TSM’s First All-Women Apex Legends Squad Breaks Barriers

KEY TAKEAWAYS
TSM signs its first all-women pro Apex Legends squad, breaking barriers and creating new opportunities for women in esports.
The team members report minimal gender-specific negativity, attributing most of it to typical competitive scene banter.
Players acknowledge the importance of providing a comfortable space for women through women-only teams and competitions.
Women-only leagues and tournaments offer additional opportunities to compete, greater visibility, and a more welcoming environment for newcomers.
Aspiring female gamers are encouraged to focus on self-improvement, perseverance, and finding the right team for personal success, rather than avoiding the competitive scene due to potential toxicity.

 

Esports organization TSM has signed its first all-women pro Apex Legends squad, consisting of Janey, Sabz, Avuhlie, and GuhRL.

The team members, who range in age from 17 to 27, have different personalities but share a love for Apex Legends.

Each player brings a unique set of skills to the game, with Janey specializing in Valkyrie, Avuhlie in Wattson, GuhRL in Pathfinder, and Sabz in Bloodhound.

The foursome will mostly play separately due to their geographical locations, but their passion for the game’s unique movement mechanics and fast pace unites them.

Overcoming Obstacles and Defying Expectations

All four players have interesting journeys that led them to their impressive esports careers. 

GuhRL started with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and honed her skills through women’s clans on PlayStation.

Janey lived a regular life until she discovered Apex Legends, aggressively played and streamed the game, and was signed by TSM as its first female Apex Legends content creator in 2021.

Sabz began with League of Legends before transitioning to Fortnite and finally Apex Legends, while Avuhlie started with Titanfall before embracing Apex Legends and learning mouse and keyboard controls.

As the first all-women squad signed to a tier-one global esports organization, the players recognize their unique position as trailblazers in the esports scene.

They also understand the pressure that comes with being role models for other women in the gaming community.

Sabz notes that people are still surprised to see them in the pro league, but they’re determined to compete at the highest level and ignore negativity from others.

TSM’s Commitment to Supporting Women in Esports

TSM Head of Marketing SM Lahti states that having an all-women roster allows the players greater flexibility to compete in multiple competitions individually or as a team.

The organization is committed to addressing the competitive, professional, and personal needs of its athletes and creators.

While it remains to be seen whether TSM will launch other all-women rosters, Lahti emphasizes that the organization is always looking to support players with strong potential, regardless of their gender.

TSM Head of Marketing SM Lahti states that having an all-women roster allows the players greater flexibility to compete in multiple competitions individually or as a team.

 

Apex Legends: A Natural Choice

The players were drawn to Apex Legends over other battle royale games for various reasons. 

Avuhlie was already a fan of Respawn’s games, Sabz appreciated the movement and action in Apex Legends, GuhRL enjoyed the fast-paced gameplay, and Janey felt that she didn’t want to miss out on Apex Legends’ popularity.

The game’s unique features and mechanics, combined with TSM’s support, have provided a platform for these talented women to break barriers and showcase their skills in the esports world.

The Reality of Harassment and Toxicity

Despite the common belief that female players experience significant toxicity in competitive gaming and content creation, four women we interviewed—Avuhlie, Sabz, GuhRL, and Janey—reported that the negativity they face is minimal and not necessarily gender-specific.

They assert that it’s often just the typical smack talk and rough banter found in most competitive scenes.

Avuhlie acknowledges that everyone encounters some “weirdos and creeps,” but she finds that being open with her audience leads to a more understanding and supportive community.

She also believes that the gaming scene is improving for women, though there is still progress to be made.

Sabz, GuhRL, and Janey agree that toxicity is not always gender-specific and emphasize the importance of focusing on the positive aspects of their experiences.

All-Women Teams and Competitions: Are They Necessary?

The interviewed players shared their perspectives on the necessity of women-only teams and competitions.

Avuhlie and Sabz have no issues competing in mixed teams but understand that some women might prefer a safe space to start out.

GuhRL and Janey emphasize the importance of providing a comfortable space for women to learn the ropes without judgment.

The Benefits of Women-Only Leagues and Tournaments

Although the players agree that women don’t “need” a special league or tournament, they acknowledge several benefits to having them, such as additional opportunities to compete, greater visibility, and a more comfortable space for newcomers.

Sabz, Janey, GuhRL, and Avuhlie all see the value in providing more opportunities for women to showcase their skills, grow the scene, and inspire others.

Ultimately, these women encourage aspiring female gamers not to shy away from the competitive scene due to potential toxicity.

Instead, they suggest focusing on self-improvement, perseverance, and finding the right team for personal success.

Craig Miller

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