Kenya's first female professional gamer breaks down barriers

STORY: Sylvia Gathoni is Kenya's first female professional gamer

The 24-year-old law graduate

has been signed by top e-sports companies XiT Woundz and UYU

“Gaming and e-sports is meant for everyone regardless of race, regardless of gender regardless of the region that you come from. I feel that like why I insist on being recognized as an e-sport athlete, not a female e-sport athlete is because of the aforementioned reasons. I bring my mental strengths to the table not my physical strengths and that way it shouldn't be segregated to gender.”

Gathoni is known as QueenArrow in the gaming world

She found early success fighting as the character Ling Xiaoyu

in the hand-to-hand combat game Tekken

winning her first major competition in 2019

She's one of the first e-sport athletes

to make the 'Forbes Under 30' list of global trailblazers

(Mary Wanjiku, Tric Gaming Cafe supervisor) “In this gaming arena mostly are men, first she has influenced a lot of female I can see two or three ladies popping in playing MK (Mortal Kombat), playing FIFA, and they have known QueenArrow through the gaming, or tournaments, where she has been playing tournaments. So QueenArrow is one of the most influential gamers, I can say.”

Gathoni says she wants to use her law degree

to change legislation to improve the reputation of the gaming industry

“The societal perception of what we do has not been very encouraging. Moreover, we live under a punitive tax regime currently so it makes the cost of equipment really high. The laws and the policies don't help matters because it also steps to the perception that you know gaming is gambling. For example, the betting and rotaries act of 1966 the word gaming is synonymous with gambling the consumer protection act of 2013 same issue, and we have policies that you know...was inclusive of the current realities we live under it would change the perceptions of the industry.”

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