SA needs more quality female gamers, Julia 'Bish' Robson tells our 14-year eSports correspondent
Dyaab Ryklief from Cape Town Youth Gaming spoke to Julia “Bish” Robson, one of South Africa's top female competitive gamers and proud owner of the DNMK eSports multi-gaming organisation.
Robson started her competitive gaming journey at the age of 16 and enjoys various gaming titles from Call of Duty (COD) 4, Apex Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO).
Competitive gaming was love at first sight for Robson who admits she's never been a casual gamer and always enjoyed the competitive side of things. Robson enjoys competing so much that in May 2020, she launched DNMK eSports to become South Africa's first female eSports organisation owner.
It has not always been all fun and games for Bish who dropped out of university while studying dentistry to pursue her career in eSports.
"The biggest difficulty for me was not having a clear path ... there is a lot of unknown that comes with it because there's not a lot of people that has done it," said Robson.
"You do take quite a big risk to do this financially, so for a very long time after university I was not making money," she said.
Robson recalls some of her best early gaming memories with her younger brother spent at LAN parties, where she got introduced to eSports.
She added that while there are not many female gamers at the top, there is much more that can be done locally to improve the quality of female gamers.
"To me, gaming is not gender-specific ... I would say I want more skilled knowledgeable people involved," said Robson.
"As an industry, we still need to go a bit further where it creates an environment where we push more girls to go further and start rivalling the top five teams in South Africa for a spot, and that has not happened yet.
"And at the end of the day, I think that it would be unfair for a company not to choose the most skilled person for the job," she said.
Robson has dabbled in various spheres of the gaming industry and not only competes at a high level, but she also streams and creates content for various gaming brands.
Looking ahead, she plans to implement strategies used internationally with DNMK in order to grow her brand and grow the local eSports community.