DESPITE BEING A GROWING INDUSTRY, INDIAN ESPORTS HAS FAILED TO ATTAIN A DESIRABLE SEX RATIO, AS COMPARED TO WESTERN COUNTRIES SUCH AS USA AND SWEDEN. THE LACK OF FEMALE PROFESSIONALS HAS BEEN DISTINCT OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. HOWEVER, THE NEGLIGIBLE NUMBER HAS FOUND REPRESENTATION IN THE FORM OF ZERAH GONSALVES.
Better known as Angela, she has been a stalwart of the DOTA 1/2 scene, often playing and shout-casting matches. TalkEsport conducted an exclusive interview with her, regarding the small representation of women in Indian e-sports, tie-up with ZION Rams and the DOTA 2 community.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO COMPETITIVE GAMING AND SHOUT-CASTING IN GENERAL?
Had watched number of friends play competitive DOTA 2 and always wondered about the pressure, the environment and the skill required for it. Never really thought I could reach that level, but once I did, I was also into shout-casting, which I preferred as it forced me to learn the game faster on the professional level and had to keep myself updated with the meta-game. Also, shout-casting came to me through a Sri-Lankan tournament. While competitive gaming came due my friends.
I’M SURE YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED THIS QUESTION BEFORE, BUT HAS IT BEEN DIFFICULT BEING A GIRL IN THE FLEDGLING INDIAN E-SPORTS INDUSTRY?
On the contrary, I would say that the Indian e-sports community has been more supportive, there have been times when I would question myself in terms of the community accepting me in a different role ( e.g., Hostess at Games Arena Game God ) but with a bit of luck and community acceptance I could go ahead and make the most of it.
Coming back to the topic, when I first started out as a caster, I got mixed reviews but also the fact of me being a girl caster worked in my favour as there was more scope for a female caster than that of a male.
DO YOU PLAY OTHER TITLES OUTSIDE DOTA 2?
Yes, of course. Left 4 dead 2 (one of my fav’s), Portal 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO, League of Legends, Speed runners ( more of a fun oriented game but also helps in improving reaction time), OSU also helps improve reaction time.
PS4 – FIFA 15, The Crew, Injustice, WWE :D, Gears of war.
COULD YOU EXPLAIN TO US, YOUR TIE-UP WITH ZION RAMS?
I always appreciate companies which think beyond sales, ZionRAM has been one of those which is steering the luck of boosting eSports in the country. I am very glad and proud to get associated with them!
ARE YOU COMPLETELY INTO E-SPORTS OR ARE YOU PURSUING ANOTHER PROFESSION ON THE SIDE?
I am studying game designing on the side, but more towards the part of understanding the making of a game, more than making it a career in the future. I could say that my curiosity towards gaming has made me take this program. As of now I am completely into e-sports and would like to continue pursing it as a profession.
YOU ARE FROM BANGALORE; DO YOU THINK THE CITY HAS THE STRONGEST COMMUNITY IN THE COUNTRY?
I wouldn’t use the word strongest but definitely one that could be, given the right people to manage the scene. At the moment, players are not looking at things at a serious note. Which is also due to lack of backup given to them. The more professional the organizations/ the team management gets, the stronger the community will prove to be.
DO YOU THINK THERE IS ENOUGH REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN THE INDIAN E-SPORTS INDUSTRY? WHAT CAN BE DONE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER?
No, there aren’t enough women in the Indian e-sports industry. But there definitely are lot of women who love to play different games, example – games like Temple run, “ Candy Crush which has the highest amount of women playing the game “, reason being it was advertised well and is easy to access and play.
The problem with Indian e-sports industry is that we do not promote it well or educate the public, which is to change their mentality and show them how gaming can be taken as a profession and has more scope than just time consuming. Also having more events, tournaments and promotional activities would help not only increase the women gamers but also gamers in general.
SINCE YOU JOINED E-SPORTS, HAVE YOU SEEN A CHANGE IN THE SCENE IN INDIA?
I have been in the scene for almost 5 years. Initially when I started playing Dota 1, I didn’t really have much knowledge of the scene. I got myself involved into the scene in 2013 through shout-casting. There were few casters back then, which of course has changed a lot as we can see many new casters have emerged. As per the scene, the tournament prize pool as well as the player base has increased drastically. Also now it’s not only about being top in India.
WHERE DO YOU SEE INDIAN E-SPORTS IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
Tricky question. I say it could go both ways, depending on how the sponsors, organizers, teams and players work with each other. We could either be struggling or be booming.