A chat with the 76ers’ first all-female eSports team, Dignitas
The Philadelphia 76ers bought Team Dignitas — an established esports organization with teams across League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Heroes of the Storm — in September, making it the first North American sports franchise to plant a flag in the world of professional gaming. In February, Dignitas picked up its first all-female professional team with players from Selfless Gaming, which had just placed second at the Electronic Sports World Cup in Bordeaux, France.
“We went from literally having nothing — we were all sleeping in one small hotel room together, six of us,” team founder Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido recalled on the Engadget E3 stage. “We would make our own jerseys. … We went from having to deal with that to being part of team Dignitas and the 76ers, which I still can’t believe to this day because it’s amazing.”
Garrido joined teammate Catherine “Cath” Leroux and Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian on-stage to discuss the realities of playing games professionally, full-time and as women in a male-dominated market.
“I think the scene is growing magnificently with female players,” Garrido said. “And if you look around, there’s so many more people around here at E3 that are females, and it’s very nice to see because I think we’ve always loved playing video games, but back when I was younger, it wasn’t the thing to do for girls — it’s nice for us to be role models who show that you can play video games. You can even play competitively if you want to.”
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