The rise of female gamers in the GCC

The rise of female gamers in the GCC

Maryam Maher, the first GCC-based female gamer to join G2 Esports, speaks with GamesMEA about her experiences, inspirations, and interests in esports gaming.

Q: How did you stumble upon gaming and what excites you about gaming?
I stumbled upon gaming early on in my childhood. Growing up, my cousins and I would meet up at my grandmother’s house every Friday to play PlayStation 2, and we would take turns to play. I have since used gaming as a form of escape and find comfort in my console and online friends.

Q: Do you remember, which was the first game you played in your life?
To my memory, the first game I played was Minecraft. My cousins and I used to play the game on our phones and really enjoyed the freedom that the game offered us. Soon after, we got the PlayStation 2.

Q: Today, which games do you like to play the most?
Recently, I joined the G2 Esports team as the first GCC-based, female gamer. I aim to support the team’s quest to conquer the international Valorant stage as a part of G2 Gozen, and to contribute to the team’s unrivaled heritage.

Q: How did you enter the esports arena from playing games at home?
In 2017, I took on online video games such as Fortnite. Shortly after, I uploaded footage of myself taking out 24 opponents in a row, which helped me participate in various tournaments. I loved the feeling of playing against players from all over the world and being able to beat them.

Q: Are you getting enough support from sponsors, and fans to take esports as a full-time career?
Being surrounded by fans and sponsors allows me to obtain the support and technology needed to reach my full potential. I take pride in being one of the first female esports athletes in the region and have since bagged a sponsorship with Lenovo Legion.

Q: What does it take to be an esports player and how do you train yourself?
The demands of staying ahead of the game in esports can be demanding. It takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication. To stay on top of it, I regularly train with my teammates. We observe each other’s techniques and give each other feedback.

Q: What have been your key milestones in your journey and which major tournaments have you won so far?
I won a couple of tournaments when I used to play Fortnite. After I joined G2 Gozen, we won second place at GameChangers EMEA #3. This confirmed our qualification for the very first international GameChangers. We won this tournament and can proudly say that we are the first VCT GameChanger champions ever! Very excited about it.

Q: What are you looking to achieve in 2022 and beyond?
In 2023, we will be solidifying our position as the number 1 team in the world. So, we aim to be consistent and continue winning all the GameChanger EMEA series, and hopefully lift the VCT GameChanger Champions trophy once again, making it back-to-back.

Q: How do you feel about the fact that there are far too few women gamers and what can be done to promote gaming among the girls in the region?

The female gamers scene is growing rapidly, and more women are pushing to improve themselves and become better. Many companies are pushing efforts to increase the visibility and opportunities for female gamers, with Lenovo hosting the first-ever Legion Girl Cup in 2019.

Q: What advice would you give to other budding women gamers, who wish to follow in your footsteps and take up esports as a profession?
I believe that everyone can enter the gaming scene if they really put their minds to it. By dedicating time and effort to something, you will gradually improve and can even make it to a professional level.

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