@promise9k, 29 – FUNDED

Lily C., @promise9k on Twitch, dreams of continuing to grow her current broadcasting and competing platform to ultimately become a voice for women who do not have the courage to stand up for themselves — or did so, and suffered consequences for doing right. To positively influence girls on the rise, this BroadcastHER Academy winner is all about sharing her journey, hardships, ideas, and words of encouragement to assist them and push them past any false limits they’ve defined.

What is your dream in esports and gaming?

My dream is to become a professional CS:GO player and an influencer for other women who share the same passion and dream. I want to use my platform to share my experience, provide tips and advice, spread encouragement and positivity, and motivate those struggling in the process or those who are at the verge of abandoning their dreams due to hardships and obstacles. I want to rise up to become a voice for those who struggle to gain the courage and confidence to stand up for themselves in this male-dominant industry.

What does being the BroadcastHER Academy winner, which includes a $1,000 grant and all-expense-paid visit to the HyperX Esports Arena to shadow, mean to you and how will it help you reach your goals?

It means I am closer to becoming a leading figure in the industry. This grant will help with expenses such as CS:GO league fees, hardware, and peripheral equipment upgrades for gaming and broadcasting as well as events that are not covered by tournament hosts such as Copenhagen Games and Fragadelphia LAN.

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

We can change the stigma by training women to build mental resilience, voice concerns of cyberbullying, bring awareness to the general public, share experiences, and tackle these issues as a community. By continuing to bring more females into the industry, we can normalize women in gaming, broadcasting, and esports. These women can then spread positivity and represent those who are powerless and voiceless while helping to minimize unwarranted harassment.

What are you most inspired by when it comes to creating encouraging content for young women in gaming, broadcasting, and esports?

I have met several inspiring females through my years of gaming, competing, and broadcasting, including @missharvey who has been one of the most significant female CS:GO players on the scene — and that’s in addition to her advocacy against gender discrimination, cyberbullying, and sexism in the virtual world. Another iconic female figure who I’ve discovered more recently is @UmiNoKaiju. I fell in love with her energy output, content, and personality. Both have inspired me to pass on the message, spread positivity, stand up against harassment and verbal abuse, and build mental fortitude to push forward.

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

I have faced several obstacles while pursuing my dream as a professional CS:GO player. I’ve been playing Counter-Strike for more than a decade and have encountered countless instances of verbal abuse, which can turn into harassment if not handled properly. My motto in these situations is “even if they harass and verbally abuse you, do not stoop to their level and reciprocate it back. Play the game, contribute to the team, and spread positive vibes even in a hopeless situation.” I have grown thick-skinned enough to push through these common situations. Other times, I just mute the harassers.

Also, when I do not perform during a competitive CS:GO match or I lose rounds that I should have won, I have been insulted by teammates and told that I am not skilled enough simply because I am a female — not because I didn’t practice enough. Even now, I still struggle with this situation. But once again, I diffuse it by informing the harasser that it’s simply an off day and I’m not performing well. It is not a permanent solution, but I have learned that by letting your teammates know the reason why you’re not doing well may calm them down and keep them from attacking you more.

What advice do you have for women who want to start broadcasting?

I always tell people to just start. Do not be afraid to just go for it and shoot your shot. Do not be afraid of people’s judgements about you and do not be afraid of not doing well. The only way to improve is to know where you stand and how you are going to push forward. All broadcasters start somewhere, then improvise on the way to where they are now. Just like everything else, broadcasting is also trial and error.

Also, be your truest self that you can be. People who watch your broadcasts and stay are the ones who are drawn to your personality and energy output. Set the tone for your broadcasts, think about what attracts your audience, what kind of audience you desire, and what type of chat experience you aim to have.

Finally, just have fun. When you have fun during your broadcast, the energy you give off is reciprocated through chat right back at you.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

My close friends in my life and the support that they give is huge for me. Many times I have almost abandoned my dreams due to frustration and anger, but because of my caring friends, I was able to calm down and think rationally again. I believe it is extremely important for an individual to have supportive friends and/or family members. Having that support system could help guide you back to your passion — and possibly even encourage you to push further.

What also helps me keep my eyes on my goal is making small, realistic, and more attainable milestones. By setting these incremental goals, instead of reaching for the stars — which always seems impossible — I feel more successful achieving these smaller targets and getting progressively closer to the end goal.