By @HarleighQuynn, BroadcastHER Academy Challenge Recipient
Do you ever have those days that are too good to be true; those days that you can’t fully believe it was real? That’s exactly how I felt being in Dallas with 1000 Dreams Fund and HyperX.
Two weeks ago, I was invited to attend the 2019 Esports Awards. This was a dream for me — just being able to be in the same room as people that I admire and aspire to be in the gaming industry! Then I was told that I was going to present an award, and I’m sure at that point I froze. I just wanted to be in the same room as SonicFox and Dr. Disrespect, but now I was being told that I was going to speak in front of them!
The night before my trip, I couldn’t sleep. I was way too excited! Friday came and I found myself in one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Thanks to 1DF’s partner, HyperX, I was able to visit the Complexity Gaming Center and meet the team behind some big-name streamers!
I need this nap egg!
After Complexity, we traveled to Mavs Gaming and I met Dimez, the #1 NBA 2K League player! I also met Jourdan Kerl, one of the first 1DF – Twitch BroadcastHER Grant recipients!
Visiting Mavs Gaming — thank you to their player Dimez for the hospitality!
Meeting her was one of the highlights of my trip. Her journey mirrored mine, and it made my determination go into overdrive. To see someone who started like me and is working in the gaming industry was a reassurance that I can do it — that as a black woman, I can make it.
1,000 Dreams Fund CEO and founder Christie Garton joined me to meet with BroadcastHER Recipient Jourdan Kerl
Then came Saturday!!!! I spent the morning getting prepared. I brought an entirely new outfit for the occasion. But, before we headed to the arena, we had fun at the National Videogame Museum!! The gamer in me was in nostalgia heaven.
Got the chance to visit the National Video Game Museum!
Once we arrived to the Arlington arena for the Esports Awards, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was such an amazing affair. The lights, the cameras, the decor — it was all amazing. My Overwatch tank watching over me as I walked the red carpet made me feel like gaming royalty. Throughout the evening, I was nervous but super-excited. I was going to stand on that stage. I belonged on that stage.
HyperX had amazing people sitting at our table. People from all over that saw the importance and impact that gaming can have on our culture and lifestyle. I felt so honored to be in the same space as them and a wave of stillness came over me. This was what I wanted and what I had dreamed of — to be in front of this community.
HyperX’s table at the Esports Awards 2019
I found out that I was presenting with one of my favorite content creators and personalities, Bil “Jump” Carter! That made all the nervousness I was feeling disappear. As I stood on the ramp waiting for my cue to walk, I knew I got this. Cue the lights and the music and a wild Harleigh appeared on stage! I didn’t say much (time restraints and stuff!), but I was heard! And according to the Twitch chat, we weren’t bad! The rest of the evening went by so fast. The food was amazing; the jokes were funny; and the company was wonderful.
All of this would never have been possible without the 1,000 Dreams Fund. The organization has opened so many doors for me and my career. They have provided me with the resources to network and pursue my goals. I want to thank them and HyperX from the bottom of my heart.
This trip meant more to me than I could ever describe. I cannot wait until the day I can look back on my journey. And, with such powerful women in my corner, how could I fail?