According to UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment), which acts as the trade body for the UK gaming and interactive entertainment industry, the UK based Esports industry grew annually at a rate of 8.5% between 2016 and 2019, supports over 1,200 full time jobs, generated £60m in revenue in 2019 and has the potential to generate £12 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) for the economy, along with 238 more full time jobs, whenever a major global esports event is held in the UK.
Esports in the UK is made up of over 1,000 regional teams and 50 national/internationally competitive teams all vying for a share of the limited but lucrative sponsorships, price money and international recognition in a sport that many still view as an arcade game.
So, stepping into the treacherous jungle of the big-time world of e-sports is not for the faint of heart and requires a good deal intestinal fortitude and courage.
But that’s exactly what London based Lionscreed did in 2019 and they have been leaving their paw prints all over the landscapes of such games as CS: GO, League of Legends, Rocket League and Rainbow 6 Siege ever since. Hearing the roar of Lions Creed’s 11 titles, 4 title wins and seeing them showcased on national television, all in their first two years of their operation, their tournaments see more than 100 new users join their community discord.Lionscreed’s notoriety in the esports community is not based solely on their game winning strategies and performance as a team but also on their ongoing mission to create a diverse and inclusive community. What they call their family, their pride.
One recent addition to the Lions Creed’s pride is a real lioness – AbsoluteAJ.
AJ is 21-year-old university graduate who started gaming around 2 1/2 years ago as a senior at university. With her friends being big into gaming at the time, AJ made the decision to buy a PS4 during her second year at school. She recalls: “I started playing games like Rocket League and Warframe, but then I got big into Fortnite. My friend came home from university one day with a copy of Rainbow 6 Siege and from then on it was all about R6. So much so, that 6 months later I bought a PC to play Siege on and it has stuck with me ever since. Recently, I have started playing a lot of Apex and kind of getting sucked into the Apex world now. Yep, FPS is definitely my thing.”
AJ first heard of Lions Creed through their male R6 team who had joined the Elite Championship Series she used to run. When her female team was looking for an organization to join, they were approached by Tr3yal, COO of Lionscreed, and joined the Lionscreed family. “I started the lionesses from the ground up simply by posting on Twitter about wanting to start a female team. Around that time, there wasn’t really any all-female teams in the community, maybe only two that scrimmed regularly.”
Receiving a lot of very positive response to her shout out to start an all-female team, AJ stood up to the few but vocal naysayers and formed the Lionesses. After around nine months, and a couple of changes in team members, the Lionesses disbanded, and AbsoluteAJ stayed with Lions Creed as a contend creator and one of their main streamers on social media.
AJ acknowledges that even today there is still a good deal of negativity directed towards female gamers and pulls no punches in naming and shaming them. “Looking at the two main games I play now, Siege and Apex, I would say that Siege players are the most negative towards me being female. I cannot really talk in the game without someone saying, get in the kitchen or make me a sandwich. The worst I have experience so far is someone screaming at me and then t-king me. In Apex, I have yet to experience anything too negative except for the occasional “oh, it’s a gamer girl”. I make it a point not to react to them and most of the time they just move on.”
Lions Creed actively works to encourage and help grow the abilities and personal success of all the members of its growing pride and with mentors like AJ, they are a much sought-after starting point for many a young cub looking to find a team.
AJ’s advice for anyone looking to find a team is: “Outside of the usual looking-for-team channels in the relevant discords, Twitter is your go to space to put yourself out there. When trialling for a team, don’t think about it too much either, be yourself, don’t be nervous and the most important thing is to have fun. No point playing if you do not have fun doing it.”
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