This weekend is going to be one for the history books for women gamers in SA. Each of the teams participating, consisting of five players and a coach, will be traveling to Cape Town to compete in an exciting local edition of the Girl Gamer Festival live tournament on June 25-26 which will be live-streamed from start to finish with a star-studded line-up of guests, hosts and esports athletes.
The festival, which was launched in 2017, has been held in Australia, Singapore, Portugal, Spain, South Korea, Brazil and Dubai. The team that emerges victorious this weekend will be the team that gets to represent SA at the World Final later in the year.
The Girl Gamer Festival is a European organisation and this local tournament is licensed, planned and organised by Monarch eSports.
SowetanLIVE caught up with Warren Barkhuizen, CEO of ATK Sports, who are providing venue for the tournament and also have a team participating in the tournament, and spoke to him about what it means for women gamers in the country.
Why was there a need to have an all-women gaming festival?
“The intention for it is to create a safe space for women to participate in e-sport as women-only teams, they are mixed teams but men’s teams and men’s e-sport has been around and dominated by men for a long time. The intention is to give more opportunities, more coverage, on women in e-sports… it’s all about equal opportunities for the women.”
Which parts of the country are the gamers from?
“They’re from everywhere in the country, we have a sprinkling of people from Durban, Cape Town and Joburg, and I believe there’s some from Bloemfontein, East London... everywhere actually."