January 27, 2021
Despite a perception that the world of gaming is driven still entirely by men and isn't a welcome space for women, WNBA champion and Washington Mystics forward Aerial Powers said she's carving a lane for women to flourish in the space.
In a partnership with esports organization Team Liquid, Powers explained how she is working to make the gaming world more inclusive through initiatives that champion women players.
"Something I did [last year] was the Powerz Up 2K tournament. It just allowed people to see that these women have the opportunity and visibility to actually be gamers in the space," she said. "So doing things like that with the diversity and inclusion task force that I'm provided with [from] Team Liquid will change the narrative altogether."
When it comes to gaming, women, and in particular women of color, often face excessive harassment. For Powers, who admitted to experiencing her share of trolling, abilities speak louder than the criticism.
"I'm a professional athlete. I have a voice, and a lot of these young ladies that play don't have as big of a voice. So I feel like I have an opportunity here to change and make change and that's exactly what I'm doing," she said. "Harassment does happen, and I'm here to stop it."
According to a statement from Team Liquid, as chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Powers will strategize ways to boost support for women gamers. The star forward will also be hitting the sticks in her own livestream series on Twitch.