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Behind the Screens: eSports as a Job

Stella "solar" Gottfried, Anika "Ryxcales" Wolter and Benedikt Wenck spoke about tournaments, talent and toxic behaviour at re:publica/TINCON.

What is it like to make gaming your profession and be part of the eSports world? With this question, the moderator Benedikt started the 45-minute talk. Anika explained to the audience what her professional career has been like and how she comments on, analyses and evaluates League of Legends (LoL) live tournaments as a caster. She has been working full-time as a caster since 2019. She has been part of big events such as The Main 2, the first PRM offline finals and currently also hosts the Equal eSports Cup qualifiers.

Stella described how as a LoL in-game observer she is responsible for changing interesting camera angles and player perspectives. As an observer, she contributes to creating an engaging viewing experience for the spectators. Both spoke about their daily work, the requirements for the job, their enthusiasm for League of Legends, but also about the downsides: They both have to work when others have free time, i.e. in the evenings, at night and on weekends. For both of them, however, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. Anika: "One league follows the next. There is actually no break. But eSports is a lifestyle. There's great cohesion, a great community and you can always try something new in LoL."

LoL is notorious for flamers, toxic behaviour and misogynistic slogans. These issues and the hurdles for women in professional eSports were also discussed on the panel. Stella: "Unfortunately, it is still the case that women are confronted with hate and gloating in gaming. That has to change and initiatives like #equalesports are working on that. At the moment, I would recommend young female gamers to use a neutral name if they just want to have fun playing.

Anika emphasised that a lot has happened in the eSports scene in recent years. Both consider role models to be very important. The Equal eSports Cup is therefore another important step towards more equality and diversity. Anika: "Until now, there was actually no safe space, i.e. a separate league where female players have the chance to try out. That will change with the Equal eSports Cup. Maybe in a few years you will see one of the Cup players as the first woman in the LEC. With this motivating vision, the panel said goodbye to the audience at re:publica and TINCON.