@Athena_4Lyfe, 28 – Funded

“I want to bring the best out of everything I do — both behind and in front of the camera,” says @Athena_4Lyfe who is a serious and longtime Tekken player. It’s her favorite fighting game, but it’s not the only game she plays. Here’s more about this JBL Quantum Grant winner’s hopes and dreams.

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

My career goals focus very much on my ability to be an exceptional streamer, content creator, and overall competitor.

How will this award from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? 

I really enjoy content creation with streaming, video making, and editing — and I have big visions. But, thus far, I had not been able to bring them to life due to my equipment holding me back. So, first on my list is better streaming equipment. I’ve also been unable to travel to offline esports events for financial reasons, so I’m hoping to attend some tournaments and meet people and network.

What does being a 1,000 Dreams Fund – JBL Quantum Grant recipient mean to you? 

I am still very much in shock. I really can’t believe I’ve been selected considering I have applied a few times for a grant and have not been selected. I was under the impression that it would happen again and did not have the highest hopes. I am very happy to have been proven wrong. I would like to thank 1DF and JBL for helping so many women in the world and giving them a chance to have their voices heard and impacting their lives in the best of ways!

Women are underrepresented in gaming and esports. What can we do to change this?

I feel like there’s a lot that can be done, but we also can’t discredit the work that has been done so far for the inclusion of women and non-men in gaming and esports.

One of the most important things I feel that’s needed is to ask questions. You’re never going to know how a person truly feels in an industry if you don’t gather information on the things that need improvement.

Numerous times I’ve asked people the “why, what, and how” — and I feel it’s very important to give them the opportunity to be heard. It goes a long way and can be very beneficial for positive change. Ask questions!

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

From the very beginning, I knew there would be challenges and I did everything in my power to prevent coming face to face with them. Yet I still managed to find myself in tough situations.

Competing in Tekken and wanting to level up put me in a place where I couldn’t practice with my local scene because I was a girl and was not welcome. I’ve been met with skepticism as soon as I entered tournaments because I looked as if I didn’t belong.

I’ve been told that I beat a few of my opponents only because they “went easy on me,” but I never let these moments of adversity get to me in a way that hurt. I turned the bad into good and used it to work even harder.

What advice do you have for women who want to work in the gaming or esports industry? 

If you are committed to working in gaming and esports, I encourage you to make sure you really want to do this. This is the type of career that is fully a marathon and not a sprint. It is very important that you do your research and figure out what exactly it is you want to do and set goals. Write them down and work as hard as you can to achieve said goals. Pace yourself and don’t stress out on the rough days because there will be rough days for sure.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

I am very serious about being a gamer, competitor, and content creator. I just really thrive off of giving a person a little bit of me in the most authentic way and I just really want to leave a positive impression on whoever I can through my content.