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Women in Swiss Esports: Nina Zweifel interview

As a federation, it is our role to highlight each member of the Swiss esports community and to show how they are involved in esports. We are aware that female and marginalised genders are still under-represented on the scene and this is the reason why we have created a series of introductory profiles to highlight just some of the valued female members of the Swiss esports community.

For this first introduction, we interviewed one of our Board members Nina Zweifel about how she got involved in the scene and how she perceives inclusivity within the industry.

Nina has been active in the Swiss esports scene for the past 5 years and has been involved in various roles at mYinsanity. Her primarily focus is on player wellbeing and education, which are values that she intends to pursue at the SESF. She is currently finishing her masters degree in Psychology and is working as a performance coach in both professional and semi-professional / amateur esports.

Four Getting to Know You Questions:

Q1. Everyone has a game in mind that they can remember, what is the best game you have ever played?

"The game that brought me the most joy growing up was Nintendogs and I will always cherish that. Now, on the PC, it is probably Monster Hunter. Me and my friends spend hours and days in these adventures."

Q2. Are you on PC, Console or Mobile ?

"I’m playing on PC and even though I enjoy the occasional (idle) mobile game, I have not gotten into actual mobile gaming."

Q3. Who made you love video games ?

"Before I met my partner, I knew very little about video games and esports and I was very overwhelmed watching the League of Legends world championships in 2015. After that, it was the combination of story-telling, exploring a new universe, the challenge of mastery as well as the social aspect of video games that hooked me. "

Q4. If you could hold an esports event anywhere in the world, where would it be?

"I would love to host one of the big esports events here in Switzerland. It would be so much more convenient for me to travel to it, and it would allow many of my friends to come visit me 😊"

About Your Background And Career:

Q1. What made you come to esports and how did you get started?

"As an aspiring psychologist, looking to go into sports, I was immediately fascinated by the mental aspect of esports. I did some research and reached out to the one sport psychologist working in the european League of Legends community at that time (2016). He recommended I’d look for an opportunity in a local team, which is how I joined mYinsanity in 2017 and I have been with them ever since. "

Q2. How are you involved in esports at the moment ?

"I work with Adamas Esports helping to support players, coaches and teams in professional esports around the globe. Additionally, I am a Board member at the Swiss Esports Federation, where I am leading efforts to bring education around health and wellbeing to a broader community."

Q3. Where do you see yourself in esports in the next five years?

"I am very passionate about the people in esports and will be seeking out positions which allow me to support and care for them. Whether that is in a coaching, or a more operational role is yet to be seen."

Representation & Inclusivity Questions:

Q1. Do you feel that women and marginalised genders are represented well enough in esports? How about in Switzerland?

"No. I think we are on our way of changing the esports scene, but – like in the world in general – it is a long journey. There are many amazing initiatives for supporting marginalised genders both in developing talent, as well as in peak competitions. "

"One big problem in my opinion is still visibility. I’m surprised I have to remind myself again and again that many people in the scene do not even see or accept that there is a problem with this specific type of toxicity.

Toxicity is a problem generally speaking, 100%, but marginalised genders (and other marginalised groups of people) receive additional hate and comments targeted at them specifically and that is only what we see and frequently talk about at surface level. I can only guess at how many hiring-decisions are explicitly or implicitly influenced by stereotypes and prejudice.

Additionally, I want to mention that often it is also women who turn against women. Through notions like “this is a male dominated space” and “diversity hires”, women might tend to feel like if there is already a woman in a specific place, there is no more space for a second woman. Therefore, these women become direct opponents of one another, but instead we should be celebrating each other. Only when more of us are in this space, can we change this space together."

Q3. Do you feel there is any progress being made for representation on the scene?

"Absolutely. But it is painstakingly slow. It will take many more years until this space has reached a level of inclusivity that would make me happy. I have high hopes, though, because looking back, I can see the progress we’ve made in the past 5 years. "

Q4. If you could bring one thing in the industry to promote more inclusion, what would that be?

"Empathy and willingness to listen to each other. More change needs to happen from the bottom-up. We need more education and understanding for the individuals in this space, not only in the official rule-books.

Comprehension for the need of equity instead of just equality is very important too. We need to give a bit more to those who need it, if we ever want this space to be open to all and offering equal opportunities to all. (see image below)" Capture d’écran 2023-03-06 à 09.48.54.png

If you want to know more about Nina and her work within the Swiss esports scene, we invite you to visit her profile.

Do you wish to learn more about Women in Swiss Esports?

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Written by :

Virginie Ricordeau