As a woman who has played games for most of my life, I've seen how the gaming industry has evolved. When I was a kid, gaming felt like a boys' club. Female characters were rare, and the existing ones were often sexualized or stereotyped. I remember when I first met Sarah Kerrigan in Starcraft, she tried to challenge gender stereotypes in the gaming industry. We were used to seeing damsels in distress, sexual objects, or sidekicks.
Instead, Kerrigan was a strong, independent, powerful, and the driving force behind the game's story. One of the first female characters in a video game to be a villain, her complex personality and tragic backstory made her a character that players could both sympathize with and fear. In any case, times are changing, and nowhere is that more evident than in the growth of women's esports.