Jessica Kim has been blowing up on Twitch lately thanks to a deal with Gen.G and a switch to playing video games like Valorant. But it hasn’t been a walk in the park, either for Jessica or many of the other female streamers she’s become close with during this time.
“The amount of shit we have to get through is just insane. The comments, the misogynistic men in our chat; it just blows my mind how people think that it’s okay to have this mindset. I really want to uplift women content creators, streamers, and gamers. I think they’re amazing,” Jessica told Dexerto.
On Jessica’s Twitter, she’s often opened up about her mental health struggles, including depression.
“I just want to like myself,” she tweeted late last night.
my depression makes me eat and buy things to be happy, then i get more depressed that im gaining weight and that im broke HAHA 😀
— Gen.G Jess (@jessicahkim) February 1, 2021
For many female streamers on Twitch, the issues they face go beyond what their male counterparts generally go through. While the Twitch community often voices concerns that Twitch favors select female streamers, it hasn’t stopped some content creators from dealing with a lot of serious problems. This includes sexism and harassment, as well as stalking.
One of the biggest names in streaming, Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, recently made her Twitter private to avoid an obsessive stalker. No matter how many times she blocked him, Valkyrae revealed that he would just make new accounts and continue to harass her.
100 Thieves streamer Ashley “BrookeAB” Bond took a break from streaming last summer due to a stalker that continued to threaten her and her family. It was hard for her to stay positive while this was happening. In response, BrookeAB started to work on a program that would protect other female streamers from harassment and stalking.
“We must all work together to change an online culture that allows this level of hate to impact us and our new project will do just that,” BrookeAB said.
Jessica Kim became quite popular on Twitch when she started laying Valorant in the summer of 2020. But she wasn’t always a content creator focused on gaming.
Kim started as an influencer that would make Instagram Live content. A lot of her viewers suggested to her that she try out Twitch. For a while she was mostly hanging out in the Just Chatting category. But that all changed when she discovered Apex Legends.
Kim gained 77,000 followers after she started playing first-person shooters such as Apex Legends and Valorant. While she felt insecure about her decision to stream at first, the switch to gaming gave her confidence. It also helped with Gen.G signed her as a partner and content creator.
— Gen.G Jess (@jessicahkim) December 11, 2020
Popular esports organizations have continued to become more inclusive in authentic ways that don’t single out women just for being women. Cloud9 signed an all-female Valorant team that competes with all of the other major esports organizations in the game, and they’ve seen some success, recently beating Renegades in the WSOE Online V: Valorant Qualifier.
Evil Geniuses also signed a mixed-sex Valorant roster, another move that positively included women without putting a spotlight on them for gender-specific reasons alone.
won vs @Renegades in WSOE quali, feeling good today 😀
going vs winner of Able Esports vs Spotlight next! pic.twitter.com/Mfycr8n7kP
— C9 meL (@mel_anji) January 19, 2021
Moves like these have excited Kim, who said she got “goosebumps” when she heard about Cloud9 White.
“I’m proud to be a female content creator,” Kim said.