5 High-Earning Girl Gamers That Should Be On Your Radar
We all know that gaming has often been misconstrued as an exclusively male activity.
It is true that at certain times in the past, the number of male gamers greatly outnumbered their female counterparts but is that still the case?
A recent survey by Statista revealed that women comprised nearly 46% of gamers, and that’s just in the United States of America alone.
Despite the seeming male predominance, the last decade has seen more and more female representation in the Esports and pro gaming scenes. And while there is a considerable industry gap to be bridged between both genders in terms of income earned, it is safe to say that female pro gamers are giving the male competition a good run for their money. Here is a list of five top-performing girl gamers – with their tags and total tournament winnings – who are pushing the envelope while blazing a trail for women in gaming.
Ricki Ortiz – $81,366.18
Best known for her merciless combos as Chun Li in the Street Fighter series, Ricki ‘HelloKittyRicki’ Ortiz is one pro gamer that has made waves across the gaming community. Born in the San Francisco Bay area, Ortiz has since transitioned from the local arcade regular she was as a teenager to an international gaming sensation. Since her debut in the 2003 Evolution Championship Series (EVO), she has always finished in top tier positions. Marvel vs Capcom and Capcom vs SNK are two other gaming titles she has been known to play. Other notable achievements of hers include securing second place at the 2010 EVO and the 2016 Capcom Pro Circuit Tour where she won a whopping $60,000 for coming second place…again.
Being one of the first transgender women to participate professionally in Esports, Ortiz has had to face tremendous criticism in her personal life, which makes all her accomplished feats even more astounding. She is currently signed to the American eSports organization, Evil Geniuses.
Katherine Gunn – $122,000.00
The name Katherine Gunn might not ring a bell with followers of competitive Esports but her gamer tag ‘Mystik’ certainly will. Having been born to an owner of a comic book store, Katherine spent her early years discovering and nurturing her flair for games. This pastime so turned into an enviably honed skill that took her from the hometown of Van Nuys, California to some of the most reputable gaming tournaments worldwide.
One of those would be the 2010 edition of the World Cyber Gamer (WCG) reality show where she won $100,000 by decimating the competition on Halo Reach. She also held the title of Highest Earning Female Gamer by Guinness World Records in 2015.
Her pro gaming career aside, Katherine has also established a name for herself as a cosplayer. The creator of the gaming/cosplay team Less Than 3 (LT3), Katherine has brought several game and anime characters to life through her realistic portrayals. She also had a brief stint as a commentator for the IGN Pro League. She continues to be an active streamer on Twitch.
Siobhan Bielamowicz – $122,716.66
The only Australian to make this list, Siobhan Belamowicz is a competitive gamer that has built her reputation in the relatively obscure Attack on Titans Tribute Game. Ever since making her debut in 2014, the girl gamer – who also goes by the sobriquet ‘HaganeNoTema’ – has clinched more than $120,000 in earnings from gaming tournaments. Her most notable wins include the 2018 1v1 Damage Duel Championship and the Akina World Championship III where she won $20,000. With 24 tournaments to her name, Siobhan has won seven of them, earning her a ranking #6 on the Australian leaderboards and #1036 globally. She can still be found gaming away on her Twitch channel.
Li Xiaomeng – $213,200.00
The month of November 2019 certainly had the world of Hearthstone shaken to its core when Li Xiaomeng defeated Brian ‘bloodyface’ Eason to become the first woman ever to win the series’ Grandmasters Global Finals. The 23-year-old Chinese gamer bagged a generous $200,000 prize after making gaming history and has since become an icon for female gamers all over the globe. VKLIOOON – her in-game alias – who was relatively unknown before her big win turned even more heads when she was crowned the first woman ever to win a Blizzcon grand title. She continues to further her career as a member of Victory Key (VK).
Sasha Hostyn – $357,572.58
It will come as no surprise to keen fans of Starcraft that this Canadian girl gamer came out on top. The 27-year-old Sasha ‘Scarlett’ Hostyn started on her journey in 2011 where she participated in NESL Iron Lady, an online female-only tournament she won twice on successive attempts. She recorded more wins in 2012 where she won the Playhem ‘Sponsor Me!’ Tournament before proceeding to Las Vegas for the fourth season of the IGN ProLeague. The transgender Zerg player also won the StarCraft II World Championship Series Canada that year to become the WCS Canada national champion and by 2014, she had won seven tournaments with over $100,000 in prize money.
She switched briefly to playing Dota 2 but soon returned to Starcraft in June 2015. Sasha has garnered even more acclaim since then; in 2018, she became the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) PyeongChang Champion, a notable Starcraft tournament held in South Korea. She was also officially recognized in 2016 as the world’s highest-earning female professional gamer. Her career has without a doubt taken her to a handful of countries where she has played alongside several teams, some of which include Newbee, Team Acer & Dead Pixels. Her total winnings from tournaments are estimated to be at $357,572.58. She is currently a member of the Chinese team Brave Star Gaming.