A five-member team named Sphynx gained a lot of attention for more than just their gaming skills at a recent prestigious e-sports competition.
The team, led by Inti International College Subang (Inti) student Shanice Choo, was made up of only women.
Sphynx placed first in the Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) category at the World Electronic Sports Games, South East Asia (WESG SEA): Malaysia Qualifier Finals and finished third in WESG SEA where they represented Malaysia.
It was a commendable feat considering it was the players’ first attempt at an e-sports competition that is said to be the gaming equivalent to the Olympics.
“I was 14 when I played my first game, BlackShot, and I’ve never stopped playing online games ever since,” said the 18-year-old in a press release from Inti.
She credits gaming for gifting her with a better skill set and helping her to break out of her comfort zone as an introvert.
“I love e-sports because it has moulded me into a better team player, increased my interpersonal skills and allowed me to break out of my introverted shell,” she said.
Her parents and brother have been a source of unwavering support ever since the student decided to embark on a journey of professional gaming.
She was fortunate enough to have supportive family members who treated her brother and her equally. She did not receive a negative response or backlash from her parents when she expressed potentially wanting to pursue e-sports professionally.
However, responses from other gamers weren’t always as positive as she also had to battle gender stereotypes in the virtual world in addition to in-game foes.
During her initial years of gaming, she came across a few people who would react to her or treat her differently in games when they find out she is a girl.
Malaysia is seeing a steady increase of female gamers breaking into the professional e-sports circuit as Sphynx follows at the heels of other all-women teams in the country.