On November 1st, Empress Gaming was launched, a brand dedicated to providing a platform for female content creators and professional players to succeed in the gaming industry.
In just one month, Empress Gaming has added a variety of content creators to their team, worked with a variety of sponsors, hosted a successful VALORANT tournament and welcomed over 800 people to their Community Discord. It’s safe to say that they have found themselves on an upwards trajectory.
Here’s The Thing had the opportunity to sit down with the CEO and Founder of Empress Gaming, Nicole Constantine, to learn more about her brand, intentions with the company and her overall perspective on the industry.
What was the core reasoning that led you to launch Empress Gaming?
“I think the overarching reason comes down to being a young woman in the space myself without really any substantial active community or safe space to turn to, and with that, I realised that many other women in gaming may feel the same way.”
“In a magnitude of fields and genres in gaming, there are women building their own dedicated and engaged audiences – but at the same time, there was a lack of foundational support and resources for their platforms to grow, develop and shape beyond this, and thus, Empress was born.”
Esports and gaming has been seen as a male dominant industry since the dawn of time, do you believe your platform can change that here in Australasia and how do you plan to do so?
“The fundamental problem is that the industry is not only seen, but treated, as a male-dominant industry and that simply isn’t true. Changing a narrative, which as you said, has been written since the dawn of time is obviously a goal but beyond that and more immediately, it’s naturally elevating a platform which showcases all the incredible women in gaming that exist.”
“At the end of the day, we can’t change a systematic mindset overnight – we can only challenge its existence. We hope that by providing access and resources to women in gaming – this will inspire brands, and other activations in the space to reconsider how they treat and look at us. Firstly we need to eliminate a diversity token mindset, one that, especially with brands, is so heavily dependent on for their sponsorship spends.”
It’s now been a month since the launch of Empress Gaming, is your experience thus far an expected result or have you found challenges along the way?
“We’ve been very lucky to have an incredibly supportive launch, as well as amazing allies supporting us within our open Discord community and throughout social media. For us, the biggest challenge has been the lack of understanding of co-existence available within the space. I want Empress to challenge other brands, esports ventures and even other women in gaming to create and do better FOR women in gaming.”
“Nobody has ever questioned the amount of organisations that are in the space, let alone run by men - so why does this change when we put our focus towards women in esports and gaming? Empress is built not to compete but to provide and allow for even more opportunities for women in gaming, something which we strongly believe should be celebrated not feared.”
Are your intentions to keep the brand solely involved in Australasia alone or do you plan on expanding abroad in the near or distant future?
“Empress is a diverse and inclusive community with a global-focus. At the moment, only our stream team has members all across the world, but as we build our rosters (for both content and competitive) and understand the tournament agenda globally – Empress is looking to continue its expansion globally for sure! We are not here to be exclusive, we instead aim to be synonymous with women in gaming, for everyone and everywhere.”
Wrapping things up, is there anything we should expect to see from Empress Gaming in the near future whether that’s events, announcements or what have you?
“Outside of our intentions to expand our content and competitive rosters, we intend to work globally with endemic and non-endemic brands to champion for women in gaming as well as foster the next generation of talent in this space. How do we do this? You’ll have to wait and see.”
Staying true to her word on working with brands to champion women in gaming, Nicole has already brought HyperX, ASUS, Logitech G and Blue Microphones onto Empress Gaming to collaborate on both giveaways and their very own tournament. And there’s no doubt we’ll see plenty more partnerships like these pop-up in the near future.
Empress League, a VALORANT tournament hosted by Empress Gaming, wrapped up on November 29th with ‘Carnegie’ being crowned champions of the event. Empress League saw support from Logitech G and Blue Microphones, who provided prizes for the MVP of the event.