Esports at UC Davis Goes Beyond Diversity to Foster Inclusion and Belonging
Esports at UC Davis is actively addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion in the gaming industry by emphasizing DEI in their events, teams, and community.
- UC Davis Esports prioritizes DEI by promoting inclusivity in events, teams, and the community, exemplified through initiatives like the Women in Esports Bootcamp and diverse player representation.
Esports has been rapidly growing as a competitive industry and with its rise, there has been a growing need to address the lack of diversity and inclusivity in the sport. One Esports Club is taking the initiative to make their club and the industry more inclusive by emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their events, teams and community—that club is Esports at UC Davis.
The Women in Esports Bootcamp is one of Esports at UC Davis’s most significant DEI events. It was created for female-identifying and non-binary students to learn more about esports, have a safe space to discuss gaming, and connect with industry professionals. The event gathered over 20+ attendees and resulted in the formation of an inclusive team that competes in tournaments against other college VALORANT teams. Speakers like Donna "BasicTaq" Walters and Marissa Rohr shared their values and passion for diversity in esports, becoming role models for students.
Following the success of the first Women in Esports Bootcamp, the club decided to host another one, focusing on community building. They invited speakers like Kathryn De Shields-Moon and Verta Maloney to empower marginalized genders in gaming, share best practices to run inclusive events, and discuss the future of gaming with more inclusivity.
Esports at UC Davis emphasizes diversity in their teams by empowering marginalized genders to compete and be the best version of themselves. They play inclusive games like Overwatch, VALORANT, League of Legends, and more. Some of the characters in these games identify as female or non-binary, which helps create a welcoming environment for all players.
The club also highlights diversity in their teams by amplifying players of different backgrounds. They emphasize that esports is not limited to men or women, and anyone of any background can play as long as they can prove their exceptional skill. Players like ocicat, Gloria Leong, SmokeytheMae, Mei Rodriguez, and αve™, Avery Xiao are all part of the club's diverse roster.
Overall, Esports at UC Davis’ emphasis on DEI has resulted in a more inclusive environment for its members. By hosting events like the Women in Esports Bootcamp and inviting industry professionals to speak, the club is creating a space where all identities in gaming can feel safe, seen, and heard. Their efforts to create a diverse team and community further demonstrate their commitment to DEI in the esports industry.