In the early days of PC games, Crackwhores and Girlz of Destruction were closely integrated All Girls Earthquake Clan—Breaking up a world for womenIn the late 90s/early 2000s, game culture may also be a different world. But it was Psychotic Man Slayers, also known as PMS Clan, that helped women enter competitive games collectively. It all started with two sisters on Xbox Live: twins Amy Brady (Athena/Valkyrie) and Amber Dalton (Athena twins) .
“When we first founded PMS, Amy and I met two other girls online. It was so cool. We couldn’t believe it. For example,’Gosh, let’s go play some games’, we We did it, we are killing everyone,” Dalton said. “This is how we started, from looking for women to being purely just awesome.” When PMS started attracting sponsors, they eventually changed its name to Pandora’s Mighty Soldiers. Brady and Dalton also learned that a disbanded all-women Quake tribe had a similar name: Psycho Men Slayers, some of whom came to join the new PMS tribe. Today, it is one of the oldest competitive gaming organizations in the world, with members on every gaming platform.
“When we created that [PMS] Label, that’s because everyone has used it [three-letter] abbreviation. As a woman of that era, you would say,’Oh, they will know that they will be killed by women,’ right? Brady said. “We knew we were immediately identified as women. We like that. “
Because of their service to professional games, Brady and Dalton recently won the eSports Lifetime Achievement Award. Although they retired nearly ten years ago, in their heyday, they were unstoppable. Brady was the first all-female team to win a professional tournament at CPL 2006, playing Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 and was the original member of Ubisoft’s Frag Dolls (arguably one of the earliest influencer groups in the history of the game) .
In 2007, Dalton was one of the top 10 fighting night players in the world, as well as a professional player in “Halo” and “Gears of War”. They even helped launch the Xbox 360 on MTV in 2005, full of Brady jokingly calling her opponent a “bitch”, just like the way it was in the 2000s.
Although some things in today’s e-sports industry may be quite different, it is regrettable that the prize pools for harassment, discrimination and inequality are the same, and it is still not common to see the same number of women in the major leagues.It was not until 2019 that Bumble (yes, a dating app) and Gen.G were established The first professional all-female Fortnite team. StarCraft 2 player Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn, the world’s highest paid female professional player, has surpassed 400,000 USD bonus From 230 games—-Less than half Cho Sung Choo (“Maru”) was the top male player who stood out from 133 games.
Both Brady and Dalton recalled the pro/amateur environment in the early 2000s, where amateurs could interact with top players relatively easily.But this once open environment has shrunk, because competitive games have grown into a valuable behemoth Over a billion dollars. Putting aside the polarizing opinions about “feminine” brands, at the competitive level, the popularity of PMS Clan for which it fought in the early 2000s has weakened.
“There are a lot of female gamers. They have been there. We saw them from the beginning,” said Brady, who is now Double A laboratory“In terms of competition, I almost feel that we have stepped back a bit, but that’s because it is much more difficult to get certain levels in e-sports and competitive games than in our era, in that era you can go and immediately win the championship. The website is pre-qualified in this way.”
According to Brady, the women in PMS Clan were able to become friends with the best players at the time due to the much smaller professional gaming scene in the early years. “We didn’t train for scrub competitions,” she said. “We only have training matches with professional players. This is what makes the game easier. That is to enter.” (scrim, short for scrimmage, is a non-ranked exhibition or practice match.)
Being able to play with the best players improved the twins’ ability to play and pushed them to the professional circuit. “One of the absolute positives is that professionals are willing to spend time training us,” explained Dalton, currently senior director of sales and sponsorship at Twitch. “This is no longer an open opportunity. In fact, [top pros] You can’t even let other people see who they are.They must play [as] Ghosts, so when they do their own thing, no one knows who they are, so no one knows their strategy. “
It is frustrating that women are not always able to participate in top-level mixed tournaments, but the reduction in professional/amateur interaction over the years also means that recruiters and tournament organizers cannot see new female talents. This is even more important when you consider that as with any sport, the best time to recruit professional players is young. According to Dalton, the biggest difference is that most women start to enter the competitive game in earnest much later than men—about four years later.
“There is no professional/amateur match, so [esports teams] Women can be easily identified,” Dalton said. “In fact, a male esports team manager told me that the biggest problem they have in attracting women is trying to find them… trying to find videos or Twitch streams. How many women went undetected, muted their microphones and did not broadcast live? This is where many top players are located. “
Nevertheless, since the heyday of PMS Clan, not all changes have been bad-today eSports is a legal profession (despite Short career life span), when Brady and Dalton first started, this was not a viable option.
“At the time, it was unheard of to make a living by playing video games or building tribes,” Dalton said. “On this day, you can win tournaments ranging from US$500 to US$5,000-they do have some large earthquakes and the salary is higher than that, but it is not common.”
Brady described packing eight team members into a hotel room and “investing every dollar for sponsors”, which is a far cry from the state of today’s top eSports tournaments. “We had to break ground on all these things. It’s not a beautiful place. It’s really not… We didn’t really make money from bonuses, even if we won.”
Many of the girls on their professional team are very young, including Bonnie “Xena” Burton, who was MLG’s first professional female Halo player when she was 12 years old. “We have to talk to parents and all others to try to develop the entire organization,” Brady recalled. “I emailed Big Brothers Big Sisters, like’How do we work together?'”
Today, PMS Clan—the twin’s life’s work—is taken care of by RaShaun “RaylaDivine” PMS and co-leader Krystal “Ovaryacting” PMS, as well as a group of platform/game-specific leaders focusing on Destiny and Halo. “Battlefield.” Although the clan has done a lot to nurture a community of more than 60,000 women and LGBTQ members, it is also returning to its parents. In 2019, ovarian function Post on the PMS forum Regarding refocusing the clan on competitive games.
For PMS, it has always been a challenge to adapt to social and cultural changes around the concept of “female gamers” and a more progressive understanding of gender. “How do you attract the generation you don’t want to recognize [as a female gamer]?” said Brady of general competitive gaming culture. “As a minority, it is so important to have a role model. “
Dalton agreed. “We need to do something to deal with other genders or those who do not want to claim gender. We are here, we are established to support women”-“and those who identify with women!” Brady Pipeline-“Because we don’t have accomplish [equality].”
I asked them if they would consider entering professional games in today’s gaming environment. “I want to tell you, it’s tiring,” Dalton said. “When I go to Twitch [in 2011], I have been scorched on both ends, just because I was in the limelight at the time, which is nothing compared to today… I think for players and the industry, awareness of the importance of mental health… We still The right guidance and advice are needed so that people can strike a balance between work and life. “
After spending their entire lives online in the name of the game, Brady and Dalton’s favorite now is the very offline social deception game Werewolf. It makes sense-they are in the Bay Area test group of Ultimate Werewolf, and they continue. Full-scale development of weekend camping trips, they even arranged a werewolf game after our chat.
Still, it’s difficult to completely get rid of digitalization—Dalton started playing Pokémon Go so she could play while hiking, Brady played Overwatch (she is Lucio’s main force), some FF14 and World of Warcraft (“Amber, This contract shit is ridiculous,” she told her sister).
Although Brady and Dalton have fond memories of their time on the professional circuit, it is now impossible to discuss women and minorities in the game without talking about the systemic issues of harassment and exploitation. Both sisters agree that the gaming industry can and should do better.
“I didn’t mean [harassment] It won’t happen, because it will happen,” Dalton said. “Unfortunately…maybe the great thing about this movement is that everyone is becoming more and more aware, even myself…I want the industry leaders To be able to make the right choice and lead oneself to a different path does not have to stick to the old way, because those old ways will no longer be tolerated. “