Pokimane. (Twitch / Twitter)
Twitch streamer Pokimane has shared her struggles as a woman playing Valorant in voice chat.
Pokimane is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, but she’s by no means immune to harassment online.
“My brother hit immortal before i did,” she said on Twitter, referring to the highest ranking of players in Valorant.
i find my biggest issue is i don’t like to talk too much in game (ppl get weird about me being a girl / being poki), and that doesn’t work with being a sova main 🥲 and i don’t have a dependable duo to comm on my behalf ~
so i’m gonna look for one + learn solo q agents 😌
— imane 👑💜 (@imane) August 27, 2021
She then followed up with a further explanation.
“I find my biggest issue is i don’t like to talk too much in game (ppl get weird about me being a girl / being poki), and that doesn’t work with being a sova main and i don’t have a dependable duo to comm on my behalf.”
The tweet garnered plenty of responses from fans, including one who suggested she use a voice changer.
“Deadass i tried this and i sounded like a robot LOL,” replied Pokimane.
Of course, no one should have to change their voice to be accepted playing games online.
Pokimane’s comments come days after Riot Games, the developer behind Valorant, expanded their esports programme for women.
Having launched the Valorant Game Changers tournament in February, they’ve now launched the League Championship Series Game Changers for League of Legends players too, with the aim of supporting women into professional esports leagues.
Pokimane isn’t alone in being a female gamer facing harassment online for her gender, as sadly many streamers on Twitch have faced violent abuse.
However, there are initiatives looking to change that.
Earlier, the women-led community The*gameHERS launched a women’s esports Collegiate Division to support female esports players.
More recently, UN Women UK and Code Coven teamed up to launch a game jam to promote the creation of safe spaces in online gaming.