Guild Esports is “on-fire”. If just 15 days ago we brought to this medium the announcement of the creation of Guild Studios, today they are again in the news. In a week as important as this that we have had to vindicate the figure of women in esports, the UK-based club, listed on the London Stock Exchange and co-owned by soccer star David Beckham, took advantage of International Women’s Day to announce the launch of its first competitive team in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, composed exclusively of women.
Known as “KiKi,” “Minnie,” “Pullox,” “Nea,” and “Ann4,” the players are veterans, three of them currently competing for the Norwegian national team. The five will train together in the iconic Sky Guild Gaming Centre in London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood, and will participate in their first ESL women’s league competition with a cumulative prize pool of $500,000.
The news follows the 2021 launch of Guild Esports’ Valorant women’s team, which competes in the Riot Games-developed hero shooter and has scored several tournament victories. Guild Esports CEO Jasmine Skee, who took the position in January, said the time is right to recruit in CS: GO, as female participation in esports of all kinds, such as soccer and rugby, is on the rise.
It’s also smart for business. It opens up more revenue streams. Brands are increasingly excited about e-sports arenas, as they want to connect with elusive Generation Z and Generation Alpha audiences, and they want to reach the entire demographic, not divide into gender divisions. The response from our sponsors and potential partners has been phenomenal.
Jasmine Skee, executive director, Guild Esports.
Guild’s move is part of a broader trend. The presence of women in gaming is on the rise. Companies are attracting female talent with all-female leagues, while already several female Twitch streamers have skyrocketed to social media stardom. Even the female-friendly beauty and fashion industries have begun courting gamers: in 2021, cosmetics brand E.L.F. created a Twitch channel to highlight female gamers’ makeup routines, and that same year, British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury’s eponymous line sponsored the Girlgamer Esports Festival. In December, Dove further immersed itself in the world by partnering with Women in Games and Unreal Engine to campaign for diverse beauty standards in female gaming avatars.