Representation in the gaming space becomes pressing as full-time streamers and esports professionals take on the industry. Looking at the top streamers and content creators, it is evident that the space is still male-dominated despite women making up nearly half of all gamers.
As efforts to bring more women into the space are clearly made, with projects like CLG’s CS:GO RED or Gen.G’s recent VALORANT team recruitment, for progress to continue to be made, more robust initiatives have to come to fruition. Queens Gaming Collective hopes to level that playing field with an agency led-by women for women.
Entering the market backed by a $1.5 million round led by BITKRAFT Ventures, the organization intends to provide equal access to infrastructure, resources, and representation to help its queens build equitable, successful careers in gaming.
The 16 queens, made up of streamers, creators, and competitors, will be led by founder and CEO Alisa Jacobs, who previously worked as part of the branding agency LOOP, connecting with a multitude of household names including Activision-Blizzard and Nike. Alisa will be joined by Head of Talent and Queens Partner, Taylor Heitzig-Rhodes previously of talent agency Evolved where she worked closely with brands like Chica, Alexandra Botez, and Athena. She’ll now lend her expertise to recruiting and managing talent at Queens.
Inven Culture got the opportunity to interview Alisa Jacobs and get some insights into Queens’ inception and goals.
Was there a lightbulb moment for you when coming up with the idea for Queens? Can you share with us some insight into how it came to be?
I’m not sure if there was one specific moment. It was more of a series of moments that connected all the dots. My business partner and Queens co-founder, Justin Giangrande, and I are longtime gaming fans On the business side, we were familiar with the numbers; nearly half of the world’s 2.6 billion gaming fans are women. Even with that massive potential audience, it’s evident that space is still faced with inequality in terms of access, compensation, and cultural acceptance. We set out to create a movement that not only helps rising gamers and content creators navigate the terrain, but establishes a blueprint for future generations of women gamers.
What is the number one goal you hope Queens provides to those it represents and what is the ultimate goal the organization hopes to achieve for the gaming industry?
Our primary goal is to give our Queens better access to the resources - including management, guidance, and tools - that can empower meaningful personal brands, professional careers, and social impact within gaming. We aim to elevate the way they collaborate, create and compete with other, like-minded talent, activate with brands, and engage their growing audiences. We hope that their involvement helps reshape the industry for the future, emerging gamers, and increases opportunities for the veterans.
How is Queens different from other collectives representing gaming and esports talent?
Queens is about diversity, inside and out. From our talent roster to our strategic investors and leadership, we’re about the diversity of background, gender, race, perspective, and of course, talent. Over the next few months, you’ll see this reflected in our content, partnerships, and across all of the ways, we engage our audiences. We also put the individual Queen’s dreams first. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all model. We curated unique, multi-talented women and are customizing brand development to their skills and passions, not our agenda.
What will the vetting process look like when recruiting more Queens down the line? What types of qualities or expertise do you hope each Queen brings to the organization?
We’re especially proud of the talent we’re introducing at launch. They all bring something unique to the collective - different backgrounds, perspectives, skill-sets, and outlooks. At the same time, they’re all doing their part to create space for each other and elevate where and how they each show up in gaming. Those are the types of Queens we’re looking for: impassioned and talented women that recognize they are part of something bigger. They are authentic gamers with purpose and vision.
And of course, we'd love to hear what game(s) you're currently playing! Anything you would recommend?
As a kid, I was a pro at Tetris and Sims to the point my parents were convinced I was going to be a structural engineer. I played Nintendo every day after school at my neighbor’s and loved Super Mario Kart. Having worked with Call of Duty League, I was inspired to give it a shot. I am … mediocre at best, but I like to think I’m brightening people’s days as they eliminate me multiple times. Running a startup doesn’t give me a lot of extra time to game as of late, but I do look forward to diving into Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War when things slow down and immersing in Among Us!
You can join the queens for their official kickoff on December 5th on Twitch where they’ll be joined by The Queens Court an ambassador network of gaming adjacent allies which include All NBA-Player Baron Davis and Digital Marketer and Media Maven Karen Civil. The Queens' official peripheral partner is Razer.