What you need to know:
- For a long time, the society has perceived gaming as an idlers’ activity, or for people who don't know what to do with their life, or that gaming is a preserve of the wealthy (due to the high cost of consoles and games).
- As for the female aspect of it, women have been made to believe that technology is a preserve of men, so women who enter this male dominated space are often frowned upon.
Sylvia "QueenArrow" Gathoni is a professional Tekken player and content creator currently signed to UYU. She is currently a final year law student at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
1. Who exactly is a Tekken player?
Tekken is a video game. I am a Tekken 7 player and I play it professionally, meaning I get paid for it. I dedicate several hours every day to practice my moves, and that entails learning different characters, punishing their various moves, the different in-game movements and how to react (and not react) in various situations.
2. How long does it take to become a pro player? Take us through the process…
To be honest, everyone becomes a professional at their own time. Even as a pro, I am always learning new things. The journey to being your best never stops. Being signed means that a player is being backed by a team, which in my case is UYU. I represent them in competitions and other events in the gaming space. They cater for your expenses, and you have to do your best in return because they invest in you so that you can become a better player and content creator.
3. How do you plan to use your law career in gaming?
There is a niche in the gaming space with regards to player and consumer protection. I hope to use what I learn in law school to create laws and legislation (or at least the theory) that protects the consumer in virtual spaces, as well as guidelines that ensure that e-sports players are better protected against predatory agreements. This is something I hope to do as I continue being an e-sports athlete, and even once I retire from competitive action. After all, I won't be playing Tekken forever.
4. How did you discover your love for Tekken, and do you play other games too?
My love for Tekken began when I was a child. I started with a demo disc of Tekken 4 which had characters like Ling Xiaoyu, Christie Monteiro and Paul Phoenix (but I obviously went for the female characters). From there, I got Tekken 5 and I continued playing the game. When I joined university and Tekken 7 came out, I joined the bandwagon as soon as I could. I enjoy playing other games like the Assassin's Creed Franchise, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur, Final Fantasy, and Ghost of Tsushima, just to mention a few.
5. Why do you think there is such limited information about gaming out there? Where can girls like you find safe spaces to play and thrive?
For a long time, the society has perceived gaming as an idlers’ activity, or for people who don't know what to do with their life, or that gaming is a preserve of the wealthy (due to the high cost of consoles and games). As for the female aspect of it, women have been made to believe that technology is a preserve of men, so women who enter this male dominated space are often frowned upon. I have been advocating for more women-oriented tournaments and more inclusive marketing in terms of tournaments and games to show that women have a space in the e-sports and gaming community. Right now, Qwerty Gamers has women-only tournaments that I and other women participated in before the new lockdown came into effect.