Johanna “Ligaya” Sta. Maria, captain of Bren Esports’ all-girls Dota 2 team, is hoping the day would come when female gamers are treated equally in the male-dominated esports industry.
“Ang dream ko is ma-normalize ‘yung fact na female gamers can be professional players, at sana mawala na ‘yung gender barrier sa kahit anong laro,” Ligaya, the team’s position four support, told the Manila Bulletin in an online message.
Ligaya and her teammates shared their terrible experiences on being a girl gamers during a recent Beyond the Meta vodcast.
“Hindi naman po mahirap na maglaro. Ang mahirap lang po is ‘yung kapag nalaman na babae ka, parang ang baba ng tingin sa’yo tapos minsan babastusin ka pa,” said Ligaya.
“Kapag naririnig kasi nila sa mic na babae ka, parang ‘ay talo na ‘to may babaeng kasama.’ Parang ganon ‘yung mga boys eh tapos mas magaling ka pa pala sa kanila,” said position five support Kat “Katt” Arcillas.
Hard carry Gillian “Gill” Lumberio, midlaner Princess “Jaina” Pagsisihan and offlaner Hazel “Hezelya” Mata said they experience the same unfair treatment, but have learned to fight back in the process.
“Sasabihin ko sa kanila ‘binubuhat na nga kita eh ang dami mo pang daldal diyan.’ Lumalaban ako, hindi ako pumapayag na hinahayaan lang ng ganun,” said Gill.
Ligaya has a strong message for those uncivilized people who look down on female gamers.
“Kung kaya niyo, kaya rin namin! Wala sa kasarian ang pag-iisip at talento ng isang tao.”
Bren, which won the latest Liga Adarna Dota 2 tournament, is currently competing against five other squads in The Nationals Season 2.