Opinion: Women Are Steering This Ship We Call Esports

XSET co-owner, esports and gaming host, and PUMA Esports ambassador Erin Ashley Simon believes that while the esports industry has a lot of work to do, women are already driving the industry from the top.

Women may not fully run the world (yet…), but we are surely running esports in ways that most fans don’t assume.

We are running it as executives, leaders, and decision-makers in the industry. We are more than just professional players and/or fans.

If we historically look at the overall structure and development of esports, it has always been a male-dominated industry. And quite frankly, it still is. However, due to the evolution of esports, we are seeing a change in representation behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.

And even though the representation isn’t quite there yet and we have ways to go, it is changing before our eyes. And it will continue to change since more women are running the industry within various different roles.

This is something that will only increase and so if you aren’t on board with it, well I’m sorry to burst your bubble but…this is the future of esports. And women are part of that future.

More recently, the industry has started to celebrate the groundbreaking roles and decisions women have made in the industry. Whether it is celebrating the new pivotal moments such as Nicole LaPointe Jameson becoming the first African American woman to be a CEO of a major esports organization, or paying homage to the veterans, for example, The Story Mob’s co-founders Anna Rozwandowicz and Nicola Piggott who have helped to highlight the important stories and narratives in esports.

These women have been influential in shaping the very industries we’ve all come to love, whether competitively or gaming as a whole.

And, I’m fortunate and lucky to be among these women now as a co-owner of the new esports organization called XSET.

In this article, I can go on and on about the amazing changes we’ve seen but, I would like to spend the rest of this piece highlighting some of the most influential executive women whose leadership continuously is helping to improve esports/gaming and change the industries for the better. And there are definitely more than what you see on this list but, take the time to learn about these women.

Because why should we wait to give them their flowers when we can now?! Because at the end of the day, women may not fully run the world, but best believe we are running esports.

  • Ann Hand – CEO, Super League Gaming
  • Christie St. Martin – CCO, Queens Gaming Collective
  • Iraisa JonesVindex, Director of Human Resources
  • Samantha YuAstralis, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Catherine Bygrave – Head of Publisher and Developer Relations
  • Leena XuTSM, President
  • Tricia SugitaFlyquest, CEO
  • Hannah ReidReKTGlobal, Chief People Officer
  • Maria RedinMTG, President
  • Yvette Martinez-ReaESL, CEO
  • Angela RoseboroRiot Games, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Emily WinkleRiot Games, Chief People Officer
  • Claudine NaughtonActivision Blizzard, Chief People Officer
  • Gina QiaoLenovo, Senior VP, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer
  • Samantha HarnettLogitech, General Counsel
  • Juli Fan, 100 Thieves – VP of People
  • Georgina WorkmanFnatic, Head of Production
  • Mei-Ling Rider, G2 Esports – Marketing Director
  • Nicole LaPointe Jameson – Evil Geniuses, CEO
  • Johanna FariesCall of Duty Esports, Commissioner
  • Julia Wu100 Thieves, Director of Marketing
  • Riana ManuelG4TV, Senior Manager, Brand Marketing
  • Britanni JohnsonG2 Esports, Head of Creators
  • Taylor Heitzig-RhodesQueen Gaming Collective, Head of Talent Strategy
  • Jaycie Gluck – Studio Director, Wisdom
  • Catarina MacedoRiot Games, Senior Product Manager
  • Cristina AmayaTeam Liquid, Head of Events
  • Cassie BatinichVersion1/ROKKR, Director of Communications
  • Breanne Harrison & Rachel FeinbergAteyo, Co-Founders
  • Allie YoungAxis Replay, CEO & Founder
  • Alisa JacobsQueens Gaming Collective, CEO & Founder
  • Eunice ChenEnlight, Founder
  • Chelsey NorthernFaZe Clan, Head of Comms
  • Morgan Romine & T.L. TaylorAnyKey, Co-Founders
  • Kristen SalvatoreCloud9, Senior Vice President of Marketing
  • Gina LeeGen.G, VP of Brand, Activation & Apparel
  • Amanda KaneGen.G, Associate Director of Talent/Content Strategy
  • Christina KimGen.G, Brand Director
  • Sue “Smix” LeeTwitch, Senior Strategic Account Manager
  • Lily LewisCLG, Marketing Partnerships Manager
  • Sarah SchnuggetOutlaws, Partnerships Account Manager
  • Hillary Gilmore100 Thieves, Head of Partnerships
  • Hana TjiaUTA, Agent
  • Briana FrapartVENN, On-Air Casting and Talent Affairs
  • Sarah BrandVENN, Music & Creative Development
  • Lizzie LeaderaXiomatic Gaming, Director of Communications
  • Nikolaia PattersonTeam Liquid, Social Media Lead
  • Dana Pirkle-HaybergCAA, Digital Media & Agent
  • Sandra ChenTeam Liquid, Influencer Manager
  • Heather GarozzoDignitas, Vice President of Talent
  • Karina ZiminaiteG2Esports, Head of Content
  • Karen BusenleherEvil Geniuses, Revenue Project Manager
  • Ashley GlasselVersion1/ROKKR, Director of Content
  • Yangsin Lau VazquezNYXL/NYSL, Marketing & Social Media Manager
  • NoukkyCloud9, C9 White Team Manager
  • Cary LambertG4TV, Senior Director, Brand Marketing
  • Sabrina WongEvil Geniuses, Culture Program Specialist
  • Allie RooneyVersion1/ROKKR, Digital Marketing Manager
  • Carol Patrick – Executive Director, CP (Previously Blizzard Ent, ESL, VENN)
  • Veronica SaronNiantic, Product Marketing Manager
  • Sarah Michelle LahtiVENN, Digital Marketing Manager
  • Cherry ThompsonUbisoft Montreal, Accessibility Project Manager
  • Hailey GellerGears of War, Integrated Marketing Communications Manager
  • Hollie KlemEsports Engine, Logistics Manager
  • Kasumi YogiGames Done Quick, Director
  • Diana LoraUbisoft, Account Manager
  • Annie LianMisfits Gaming Group, Partnership Accounts Manager
  • Sarah DopeAstro Gaming, Influencer Management/Artist Relations
  • Audrey Adair-KeeneRed Bull, Senior Communications Manager
  • Aliana MillerRiot Games, Influencer Strategy
  • Ashley KangKorizon, Founder
  • Alyssa Sweetman – Director of Creator Social Impact, Twitch
  • Cassandra “Friskk” Reyna
  • Dominique GelineauToronto Ultra/Toronto Defiant, Team Operations
  • Keisha HowardSugar Gamer, Founder
  • Emily Gonzalez-HollandaCloud9, Senior Product Manager
  • Gaylen MaloneCloud9, Senior General Manager
  • Carolyn DaoCapcom, Community Specialist
  • Molly Dreska eMLS, PR
  • …And more!

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