Telekom Logo
Die Equal eSports Council Member beim Presselaunch in Bonn: Lisa Völkel, Lea Fitzen, Melek Balgün, Julia Hiltscher, Jana Möglich


The press launch of the Equal eSports Initiative took place in Bonn on September 30, 2021 – the era of equality had finally begun.

It was a very exciting day for me for two reasons. First of all, it was my first-ever press launch. Second of all, it was finally an opportunity to meet some of the other members of the Equal eSports Council for the first time. Quite some time before the launch, Jörg Adami of the esports player foundation had asked me whether I’d be interested in joining a council aimed at achieving equality for women in eSports. I didn’t hesitate for a second before saying yes – because equality was the one thing missing for me in esports. As a gamer, online streamer, and co-founder of an esports team (the Siegen Bisons), I’ve had a lot of positive experiences so far, but also encountered sexism again and again. Regrettably, women in the gaming and eSports world have to put up with sexist remarks, hostility, and insults on a daily basis. I often felt powerless in the face of this; after all, what could I do against it? It was precisely that feeling that made the Equal eSports Initiative such a matter of the heart for me. Finally, together with many others, I can do something against this injustice and use my eSports experience to help shape the “esports of tomorrow.”

What was exciting for me about the event in Bonn was to experience this attitude in all the speakers. Not just the talks by Deutsche Telekom representatives Birgit Bohle and Michael Hagspihl, but also Alexander Müller (SK Gaming), Jörg Adami (esports player foundation), and the panel discussion with Jana Möglich, Lea Fitzen, Antje Hundhausen, and Melek Balgün made one thing clear: everyone involved takes this issue seriously. The initiative is “not just” an initiative. Everyone is behind the project heart and soul. Passionate commitment like this cannot just be taken for granted, which is why it’s so gratifying to see the support given to the initiative. It’s not about “men versus women” or “women versus men,” which is often how it appears when the topic is sexism – the focus is clearly on resolving the issue “together.” And that’s precisely why I believe the initiative will be a success – because extremely strong partners have teamed up to work on achieving equality.

I truly hope we’ll be able to feel this enthusiasm for the initiative again at our Equal eSports Festival in Berlin on October 29–31, 2021. There will be a lot of guests (including Lola Weippert, Fabian “GrabbZ” Lohmann, and many more), exciting talks, show matches, and coaching sessions. Honestly, I couldn’t say which part of the event I’m looking forward to most: maybe the epf Worlds viewing party or the opportunity to see the other council members again. But it doesn’t matter because one thing’s for sure: it’s going to be a fantastic weekend where everybody will be able to discover the passion of #equalesports for themselves. Ultimately, it’s up to us to shape the eSports of tomorrow, which above all else will be based on diversity and equality. Together we can achieve all that, become a role model for other walks of life, and make sure the era of equality is just that – an era and not just a passing moment. So, attend the event and see for yourself that #equalesports is more than just an initiative.

Lisa Völkel

Equal eSports Council Member, Mitgründerin der Siegen Bisons

Driven by her passion for eSports, Lisa Völkel set up a varsity league team and also co-founded the Siegen Bisons. She is also a member of ERN and active as a live streamer.