Laure "Bulii'' Valée is a role model to be followed by many aspiring women professionals in the esports scene. Living and breathing League of Legends, she started her career writing for LoL Esports, now being a figure of authority, presenting broadcasts and interviewing personalities in the field, with a home basis at the League of Legends European Championship.
Today we are going to talk about the women's month. I wanted to start by asking you about before you made it big in the LEC, and in other journalistic gigs. I wanted to talk about your rookie days.
In my rookie days, when I was here, in the press room… I kind of miss it sometimes, because it was such a good mood in the press room. Obviously, I was looking at Sjokz and Rachel back then, Ovilee who started recently. I knew I wanted to do this job, but I didn’t know it would come so quickly. Having really strong figures to look up to was so inspiring.
You mentioned looking up to Sjokz. How was your relationship with her? Was she supportive of you, kind of how you are with me?
*laugs* Yeah, thank you. Interesting fact is that there was basically no one… and the first time she met me she was so open. I felt safe. Even though I was a rookie, I knew she was not judging me for the quality of my products. I think she was just happy to see another woman around. She has been really welcoming, with an open heart from the beginning, so I am really thankful for that.
How has the scene changed since you entered? Right now we see a lot more women. What do you think that does for the industry?
That’s amazing. I am working with Women in Games and one thing I try to put a priority on is the fact that we need role models to see more girls in the industry. I feel like over the last years we have seen more women on production, or you, that is living proof, in events, in journalism. Ashley Kang and Emily Rand’s work have been amazing. I don’t want to forget about anyone, but we have seen so many more content creators, and I feel like the more girls will see other girls successful, the more they will want to be in this industry, so that benefits everyone.
Where do you think that the industry can help us succeed?
A lot of mentality has to change. We are not going to go over the fact that women receive a lot of flame, but still, I feel if the big figures of esports are supportive the way they are right now, then maybe the community will change their crappy opinion about the fact that women can’t get into esports. So far I have only seen supportive comments from people in the industry. This just has to go on, I feel.
Industry people certainly seem to be more welcoming, but I do see you get a lot of flack online. How do you deal with that?
I don’t. Most of the time it’s going to be ok. I read stuff online but I don’t sleep on it. Some days, when I avoid it for one day, or three days, then at the end of the month this specific comment that wouldn’t have hit you before hits you really hard. I am glad that in these moments I have people to talk to, and it’s getting better. I just have to not be focused on that and everything will be ok.
Other than flaming what are some common obstacles women constantly go through in esports?
We have to talk about looks. For instance, sometimes I will post on Twitter asking for feedback and people will say “oh, you looked really pretty” and that’s not what I am asking for *laughs*.
It’s so true… *laughs*
Yeah! I mean “Okay, thanks” but I would like people to see us as professionals and to grade us based on the work we do, not what we look like, or how we are dressed. Those are the kinds of comments that I like and don’t like receiving.
What would you say to the girls that are entering the industry right now that aim to be where you are?
Don’t be scared at all. One thing I did and I am really proud of is that I never stopped to think what people would think about me. I don’t know how to phrase this but you have to be brave in a way and believe in the fact that you are passionate. That’s what I did. Never forget that what brought you here is the fact that you love the game, and that you are passionate about the game, good at it or at analyzing it. Don’t lose this drive and you can make it.
Where do you think you found this drive, Laure?
I was away for two weeks (from the LEC) I felt a bit down and I didn’t know why. I had asked for this break, but there was something missing... coming here was exactly what was missing. I love esports so much. This is my drive, the fact that I cannot sleep without this game.