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ali's CS history -- part 3

By alice 'ali' lew
Feb 25, 2009 22:52

ESWC 2004 and our first successful sponsor.

Now that GX3 has been formed, now what? We were a female club created to provide female gamers with a SAFE environment to play. It wasn't so much about competition and being the best, but more about the passion for wanting to see other female gamers excel and providing an environment where they can act themselves and be supported. Being one of the first female gamers in the community really gave me a heads up on how HARD it really is for female gamers to really grow into top notch players, especially because this gaming community is 99% male dominated. I know many of you may flame me with the fact that "girls shouldn't have separated leagues/tournaments," but having played in both male and female teams, I have to admit there really is a significant difference between a female gamer and a male gamer. Though I'm sure I can probably write 10 pages on that subject, I'm going to save that for another blog....

So we go on finding girls around North America and start playing in online leagues for "fun." There was really no actual commitment-- we didnt practice much and played in online matches just to get ourselves some match experience. After awhile though, we really started to get into it and took it to a whole new level. Though 2002-2004, we revamped the team to a group of girls with a definite competitive nature. There was something about playing with 4 other females (AND BEATING MALES) that was so.... exhilarating!!! It was a rocky road to say the least. We participated in numerous online leagues, often making playoffs and then getting disapointed. We were often flamed by the community, as they figured we were easy targets, and were frequently called names, had our egos shattered, and dreams broken. Every year, girls came and went, some girls not being able to take the heat of the moment and eventually got cut or left the team themselves. GX3 was transforming into something other than just a friendly club, but a competitive female team that had the drive to be the best. It wasn't just the fact of making an impact on the female community, but it was the dream of making an impact on the entire gaming community as a whole. We had a vision, something in our hearts that drove us passionately towards our goal. And even though this dream was first recognized 7 years ago, it is still a driving force for our team today.

So come 2004, we hear about this awesome opportunity to play in a female tournament in Paris, France called ESWC. The year prior, a team called "SK-Gaming" won the female tournament. I didn't know much about the international scene at this time, but I was so intrigued by it all.

6 months prior to the event, we must have sent out over 10,000 emails to different companies. We spent hours and hours researching different companies that might benefit from sponsoring a team in e-sports. New to the scene, we did not know who to contact and where to start. Mishl and I also tried calling companies, hoping to find someone to support our cause. I honestly felt like a telemarketer, but I knew this is what it would take for our name to get out there. 95% of the emails were ignored, but we only needed one response to help us achieve our dream, and indeed, we got super lucky.

Team GX3 was slowly losing hope. For the last 5 months, we had been trying our best to convince ANYONE that we were worth the investment. Then one month before ESWC, Sheryl Huang from Nvidia responded back to me. She had already been a supporter of e-sports, showing her face at numerous CPL's at the Nvidia stand. She knew the industry and truly wanted to help us, except there was really no money leftover in the Nvidia budget. Luckily, Sheryl was able to pull some strings and decided on a "one-event sponsorship" deal and depending on our results, would consider future events from then on. They purchased the tickets, wished us luck, and excited as hell, in June 2004, we went to Paris for the first time ever. I was 18 years old.

picture from left2right: alice "ali", ashley "ash", michelle "mishl", carol "snuggly", mary "littogurl"

If you want to see more pictures from ESWC 2004, go to my photo albums!



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