Meet Two Women Gamers Who Work Hard & Break Stereotypes Harder

Meet Two Women Gamers Who Work Hard & Break Stereotypes Harder

Gender

Producer: Yagya Sachdeva
Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Cameraperson: Abhishek Ranjan, Bilal Jaleel

“Girls can’t play video games,” “Well played for a girl”, “You play like a girl” and so on and so forth. The video game industry has been an all-boys club for a long time and more often than not, women gamers are eyed with suspicion, as if she were a mythical creature akin to Yeti.

Let me tell you, women gamers exist. And, what’s more is that they have serious game.

Meet video gamers Saloni Pawar and Payal Swaroop – who’ve gamed their way into the hearts of the Esports community and shattering stereotypes.

Saloni Pawar (left) and Payal Swaroop (right)
Saloni Pawar (left) and Payal Swaroop (right)
Photo Courtesy: Meow16k/Instagram, Blooming_crayon_motherflower/Instagram
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Saloni’s love affair with gaming began when she was 14. She has been a part of the gaming community for six years and is an Indian Female CS GO professional player for Global Esports. She recently won Central Asia qualifiers for Legion by Lenovo.

“This has been a mentality, that if a girl is in an opponent team, the team starts judging her skills even before the game starts.”     
Saloni Pawar 
(Photo Courtesy: Meow16k/Instagram)

Like many women gamers, Saloni didn’t disclose her identity online for quite some time. She felt like an outcast in a male-dominated space. She soon realised it is important to lift up other women gamers like her and started live streaming. She is now one of India’s most popular streamers on YouTube.

Payal recalls taking to gaming in early teenhood, when she played Mortal Kombat with her uncle. Mostly, she plays DOTA and League of Legends and has participated in many LAN tournaments, wherein she’s often the only woman player.

“My parents wanted me to do something with Science.”
Payal Swaroop
(Photo Courtesy: blooming_crayon_motherflower/Instagram)

Currently studying at University of Delhi, Payal too, was asked by her parents like the most of us to opt for a conventional career. For them, gaming was just a hobby. She believes the gaming industry in India is yet to take and for people to get used to women gamers will take some time.

Both men and women are raised to believe and further, see, the tech industry as a largely male space. And, the representation of women in video games hasn’t helped dispel this line of thought. However, with women gamers like Saloni and Payal breaking barriers of gender, the conversation promises to change.

Also Read : Playing video games can make you more creative: Study

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