@ZuriSparks, 24 – Funded

“It is crucial that everyone — especially women — feel involved and valued when pursuing their passions and goals,” says ZuriSparks (she/her). We couldn’t agree more with this JBL Quantum Grant winner.

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

My dream is to become a full-time professional content creator and host panels at major gaming conventions and events. I also want to inspire others who are multitalented and help them turn their dreams into reality.

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

This award will help me improve and acquire the necessary equipment for creating content. It provides me with the opportunity to financially afford the equipment I need to fulfill my creative vision. These enhancements, combined with the content I will produce, will soon allow me to achieve my goal of inspiring other creators and eventually participating in panels at major gaming conventions and events.

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

It means that I have a responsibility to inspire and support women to the best of my ability. I understand the challenges of not knowing where to start, and with the knowledge I have gained from my past experiences and being part of a women in gaming group, I can assist and empower both aspiring and veteran women creators in the gaming industry.

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

I will always do my part to support others, whether it’s by providing necessary information on their website, offering personalized designs for their streams, or even providing motivation when they question their goals.

It’s important to continue providing opportunities like this so that women in gaming/esports can enhance their content. Whether it’s for stream upgrades, attending important conventions, or even for their peace of mind, these opportunities can make a significant difference. Virtual panels featuring women in gaming/esports who are excelling in this space are always a plus and amazing to see.

In addition, a women’s FGC tournament would be great to see in the future. Having a fighting game tournament exclusively for women would be fantastic. With several fighting games set to release next year, it would be amazing to witness women showcasing their skills in a male-dominated category.

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

Being a Black woman in this space is tough. I feel like I have to work ten times harder to reach certain opportunities. There have been times in the past where I felt overlooked, but deep down I knew I would excel if given the chance. Also, something I encountered frequently this year were the unpleasant comments directed at me as an individual, rather than towards my content.

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

Honestly, just prioritize yourself and trust your instincts. Everyone will have their own ideas and plans for you, especially when you’re trying to pursue something different. Many of us are the only ones in our families who want to build a career in gaming and esports. Understand that your family might not fully grasp your ambitions, but it’s important to surround yourself with supportive people, particularly women, who can motivate and assist you on your journey. Consider joining groups like Twitch Women’s Guild, where you’ll find a community of women who are eager to help one another.

Remember, your dreams can absolutely become a reality. This isn’t just a hobby; if you want it, it can be your career. Always strive to work hard and learn from those around you.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

I stay motivated because I have people who want to see me succeed, and they recognize the importance of showcasing my talents to the world. It took me awhile, but now I realize that I have a talent that can inspire and make a difference for many women in the gaming industry.

Every day, I visualize myself achieving my goal, and I can feel and see it. Even when I feel down, that thought crosses my mind, and I’m ready to get back to work. I always dedicate myself and strive to improve my content.

Lastly, I am fortunate to have an amazing support system consisting of my family, friends, and community who hold me accountable to my dreams.