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WOMEN IN ESPORTS

Our Mission

Together, with teamwork, we will overcome the challenges facing women in gaming. So we’ve joined forces with PNC Bank to create Build Your Empire that champions women in the esports industry who are leading the charge as well as fostering lasting change.

Through our Empowering Women in Esports Podcast series, discover how these inspiring leaders have made an impact and achieved success while influencing other like-minded women, girls, and allies who’re looking to build their own futures. A future that’s more diverse, inclusive to all—and bright!

Join the conversation. Be a part of the solution.

WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE

SEASON 3: EPISODE 5
DEI Done Right

Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is vital to a positive and welcoming culture, but it can be scary to tackle. How do you go about it? What if you’re unsure what to do next? What if you make a mistake? In this episode, we talk with Carmen DeMint, a DEI strategist who created community and opportunity for women in gaming before it was a main topic of discussion. We talk about the dos and don’ts when it comes to DEI, and how you can apply best practices at your own organization or company.

 

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PAST EPISODES

Women in Esports Season 3 Episode 3

SEASON 3: EPISODE 3

With so many existing and emerging opportunities for careers in esports and sports, the overwhelm can get real. Do you join an existing organization or do you start your own esports/sports adjacent business?

 

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Women in Esports Season 3 Episode 2

SEASON 3: EPISODE 2

In this episode, we talk with Verta Maloney, Co-Founder of the*GameHERS, about how she’s built a thriving and supportive community for femme-identifying gamers, why authenticy always matters, and some tips for women who want to enter the gaming industry.

 

 

 

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Women in Esports Season 3 Episode 1

SEASON 3: EPISODE 1

In this episode we speak with Sari Kitelyn, the woman responsible for building out the esports program at Full Sail University. From tips on making the most of a collegiate program to a glimpse at how Full Sail University pulls women into the gaming community, this episode is one you don’t want to miss if you’re running a collegiate esports program or are looking to join one.

 

 

 

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Women in Esports Season 2 Episode 4 What is the Path to Pro for Women

SEASON 2: EPISODE 7

In this episode, we talk with EMUHLEET —-- a 5x CSGO Women’s World Championship Winner and Captain of Dignitas’ Valorant Team. If you’re wondering how you can take your love of gaming to the next level, you definitely don’t want to miss Episode 4 of the Women in Esports Podcast

 

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Women in Esports Season 2 Episode 3 Representation Matters

SEASON 2: EPISODE 6

In this episode, we  share best practices, vital tips, perspectives, and tactics for women looking to start or further their professional development within esports and gaming.

 

 

 

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Womean in Esports Season 2 Episode 2 What is a Gamer Girl

SEASON 2: EPISODE 5

In this episode, we explore the history of what it means to be a woman in gaming, and how toxic environments in casual gaming lead to a lack of female representation in esports.

 

 

 

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Women in Esports Season 2 Episode 4 What is the Path to Pro for Women

SEASON 2: EPISODE 4

In this episode, we talk with EMUHLEET —-- a 5x CSGO Women’s World Championship Winner and Captain of Dignitas’ Valorant Team. If you’re wondering how you can take your love of gaming to the next level, you definitely don’t want to miss Episode 4 of the Women in Esports Podcast

 

WATCH NOW

Women in Esports Season 2 Episode 3 Representation Matters

SEASON 2: EPISODE 3

In this episode, we  share best practices, vital tips, perspectives, and tactics for women looking to start or further their professional development within esports and gaming.

 

 

 

WATCH NOW
READ TRANSCRIPT

Womean in Esports Season 2 Episode 2 What is a Gamer Girl

SEASON 2: EPISODE 2

In this episode, we explore the history of what it means to be a woman in gaming, and how toxic environments in casual gaming lead to a lack of female representation in esports.

 

 

 

WATCH NOW
READ TRANSCRIPT

Women in Esports Season 2 Episode 1 Where's the Diversity

SEASON 2: EPISODE 1

In this episode, we talk about where esports has been, where it's lacking, and the money the industry is losing by not taking diversity seriously.

 

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READ TRANSCRIPT

Women in Esports Season 1 Episode 5 Gaming and Humman Connections

SEASON 1: EPISODE 5

Building collaboration and connection is an essential aspect in gaming. Explore what collegiate esports experts have to say about the close-knit community that gaming provides.

 

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Woman in Esports Season 1 Episode 4 What does Inclusivity Mean to a Team

SEASON 1: EPISODE 4

Learn how to stay ahead of the curve. Uncover key insights for supporting diverse teams from leading experts in traditional sports, government, and technology.

 

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Women in Esports Season 1 Episode 3 Let's Define Toxicity

SEASON 1: EPISODE 3

Find out what it takes to become a pro athlete. Discover the importance of having allies and developing mental toughness aka grit. Take a deep dive into understanding toxicity.

 

 

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Women in Esports Season 1 Episode 2 Do we Need Women's Leagues

SEASON 1: EPISODE 2

Tackle the complex topic of women’s leagues. Featuring special guest speakers: Aerial Powers (Washington Mystics, WNBA), Dr. Lindsey Darvin (SUNY Cortland), Armand Buzzelli (Robert Morris University), and Jasper Ko (Pittsburgh Knights).

 

 

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Women in Esports Season 1 Episode 1 So What's Up with Women in Esports

SEASON 1: EPISODE 1

Explore the current landscape for women in the gaming and esports industry. Learn about the history of women in traditional sports. Discover the best practices other industries have employed to support women. Learn ideas and solutions for increased inclusivity.

 

WATCH NOW

EPISODE RELEASE SCHEDULE

New episodes of the Women in Esports Podcast will be released monthly.

Follow our social media profiles to catch when the latest episode drops.

MEET OUR HOST

Kat De Shields-Moon

Kat De Shields-Moon’s first taste of gaming came from watching her parents play Myst after they got home from work. Ever since she’s been an avid gamer with a deep love for eccentric and story-driven indie games. 

 

A former games journalist with deep roots in the industry, she served as a Communications Manager for Launch Media Network, the parent company of GameSkinny, where she also worked as an editor and teacher. Kat then took on the role of Marketing Specialist at the full-service gaming agency, Novy Unlimited. In late 2018, she worked as a Senior Esports Community Specialist at Hi-Rez Studios and was quickly promoted to PR and Partnerships Manager at Skillshot Media, a former esports-focused subsidiary of Hi-Rez Studios. 

 

Currently, she is PR Manager at Schell Games, an education and entertainment focused gaming studio in Pittsburgh that specializes in virtual and augmented reality, and Co-Founder of Divertega Co. a startup focused on advancing diversity and inclusion in the gaming and esports industry. She is also the host for Season Two of the Women in Esports Podcast produced by the Pittsburgh Knights and PNC Bank. 

 

Prior to her work in the gaming industry, she began her career in public relations and marketing working with a variety of companies including the Star Democrat Newspaper, The Institute of Reading Development, Camp Twin Lakes, and Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc. 

 

Kat has a BA in Journalism from Hampton University, an MFA in Writing from SCAD, a certificate in Women's Entrepreneurship from Cornell University, and a certificate in Inclusive Leadership and Workplace Diversity from the University of Colorado.



 

GUEST PANELIST

Marcus Howard Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Marcus Howard

MetArena

Marcus is the CEO of MetArena ,the social media app for indie game studios and fans worldwide!

Anu Jain Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Anupama Jain

Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission

Anupama Jain, Ph.D., is the inaugural Executive Director of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission.

Aerial Powers Headshotfor Women in Esports Podcast

Aerial Powers

Minnesota Lynx

Aerial Power is a is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx of te WNBA.

Sonia Rueff Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Sonia Rueff

Pittsburgh Steelers

Sonia Ruef is in her tenth season as an assistant athletic trainer for the Steelers.

Dr. Michelle Bates King Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Dr. Michelle Bates King

William & Mary

Dr. Michele Bates King is a lecturer in speech at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido

Dignitas

“EMUHLEET” is the Team Captain of one of the most successful Women's esports teams in the world, Dignitas.

Yugina Yun Headshotfor Women in Esports Podcast

Yugina Yun

Leyline

Yugina Yun is a collegiate esports program expert.

Carolyn “artStar” Noquez Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Carolyn “artStar” Noquez

Professional Gamer

As a professional gamer, artStar has competed in tournaments across the globe including Denmark, France, China and Poland.

Armand Buzzelli Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Armand Buzzelli

Robert Morris University

Armand Buzzelli has served as the Director of Campus Recreation since joining RMU in 2009.

Auverin Morrow Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Auverin Morrow

Hi-Rez Studios

Auverin Morrow is the lead esports community manager at Hi-Rez Studios.

Alexis “alexis” Guarassi Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Alexis “alexis” Guarassi

Cloud9

Alexis is a professional Valorant Player for Cloud9.

Sarah Klos Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Sarah Klos

PNC Bank

Sarah works as a Business Systems Analyst supporting Legacy C&IB Applications at PNC Ba

Jasper Ko Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Jasper Ko

Pittsburgh Knights

Jasper Ko has been involved in the esports scene since 2000.

Garett “grt” Bambrough Headshotfor Women in Esports Podcast

Garett “grt” Bambrough

Pittsburgh Knights

Garett Bambrough is a former pro Counter Strike player with over a decade’s experience in esports.

Dr. Lindsey Darvin Headshot for Women in Esports Podcast

Dr. Lindsey Darvin

SUNY Cortland

Lindsey Darvin is an Assistant Professor in the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland.

GUEST Drenten_Jenna for Women in Esports Podcast

Dr. Jenna Drenten

 Loyola University

Associate Professor of Marketing at Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business

 

PAST EVENTS

Pittsburgh Knights Sakura Cup Women's Valorant Tournament on Women in Esports Page

KNIGHTS SAKURA CUP #4

After a taste of VCT Game Changers, we’re keeping the ball rolling to provide for the women in the VALORANT competitive scene! Thanks to our sponsors we are featuring a $10,000 prize pool!


EVENT DATE: AUGUST 21-22 PRIZE POOL: $10,000

WATCH THE VOD

Pittsburgh Knights Sakura Cup Women's Valorant Tournament on Women in Esports Page

KNIGHTS SAKURA CUP #3

Inspired by the onna-musha of japan – ancient female warriors who fought alongside samurai – we’ve created an arena for modern female warriors to compete. The Knights will host the Sakura Cup – a women’s only Valorant tournament for top players to showcase their skills and compete for cash prizes.

EVENT DATE: JULY 17-18   PRIZE POOL: $10,000

Pittsburgh Knights Sakura Cup Women's Valorant Tournament on Women in Esports Page

KNIGHTS SAKURA CUP #2

The Knights are thrilled to host another women's only Valorant tournament for the women of esports. 


 

EVENT DATE: MAY 22-23 PRIZE POOL: $2,000

Pittsburgh Knights Sakura Cup Women's Valorant Tournament on Women in Esports Page

KNIGHTS SAKURA CUP #1

Inspired by the onna-musha of japan – ancient female warriors who fought alongside samurai – we’ve created an arena for modern female warriors to compete. The Knights will host the Sakura Cup – a women’s only Valorant tournament for top players to showcase their skills and compete for cash prizes.

EVENT DATE: MAPRIL 27-28   PRIZE POOL: $1,000