Breaking the mold

Story of female gamers in Bangladesh

Team Celestials
Team Celestials

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Imagine Bangladeshi parents taking their child to a store to buy gaming accessories and equipment and having conversations about the latest esports games. In this scenario, the child that anyone imagines in Bangladesh is a boy. In Bangladesh, we rarely see girls playing online or computer games like boys. It is even rare to come across girls playing and winning games like CSGO or PUBG.

However, in recent years, a growing number of female gamers in Bangladesh have been breaking this stereotype and proving that they have what it takes to compete and win in the world of esports and there are now many girls who are proud to call themselves gamers. One such team is the all-female team, Team "Celestials'', which made recent news by winning the Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services (BASIS) eSports Championship. The team of six talented women, consisting of Moxie, Athena, Taz, Sidiscrazy, Bluecloudedgrey, and Rimsha Iqbal (also known as Uziboozie), emerged victorious by working as a team.

Rimsha Iqbal, a member of Team Celestials, answered several questions related to their success and her experience as a female gamer in Bangladesh. When asked about their winning strategy, Rimsha stated, "They prioritised teamwork and coordination. Despite being busy with their daily lives, the team trusted each other's gameplay and moves to secure their victory."

The thrill of gaming, the competitive community, and the support from peers and fans inspire Rimsha to play esports. Rimsha notes, "Some of the difficulties she and her fellow female gamers encounter as women competing in esports are due to gender discrimination, stereotypes, and hatred. Nonetheless, she believes that anyone can overcome these challenges with hard work and perseverance." Team Celestials developed from playing a casual online tournament together. The team consists of six members, with Bluecloudedgrey and Taz as the newest additions. The team mainly plays from their respective homes, which only costs them their internet and electricity bills.

Rimsha shared, "Teamwork, communication, strategy, and sportsmanship can all be taught through participation in organised esports." She encourages girls and women to try FPS or MOBA games, such as CSGO, Valorant, PUBG, Apex Legends, Dota 2, League of Legends, and Mobile Legends, for competitive play. She believes that e-sports can be pursued as a career, either as a streamer or a professional player for a team. She added that maintaining a gaming career requires hard work, dedication, and discipline, such as practising for at least eight to nine hours a day. Besides considering gaming as a career, Rimsha plans to go abroad for her studies andwishes to become a travel vlogger.

When asked about the revenue-making scope for girls in esports, Rimsha acknowledged that there are limited opportunities at the moment in Bangladesh. Rimsha stated, "It is possible, however, it may be complicated due to several factors. Twitch, a prominent streaming site, does not offer streaming cache or PayPal payment options in Bangladesh. Other platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, are preferable for earning and storing resources, right now." However, she believes that the scene is growing, and better opportunities are coming their way soon.

Team Celestials' victory in the BASIS eSports Championship is another milestone for female gamers in Bangladesh and their contributions should be celebrated and supported. In Bangladesh, we must continue encouraging and empowering female gamers going forward. The nation can create a successful and inclusive esports business by removing barriers and promoting equality.

The team's success is a testament to the power of teamwork, dedication, and hard work. Their success showcases the potential for esports to provide a platform for women to showcase their skills and pursue a career in gaming and help to shape the future of the industry in exciting and innovative ways.

The writer is studying B.Pharm in her final year at Independent University, Bangladesh. [email protected]

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