British CEC silver medalist is aiming to go one better in the GEG DOTA 2 women’s event
Emily Huxley of Great Britain sums up the collective reaction of the players arriving for the Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games with three neat words: “It is stunning.”
“I’m very excited and almost overwhelmed, it’s slightly surreal,” said Huxley, who is from Marlow near London. “The arena is huge, and that is big motivation for us to make it to the final and play on the big screen. For it to be held in a five-star hotel is amazing, I’ve never stayed in one in my life.
“The city is so different to what I’m used to, too – the mosques are unique and beautiful. So, to see all these sights and to be playing my favorite game at the same time – it is the best.”
Huxley won a silver medal in the DOTA 2 women’s competition at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Esports Championships with her team, and rates the experience as “one of the best weeks of my life.”
The 26-year-old added: “It was sensational and so inclusive. We had a great split of men and women at the CEC, and it is also a great split for the GEG, and that’s such an unusual thing in the gaming world. To have so many female voices is very different.
“DOTA is quite a male-dominated game, so these GEF events are giving us the opportunity to meet all these other brilliant women who absolutely love this game, and that is so cool.
“In Birmingham, we went out with a lot of the other girls, we became friends on Steam, and now we have this community of women in our game. We got really close with the New Zealanders.”
The #worldconnected feelgood factor will be even higher on the Bosphorus, thinks Huxley. “This all being truly global is remarkable,” she said. “We’ve got all corners of the world here. To get the chance to hang out with everyone is an amazing opportunity.”
While Great Britain is aiming to go one better than in Birmingham and get their hands on a gold medal, Huxley says the key aim is to have a great time together and act as advocates for esports.
“We want to show how big esports is going to get, and to be part of that big deal. I’m proud of our team and how hard we have worked.”
Huxley plays field hockey at a high standard in the UK, and sees little difference between esports and its “traditional” equivalent.
“People do group them differently, but I’ve done both for my whole life, and I see them in the same way,” she said. “DOTA is a team of five, and involves all the same problem-solving, teamwork, tactics, and coordination as hockey. I always try to encourage people to see esports in line with traditional sports and overcome that mental hurdle.”
The GEG will be another step towards doing just that.