correct, this is right,'" she said. "We all go through really hard times in life. You can't let that get you down. Get through those hard times so you can get to the happy times. So you can enjoy your life. Don't let what other people think get in your way."
That's all for now. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more news and updates!