Amid the tension from protests and the excitement from new game announcements, one woman made history at Blizzcon this year.
Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li made esports history November 2 by becoming the first woman ever to win the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals. This is also the first time a woman has won a BlizzCon tournament.
Following her victory, Li gave a heartfelt speech with the assistance of a translator.
— Hearthstone Esports (@HSesports) November 2, 2019
Li’s translator shared what Li had to say while the new Hearthstone Grand Champion shed tears of joy:
“I want to say to all the girls out there that have a dream for esports, for competition, for glory: If you want to do it and believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”
Li faced off against Brian “Bloodyface” Eason in the final match of the event. She pulled off a stunning 3-0 clean sweep to take home the trophy.
After the event, Li remarked on one of her first tournament experiences. She recalled how two years ago, while she was waiting in the backup sign-up line for a tournament, a man told her that women shouldn’t be there and that it’s “not for you.”
“This is the best way to strike back at those people who doubted me only because I am a girl,” said Li as the newly crowned Grand Champion. “It proves that girls can be strong pro players, just as guys do.”
Li is also encouraging other women to take part in esports. Most esports pros are male, but Li offered some words of advice on how to make esports more inclusive.
“I think as long as people become more kind to women in esports and show more respect, more tolerance, I think there will be more women coming into esports to compete and have the same achievement as men do,” says Li.
Li is even encouraging women via her new twitter account. She offered a useful reply to a fellow Hearthstone player.
tell him”why can’t u teach me like her boyfriend did？”
— LiooonHS (@lxm1996) November 4, 2019
As esports continues to grow, we will likely see greater diversity among competitors and new role models like Li will continue to emerge.
Written by Efren Hurtado