Passion, Pride, and Women’s Esports: A Love Affair with Apex Legends

Examining the present and potential of women’s Apex Legends

Hannah Marie ZT
5 min readJan 2, 2023

Women’s Esports has seen a well-deserved boom in 2022, but no game has captured my heart as swiftly as Apex Legends. Watching tournaments such as the Risen Rose “Rose Cup” and Celestial Cup demonstrates the absolute dominance some of these women display. With rising interest in women’s esports, it’s time to take the plunge and appreciate their talent.

Curating a Safe Space

Providing opportunities for women and gender minorities is an issue extending beyond just Apex Legends. Tournaments exclusively held for those identifying as women are vital in providing a safe space for professional growth, away from the toxicity many female gamers face in mainstream events. Tackling toxicity is the biggest challenge to growing the women’s scene. Like dominos in the same room as an over-curious cat, it triggers a chain reaction that damages professional prospects in numerous ways.

Tournament hosts often struggle to connect with female players and streamers who regrettably restrict their social media as a shield against abuse. Alongside this, who wants to play ranked games or enter tournaments where they are a target in the lobby chat for their gender identity? Several streamers over the years have exposed the extent of misogyny when connecting to a voice chat, including the overused classic, “Go back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich”.

As summarised by VLP Kiti (@Lizzie_Squires), Co-Owner of Vulpine Esports: “How much hate and abuse do us women have to take in gaming before it becomes too much[?]”

What Does This Space Provide?

Casually throwing the phrase “safe space” around in discussions about women’s esports underappreciates the value it holds for players. Mental focus, motivation, and passion naturally run low in a toxic environment, and all three are vital for professional development. Thankfully, the support between women witnessed in the Apex scene is a beacon of hope.

Unique to Apex, however, has been the involvement of mixed tournaments at the grassroots that prioritise support for women. For example, the Rose Cup Co-Ed Christmas tournament saw mixed-gender teams compete, with the rule that each team must have at least one female player. In addition, Phoenix Legacy, who participated in the Split 1 2022 EMEA Pro-League, joined the event and enjoyed a third-place finish. As the only Split 1 ALGS team to have a woman on their team (in the form of @BearSabz), they are trailblazers, hopefully indicating more exciting female professionals to come.

Nevertheless, Tier 1 Pro-Leagues remain firmly male-dominated. Continuing to build the foundations for professional development in these safe spaces is crucial to break the glass ceiling. So many talented ladies are in the wings, ready to take the ALGS by storm — they deserve the spotlight.

Leading Ladies — Who to Watch in the Apex Scene

I am privileged to have connections with those involved in running the Risen Rose Women’s Apex Tournaments (most notably my partner Kelan, @TheHenry_Hoover). Several players and teams have taken the competition by storm and gained immense respect. Watching them interact during and outside tournaments, supporting one another (with some traditional trash talk on the side), perfectly demonstrates why they deserve attention.

Team Lust has several dominating performances under their belt. The trio of Renee (@reneehopeblasy), Babyducks (@babyducksss), and Scarletsenvyy (@ScarEnvy) certainly draw eyes — as they should. Reliably, Team Nice Girls join them at the top of the scoreboard: PrettyBondGirl (@TwitchPBG), Mulvana (@Mulvana_), and Crestep (@crestepTTV).

Both teams have won multiple women’s tournaments towards the end of 2022, including the Godfire Esports Ladies Night (Nice Girls, 31st December 2022), Celestial Cup Luna League (Nice Girls, 17th December 2022), MOTS Anniversary Cup (Lust, 15th December 2022), and the Incursion Women’s Tournament (Lust, 26th November 2022).

Team Dopamine has also displayed incredible skill, winning the Celestial Cup Sol League on 28th December 2022 and the Rose Cup the day after on the 29th. Their trio of MsDopey (@MsDopeyGames), GiggleAutumn (@GiggleAutumn) and Jenn (@jennrrachel) have been a pleasure to watch throughout 2022 and have a bright future as 2023 begins.

However, winning isn’t everything. Several players have also improved so rapidly over the latter half of 2022 that it is almost frightening thinking about what they could achieve this year. Team Nothing is the definition of potential. Lightlyrs (@lightlyrs) and sisters Jewels and Sasha (@SaJa_Official) compete consistently in the Risen Rose tournaments and have risen steadily through the rankings. Regardless of placement, they always catch your eye and are a favourite of those running the Rose Cup.

Finally, Sabz (@BearSabz) and Janey (@ItzJaney) are powerhouses. Janey joined TSM as a content creator in June 2021 and is known to sway predictions for a lobby when joining a team. Sabz is a member of Phoenix Legacy- as mentioned earlier in this article — a team that competed in Tier 1 of the ALGS in 2022. As the only woman in Tier 1, she has heavily impacted the women’s Apex Legends scene. Hopefully, many other talented women (such as those mentioned above) will join her at the top.

The Future of Women’s Apex Legends

With so much talent concentrated in the women’s Apex Legends scene, it is shocking that many female players remain unsigned. As always, one of the critical factors hindering them is an investment in women’s leagues.

Tournament organisers such as Risen Rose pour immense time and effort into running women’s only tournaments where these players can grow and compete professionally. However, they only have the resources to provide minimal prize money compared to other mainstream leagues. If anything, these women’s motivation to compete for even the most minor prizes demonstrates their absolute commitment to their careers and those competing alongside them.

In 2023, I hope my appreciation and love for women’s Apex Legends will spread to others in the esports scene. Every woman who dedicates so much time and effort to Apex Legends deserves, at the very least, the respect of others in the community.

Better still, organisations should invest in their capabilities and willingness to grow. These ladies are not “hidden talent” — their incredible abilities and potential are plain to see.

--

--

Hannah Marie ZT

Hi! I am a freelance esports journalist and content writer based in London, UK. I focus primarily on Apex Legends and women's esports, and gaming!