Why should boys have all the fun? Breaking barriers and reigning strong in a male dominated space, Stephanie Harvey (also known as missharvey) is a five time champion and professional Counter-Strike player. And gaming is just stuff she does on the side. She has a degree in Architecture; has worked on popular games like Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes as a game designer; and is a prominent game reviewer.
For Stephanie gaming is something she grew up on. She says, “I have always been a gamer but it wasn’t until I got much older that it became an obsession. I started playing Counter-Strike and I discovered this amazing community that I wanted to be a part of!” And since then she has won numerous awards and titles for her gaming skills.
I have always been a gamer but it wasn’t until I got much older that it became an obsession. I started playing Counter-Strike and I discovered this amazing community that I wanted to be a part of!”
Stephanie has proved herself to be a genius in the truest sense of the word. She won the reality show ‘Canada’s Smartest Person’ in December 2016. Sharing her experience, she says, “Although it was a game show and I needed a little bit of luck, it was still pretty difficult and really fair. I had to be selected among thousands of people after doing a paper IQ test, a video IQ test, a personality test, etc. Then I won my episode and won the season finale!”
Having experienced first-hand the discrimination and harassment that comes with being a female gamer in a traditionally ‘males-only’ club, Stephanie uses her stature as one of the top gamers worldwide to highlight these issues. She recently co-founded an online community – Missclicks, as a safe space to talk about the problems of gender disparity, routine verbal abuse and sexual harassment that female gamers face; while also promoting female role models in gaming.
Stephanie credits her family for their support and encouragement. She says, “I don’t think I would have been able to do anything I did in gaming without them. They helped with money, time, advice… they never gave up on my dreams.”
Just don’t give up because you never know when it’s going to pay off. You just need one opportunity for it to work out.”
Apart from building her brand and winning competitions with her team, Stephanie is keen on being involved in helping the community.
Speaking from experience, Stephanie urges aspiring professional gamers to stick it out. “Just don’t give up because you never know when it’s going to pay off. You just need one opportunity for it to work out.”
Stephanie Harvey is a pioneer; she is blazing a path for aspiring female gamers to follow. Awards and accolades aside, she is brilliant and Bold for sticking it out in an industry that gives her a hard time purely on the basis of her gender. Such is her passion for gaming. No one can stop you from pursuing your dream. The choice is entirely yours: listen to the haters and give up, or drown out the malicious voices and soldier on.