How a Passion for eSports Developed Into Career?
While gaming and esports are generally associated with the male population, women start to play an increasingly significant role in the esports and gaming industries. As the competition grows more intense, and the profits of the gaming studios skyrocket, more and more people get interested in this industry. Nowadays, more and more women get interested in video games and become prominent members of the gaming communities. Additionally, more and more women join the teams of developers to help give us, the players, more of the quality content. Today, we take a look at four magnificent women in the gaming industry.
Marika Appel has been into gaming since childhood, and her path started with Commodore 64 console. Marika started her career in marketing by working for one of the Scandinavian design companies, but then her career took an unexpected turn. As Marika herself says, she always felt passionate for video gaming, but only 9 years ago, she wouldn’t imagine herself working in a video game industry. Today, Marika is a Clash of Clans community manager at Supercell.
When Marika first started working for Supercell, she was excited about the new opportunities she received, and back in 2012, she got her golden ticket. The global launch of Clash of Clans happened in 2012, and Marika has been a community manager since the very launch. Together with ESL, Supercell launched the first Clash of Clans World Championship, and Marika was there to help build up the new community of players. Additionally, she had to stay in touch with the esports betting services, reporters, and streamers to promote the Championship. As Marika herself recalls, it was not an easy task as she was responsible for establishing the relationships between the players and the developers.
Marika has been supporting the community since its very emergence, and she is proud of her achievements. Nowadays, Clash of Clans is one of the top esports disciplines, and all of that is possible because of Marika’s commitment to the community of players around the world. Marika’s job is not only to inform the community about what happens in the game, but she must also learn from the members of the community and listen to the players to find out what they want and what they need to improve the gaming experience.
Olia Fadeeva is the esports product manager at Riot Games, UK, and she has been dreaming about being a game developer since her college years. Olia recalls playing lots of video games back in her childhood and teenage years including such titles as Lineage 2, and she keeps of playing such games as LoL.
As Olia admits, being a die-hard gamer herself, she knew exactly what she wanted to do when she applied for the position at Wargaming studio, which gave us World of Tanks. She says that her gaming experience helped her a lot during the interview as well as during her time at Wargaming. She has a profound knowledge of what players like about online games, what they don’t like, and what downright annoys the players and makes them quit a particular game.
The experience at Wargaming turned out to be priceless for Fadeeva as she saw what online gaming is from the perspective of both players and the developers. She learned that sometimes there emerges a contradiction between the business interests of the devs and the interests of the players, and she learned to find a balance between the two.
Nowadays, Olia works at Riot Games and creates efficient relationships between the community, the developers, and esports events. This makes up for the entire ecosystem in which thousands and thousands of people find something to their liking. Establishing such an ecosystem is crucial for the online video games developers and esports players since there has to be a balance between the interests of all. Players want to have fun, developers want to make money, Fadeeva wants both of them to get what they want. That is a part of managing the project and creating value for all.
Marisa Polumbo, senior producer for Overwatch Esports at Blizzard Entertainment has a huge experience in the video gaming industry as well as in gaming itself. As much as all the people in the video game industry, Marisa has been into gaming since ages, and this passion grew into a successful career. In 2005, she started working for none other than Rockstar Games, and over the years, she held different positions in the company. Marisa worked on several projects, including Red Dead Redemption and GTA 4, doing research photography and producing game trailers.
In 2013, Marisa started working for Blizzard, another video gaming mogul, and several years into it, she learned about Overwatch project. She felt interested in this game and was employed to the team. Over the years, as the Overwatch grew up to become one of the world’s most popular esports disciplines, the role of Polumbo in the project changed as well. Marisa’s responsibilities are vast as she is responsible for the esports aspect of the Overwatch project. As of now, she dedicated most of her time to developing the strategy for the competitive advantage.
Marisa makes sure all the patches get released on time, the new content is being developed, and the game runs the way it has to so that the players are satisfied with the experience. She works with the team of talented people who work on fixing the bugs and developing the updates that keep the players engaged. As Polumbo says, the Overwatch League is just getting started and that the new exciting content is coming to the game soon so that the old players feel more engaged, and the new players have an improved first experience in the game.
Kristin Konnelly, Senior marketing director for Overwatch at Blizzard Entertainment started her career in marketing working in the traditional sports industry. She worked for New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens before embarking on the career in the gaming industry. Like Marisa Polumbo, Konnelly worked on project Overwatch since the very launch, and she was assigned to manage marketing, community efforts, and social media marketing for Overwatch.
Konnelly’s role in the project is to produce an effective marketing strategy for Overwatch League and stay in touch with the community to identify its needs. The community and marketing management are critical for the esports disciplines since there are tons of them for the players to explore, and for that reason, some of them fail to perform the way they were intended. With Overwatch League’s rough launch, it finally starts to gain a solid fan base.
Thanks to the efforts of Konnelly and her colleagues, Overwatch league is getting more and more love from the fans, and as of now, it is one of the most popular esports disciplines available for the players and viewers to enjoy. The contribution of social media marketing can be hardly overestimated, and Konnelly takes pride in the work she has done for the company and the game. The main task Konnelly currently sees is to make the players a viable part of the development efforts and engage the community in the process of improving the game. Konnelly believes that this is the key to success for Overwatch League.