Females in Smite

Over the past decade we have seen the eSports scene begin it’s surgence and really become a prominent matter of discussion. FPS and MOBA’s have really been what has led the scene to where it is today but plenty of other Multiplayer games have also found themselves being successful in eSports. With the growth of the eSports scene, multiple platforms have helped elevate the competitive gaming and even gaming in general. Twitch.tv and even ESPN have made a decent showing of eSports on their streaming websites.

Year after year we see World Champions crowned, but the one thing we don’t see is those world champions being females. Since gaming has taken off in the past decade, female players have become more and more common and with the most recent growth of streaming on Twitch. Female gamers have found themselves being successful or popular gamers while not necessarily competing at a very high level. Being an avid Twitch viewer and gamer myself, I decided I wanted to find out more about females from diverse backgrounds that all find themselves with one similarity, playing Smite.

So I sat down with a few females that have found themselves either highly involved in the competitive Smite scene, popular twitch streamers or dating a World Champion.

Derpybear: Twitch Mod and Girlfriend of Cloud9 Hunter BaRRaCCuDDa

Orabelyn: Smite Player and streamer as well as virtual Mother of Team eGr’s Matt Koiz

Lydia: Assistant Manager and part owner of Paradigm Gaming as well as Twitch streamer

destiny

Destiny (Derpybear)

Since I joined Smite in April/started watching competitive Smite, I’ve been a huge fan of Cloud9 Gaming and in particular their Hunter BaRRaCCuDDA. So I was very eager to sit down and talk with Derpybear and find out how Smite has impacted her life and how it continues to on a daily basis.

So without pestering her too hard to find out some details about her relationship with Barra and Smite, I asked her how long she knew BaRRaCCuDDa before she became Ms. BaRRaCCuDDa.

“I knew John maybe a year before Smite came out with it’s Beta. I actually started being greeted as Ms. BaRRaCCuDDa once people in John’s stream became more familiar with who I was. I’ve never been reluctant towards the nickname and that shows I’m doing my job as his girlfriend. I’ve always wanted to Support John in everything he does in gaming but I’ll leave the Supporting in Smite to Jeff Hindla.”

I think all of us male gamers have our own mental fantasy about a girlfriend who does everything that Derpybear does for BaRRaCCuDDa so I find it quite amazing that John can actually live out that fantasy.

For those of you who didn’t already know, Derpy actually is quite the gamer herself and actually plays Smite as well. If you haven’t had the chance to see her play her female ADC’s, Neith, Artemis and Freya, I suggest you find some time to do so. So next, I asked Derpy how long she had been gaming and if John was any of the influence behind it.

“I used to game when I was younger but one year John bought me a bunch of games on steam and later introduced me to Smite. I always had enjoyed gaming but I had absolutely no idea about the competitive gaming scene or MLG at all.”

If you didn’t already know, C9 had a rough time this past Fall Split due to some network issues during SPL games and it caused a lot duress for the team and all of their supporters. So I asked Derpy if John’s competitive Smite career ever has had some negative consequences in their relationship.

“Absolutely not. John takes the game very seriously but he also loves what he does. He doesn’t take losses too hard. He has talked to me about concerns in the past but nothing negative has really come from Smite.”

Not having played too much PC Smite, I wasn’t sure how much of the community paid attention to the competitive scene and would know who Derpy was. So I asked her if she got recognized commonly while playing Smite.

“I do get recognized quite a bit during my Smite games!! Playing with John and all of his friends is probably the most fun and excitement I have while playing Smite. I learn a lot from him every time we play a few casuals together.”

With SWC right around the corner, I asked Derpy what her favorite part/memory was of 2015 SWC.

“I almost can’t decide what I enjoyed the most. Mariah(MLCST3ALTH’S WIFE) and I stuck together and probably had the most fun cheering the guys on. Meeting everyone from the community in person was a huge deal to me and a very unique experience. Talking to these people everyday then finally being able to meet them is incredible.”

As I wrapped up an amazing conversation with Ms. BaRRaCCuDDa. I wanted to figure out where John’s career has made her life more enjoyable, so I asked her what is the best part about dating a World Champion.

“I’ve been with John for about four years. Since day one he has strived to be successful in eSports so having been by his side since his time as a casual player has been an amazing experience and journey. The happiness and success after years of dedication and hard work is the most amazing and heartwarming part.”

ora

Orabelyn

Next I’ll go over the conversation I had with popular streamer, cosplayer and former eGr Community member, Orabelyn.

To start the conversation off with Courtney, I asked her what really got her into gaming and how long she had been gaming.

“I’ve been playing PC games since I was eight years old. The first game that REALLY brought me into the gaming world was City of Heroes in which I played until it was shutdown in 2012.”

I was obviously curious on how she got involved in Smite, so I asked how she was introduced to Smite and what her favorite part of the game is.

“I found out about Smite through my best friend and guildmate on Guild Wars 2. I grew up playing MMO’s so Smite’s POV and WASD Camera was a perfect fit for me. I definitely prefer it over top down MOBAs. My favorite part about playing Smite is being able to spend time with all the friends I have made through the game. Getting in a skype call and just chit-chatting and screwing around is so much fun.”

Something I have noticed from talking to all three of these girls is that they repeatedly use the term friend when talking about people in the community. This is a very unique word especially for people who don’t necessarily understand how gaming community’s function. I personally think it is absolutely astounding to see that HiRez has created a community where players from diverse backgrounds and even opposing teams can come together at the end of the day and call each other friends without even having met some of them.

I would like to preface this next question by saying, if you haven’t seen Courtney’s cosplays that she has done in the past, make sure to do so at Orababyy on Instagram. But on the topic of cosplay, I asked Courtney what her favorite cosplay costume she has worn is.

“I would have to say that my favorite to date is Domino from X-Force. I’ve always been a huge comic book nerd growing up so wearing that costume was really fitting. Lots of great memories were made while having a great time wearing that costume.”

Knowing that Courtney had been a part of multiple gaming communities, I was curious as to what she liked about the Smite community in comparison to other gaming communities she had been a part of. So I asked what her favorite part of the Smite community was.

“Honestly, I love the kind of humor that the Smite community has. It is very different compared to other communities I’ve been a part of and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Special S/O to Wolfy and his Thirst Chat. I have met some of the funniest people on earth in that stream.”

Lastly, Courtney being a popular community member, I wanted to find out what she was looking forward to from SWC. So I asked her who she is rooting for and what she was looking forward to the most.

“I’m really excited about Worlds this year because I love all of the teams competing. I’m truly happy regardless of who wins. I’m mostly excited to meet the people I have come across on Twitter and in streams.”

Ever since I have met Courtney via Twitter, she’s done nothing but bring humor and quality insight to my timeline. If you haven’t gotten a chance to meet her and you’re attending SWC I suggest you do it because I personally am very eGr to do so!

lydia

Lydia

Last but definitely I talked with the most amazing woman i have met so far in Smite, Paradigm Manager and part-owner Lydia. Lydia has been in the Smite community for quite some time and has done great things for not just Paradigm but Smite itself. She has helped develop Paradigm who is currently a one game organization into a perennial powerhouse in that one game. So I sat down with her and talked about what she’s doing for Paradigm and how she managed to land the dream job.

To start things off, I asked Lydia what exactly her role for Paradigm is and what she does on a day to day basis.

“I am the Assistant Manager for PARADIGM and recently became a part-owner. We are primarily a SMITE-based organization but in 2016 we have plans to expand to other games like CS:GO and Hearthstone. 2016 should be a huge year for Paradigm.

My role is to support the entire organization and our teams as well I can. I manage all different aspects of our team including team management, day to day management and public relations. I make sure to check in on our Smite teams from both platforms to make sure all issues are taken care of. I do a lot of work in terms of Public Relations for Paradigm. I promote PDG streams, getting fans excited for games and browsing Reddit for business purposes. I have nothing but huge plans for 2016, I absolutely can’t wait.”

Lydia’s job is a dream for a lot of people who want to get involved in the Smite scene. I personally was curious how she got the job she has , so I asked her how she got involved with Paradigm and landed the job she has now.

“I started out as the manager for SPL team JusTus, formerly known as Upcoming Stars in the European SPL. I joined them not even 3 days before the SPL started and got them sponsored within 24 hours of joining. I think my ability to do this absolutely shocked a lot of people in the Smite community, especially since many tried to mock my addition to the team. I did enjoy my team working with JusTus but them already being an established organization made it hard to do the things I dream to do. I soon reached out to Funballer and let him know that if PARADIGM ever needed help that I would be honored to help. Luckily for me he responded with the fact that Zimpstar was actually looking for help. The most amazing part of it all was how wonderful JusTus was about it, the whole team unanimously told me to go for it because I deserved the opportunity.”

Sitting down with Lydia was an amazing opportunity and has done nothing but been amazing since. Lydia has done such a great job at helping us at BigBadeSports get a hold of any and everyone we need to even if they don’t play for Paradigm. But watching how well she can organize her team and the respect they give her in person is something that can only be seen with your own eyes. Contrary to “regular” sports where players seem to deem themselves to be above all else even management, Lydia has this Paradigm in a spot where they understand she just wants the best for them and for them to succeed as much as possible. It truly is amazing and something everyone should get to see for themselves.

So from what I could understand, Lydia really had the ultimate dream job in eSports. But I was curious to find out a little bit more, so I asked Lydia what her favorite part of her job was.

“My favorite part is that I basically have the ability to be as creative as I want and rationale being the only thing that restricts me. I love that I can be a part of growing the eSports scene as a whole seeing as it is something that I absolutely love. I’ve known since I was young that I wanted to be in public relations or in Team Management of some kind. What really motivates me is the respect I get from Paradigm players and community. They really allow me to do what I think is best and trust that I’m going to do what is best for everyone.”

Knowing that Lydia spends a lot of time interacting with the Smite Community. I was curious as to her personal opinion on the other popular members of the community. So I asked her who she thought the most influential member of the Smite Community is.

“dmbrandon and HiRez Kelly are the most influential people in the Smite community that I have met. I’ve been lucky enough to get some amazing advice from both of them in the past and they’ve both expressed great respect for the job I do for Paradigm. In terms of people who have really supported me, HiRezStew is such a big support base for not only myself but females in gaming and he is the President of HiRez.”

It’s absolutely awesome and rather funny that Lydia thinks that dmbrandon is so influential because I can truly say I have always enjoyed his casting. I’m not sure if it is because he always seemed to be casting my favorite team Cloud9 when I first started in Smite or if it is the Colin Cowherd vibe he gives off as an analyst/caster but I absolutely love it and I love how he brings his personality with him as he promotes his own gaming community as well as Smite.

Lastly, I had to talk with Lydia about worlds seeing as Paradigm is the #1 seed out of Europe and a favorite to take their side of the bracket. I questioned Lydia about what she is looking forward to most with SWC right around the corner.

“I’m so excited to be able to meet all of our fans and be there for the whole atmosphere. I was at the Launch Tournament, where funny enough, the core of PARADIGM won as Team SoloMid. I didn’t get to experience as much as I had wanted to, but this time I’m going to make sure I enjoy every second that I can–when I’m not having panic attacks watching my boys compete on the stage. There’s a lot of people i want to thank in person for their support and say hi to. For any who want to meet me and the rest of Paradigm, we will be hosting a meet-and-greet at Battle and Brew Saturday night of SWC.”

Absolute awe is what I left my interview with Lydia in. Having myself been involved with athletics at a rather high level, it’s quite amazing to see how someone who is working such a huge job in eSports be so modest but also so thankful. You hardly ever see that in athletics nowadays and it kind of takes away from the game in my opinion. The attitude of not only just Lydia but eSports players and community as well will be what drives us into the future.

So as we enter into day three of SWC, if you haven’t met these amazing and beautiful women(Barra & Hurriwind don’t hurt me plz), I suggest you do so. If you can’t seem to find them at SWC, give them a shout on Twitter because I promise you that they want to meet you as bad as you them. I would like to say Thank You to these wonderful women for taking the time out of their days to let me pester them over and over again and I hope to see them continue to be involved in gaming as well as the Smite community.