Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Esports team nominated for award highlighting women and non-binary players

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Henry Neiman
Photo courtesy of Henry Neiman

Emerson’s Esports team is looking forward to a big weekend, advancing from being nominated to the final five of the*Gamehers Awards Top Collegiate Organization of the Year award. 

The*Gamehers Awards highlight women and non-binary individuals in gaming. According to the company’s mission statement, women represent nearly half of the three billion global gamers—a demographic rarely recognized and whom they hope to celebrate.

The organization has multiple categories highlighting different areas and aspects of the gaming community. Everyone from top streamers, journalists, coaches, and cosplayers of the year have a spot at the*Gameher Awards. 

Emerson’s Esports team is competing against Full Sail Armada, St. Mary’s Esports, UCI Esports, and Black Gxming Society for the award. 

The event is being held Friday, March 1, at the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta. The Esports team is throwing a watch party for the event in Walker, room 202 at 5 p.m.   

The award is presented to organizations that create diverse and inclusive esports teams. This organization will have started a unified community of players or professionals that centers around women or femme-identifying persons across the spectrum of gender identity.   

Emerson Esports was nominated by an anonymous party that was selected by the*Gamehers Awards. Emerson Esports was nominated under the leadership of former president Catherine Hebert, senior Business of Creative Enterprises major with an Esports communications minor, and became a finalist under the leadership of president Bryson Beck, a junior Visual Media Arts major.  

Hebert spoke about why recognizing female and non-binary gamers is important.

“Since gaming was created, there’s been horrible stereotyping and harassment towards women and other marginalized genders in the gaming space,” Hebert said. “The way women have been portrayed was always overly sexualized … It gave a lot of people in the gaming space this idea that women are not fit to compete at the same level [as men].”

Hebert said it’s important to recognize women and marginalized genders to make them feel Emerson Esports is a space for everyone. 

“The initiative we’ve been taking as an organization to build up to where we want to be is extremely important,” Hebert said. 

On top of the major nomination by the*Gamehers Awards, Beck discussed the team’s plans to progress further as an organization. This includes reforming the organization’s competitive team system to move away from requiring every member to be on a set team, but rather increasing flexibility depending on the player’s specialty. This is because the Esports team has grown significantly over the past few years. 

“In order to maintain a space where people of all skill levels can compete and play and just have a place to socialize, we still wanted to increase our level of competition,” Beck said. “We’ve reformatted the competitive system for the semester and it’s been a big test run, but we’ve moved on to one varsity team and then allowing players to form their own individual club teams and then we would help them find competitions.” 

In addition to the reforming of their teams and how they operate, Beck also discussed how the Esports team wants to focus more on promoting social events this year. This includes game night events in person and online through the team’s Discord, as well as an organization-wide event called “Gamers Touch Grass” which is a field day event for members of the team.  

“We want to focus heavily on the community events because the community is what drives the organization,” Beck said.

Beck is incredibly honored by the nomination by the*Gameher Awards, as well as surprised.

“It’s a pretty big deal as it represents the entire Eastern region alongside this being a completely student-run organization being put up against fully collegiate supported orgs and some of the biggest women in the industry all being present,” Beck said.

Hebert also shared how she felt the nomination supports the future of the organization.  

“Everyone all together to create this beautiful, inclusive, affirming space is beautiful,” Hebert said.

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About the Contributor
Sam Shipman, Staff Writer
Sam Shipman (He/Him) is a freshman journalism major from Natick, Massachusetts. He currently is a Staff Writer for the Berkeley Beacon. When he's not reporting he can be found listening to music or spending time with friends.

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