Julia: "Gender doesn't matter in SC2"
Tue 31st Jan 2012 - 10:43pm: Starcraft II
One of the reasons I love Starcraft 2 is because it is an equal playing field. If we look at a sports like: football, tennis and rugby, we can see that the sports are male dominated. Male professional footballers are on salaries that average around 50-70 thousand pounds a week while a female professional footballer would be extremely lucky to earn that in a year.
This year the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards contained a list of ten nominees. It was of course a list of ten male nominees. I point out these statistics not to make a point about them sports, but to make a point about Starcraft. If we look at MLG Providence, the first place prize was 50 thousand dollars.
There are no stipulations on that prize, you just have to win. It doesn't matter if you are tall or small, young or old, male or female because you are all equal. This debate will always exist but a certain Canadians appearance on the main stage at MLG, Julia Childress, put it on full throttle in November so lets see how she is getting on a few months later.
Hey Julia how is everything going for you at the moment?
Julia: Hello! Everything is going great right now. I am currently taking this semester off from school to have the ability to practice and stream StarCraft 2 full-time for the next few months.
How much has Starcraft changed for you since your showing at MLG Providence?
Julia: Since MLG I've had a lot more exposure and the views on my stream have shot way up. It's still kind of weird to see myself on YouTube in interviews with people like Rachel and ESFI, where the videos have over 15,000 views. I just look at those and thing "Is that really me? When did I become a known person on the internet?" It's a crazy feeling but I'm also so grateful for the chance I had to play up on mainstage in Providence this past November, and of course for all the publicity I gained from my time there.
Lots of people have used words such as “inspirational” and “mould-breaking. How daunting for you is it that these words are used?
Julia: There are a decent amount of girls that play, and definitely a few who are even better than myself. The fact that these words have been used to describe me is an amazing feeling; I just hope I can continue, and further deserve those words being associated with me. I have had such an amazing show of support from people all over the world, women as well as men, telling me about stories how I've helped inspire a girlfriend to get into the game, or how my success at MLG motivated a girl in LA to practice harder, who then got promoted into Platinum. I'm so happy I'm a part of this community and that I've had the opportunity to show that girls can be just as passionate about this game as men.
Are you planning to attend the next MLG?
Julia: My first MLG was in Providence this past November and it was one of the best weekends of my life. At this time I expect to be going to most if not all of the MLGs in 2012.
Obviously you would like to see an MLG in Vancouver, are there any other countries in the world that you feel MLG could be really successful in?
Julia: I really think MLG would be successful in many countries around the world considering how strong the following is for the game. I know there are huge communities in the UK and Sweden as well as some other hot spots in Europe. I also know there is a very large fan-base in Australia and I know an MLG would be very successful in Sydney or Melbournbe, for instance! Besides, who wouldn't want to go to Australia for a StarCraft 2 tournament/vacation?
You have said you were impressed with the way MLG was run; moving away from them, are there any other tournaments you’ve watched which have impressed you?
Julia: I kind of fail when it comes to watching live tournaments online. Having been to nothing other than an MLG I can't fairly comment on how they're run or what I personally think of them. I enjoyed the red carpet walks at NASL and I'd really like a chance to go to an IPL or even a Dreamhack.
Your goal at the moment is to reach mid-masters, do you feel like your play has improved much recently?
Julia: Yes, over the past couple weeks I've been practicing a lot and I've really noticed my game play improve. As I write this I am currently 3rd in my diamond division and most of my opponents have been masters, and occasionally high diamonds like myself who also appear to be on the verge of promotion.
You’re a popular streamer, what would you love to see your average viewership at by the end of 2012?
Julia: My dream is essentially to become the female Destiny or CatZ. Those guys are so incredibly successful with their streaming and constantly hit numbers which enable them to support themselves by streaming alone. At the same time they are entertaining and also have a very good understanding of the game. If I could average around two to three thousand viewers I would be thrilled, however, I do hope to accomplish that long before the end of 2012 ;)
How would you label your Starcraft playing attitude? Are you prone to a little rage?
Julia: My attitude is pretty calm for the most part. I'm neither the most good- nor bad-mannered player out there, at least when we're talking about ladder. I have been known to rage a little bit, but it's very rare. In a tournament setting though, I am much more aware of my manners and always "glhf" and "gg". The only time you're going to see me BM is if I get BM'd first, or maybe in team games here and there.
Are you competitive in all aspects of your life or just Starcraft?
Julia: I have met some very competitive people and I would not consider myself one of them, but I'm also not a push over. In other aspects of my life, I can get a little stubborn when I feel passionately about something, but I do always try to understand the other person's perspective.
What attracted you to Protoss?
Julia: I never really played melee in BroodWar, despite playing the game for hours on end, so when I got my copy of StarCraft 2 and wanted to play some 1v1s or 2v2s with friends from work I didn't really have a race that drew my attention first. I played a couple games as each race and Protoss was just the one that seemed most familiar and comfortable to me. There's really no other reason I gravitated towards it over Terran or Zerg.
Here is a philosophical one for you, why does gender even matter in Starcraft?
Julia: Gender doesn't matter in SC2. When you play ladder, do you sit there and wonder if your opponent is female or male? Most people probably assume they're playing against a male, I know even I do. Would it matter if you found out your opponent was a girl? Maybe if a particularly proud male found out he'd lost to a girl he'd be a bit bitter or even feel the need to BM, but for the most part, if there were more girls around playing StarCraft no one would think twice about it.
I guess the only reason it's perceived to matter now is because there are so few girls that play, and everyone's still trying to figure out how to classify us. In reality, we're the exact same as men who play; we have people in bronze, we have people in GM. Just the fact that there is a smaller population of us is what differs at all, but I really believe that we're a representative sample of the StarCraft community as a whole.
Thank you so much for your time; what would you like to sign us off with?
Julia: Absolutely, it's been a pleasure and I appreciate your interest in my thoughts and opinions. I'd like to shout-out to my team Check6 and our sponsors Tt Esports, PureTrak, and Gamer's Uniform. Thank you very much ♥
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You can find me on twitter : @stevefarrant