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Interview with Meg, Lead of The Goose House’s Birds of Prey

Interview with Meg, Lead of The Goose House’s Birds of Prey

Lynne "drDelta" Dumeny

9/4/2021, 3:16:15 AM


Image Credit: The Goose House

With the second episode of Birds of Prey from The Goose House ongoing, we wanted to hear from Meg, one of the spearheads of the tournament. Meg offered her time to discuss the origins of Birds of Prey and the fantastic reception so far. 

Tournament Origins

Run It Back: I wanted to determine what prompted The Goose House to get involved in a tournament for women and marginalized genders?

Meg: At The Goose House, we do generally pride ourselves on creating a safe space for females and marginalized genders players. Especially in the VALORANT scene, it is really important to us that we make sure this is a nice safe and secure place where people feel like they can hang out meet new friends and not feel pressured to do anything. We wanted to give them an opportunity to show everyone what they are made of and give them an opportunity to shine.

I think a big prompt for us was, to be honest, of my own motivation for women in esports. Being a woman in esports myself and as a tournament organizer, it’s quite a big motivation point of mine because I think it’s really important that we continue to grow the female scene. We’ve done a few mixed tournaments before and they had gone really smoothly. So I’ve been pushing for quite a while for us to do a female tournament. As they are doing quite well, we might as well get involved and give people more opportunities to win some stuff and show their potential. And after a little while, I got the go-ahead and I was really excited to get it all started. We started with the first Birds of Prey tournament with 16 teams to test and it all went really well and very smoothly. It was all just a success from that point onwards; to be honest, it just grew and grew.

Run It Back: That’s amazing! So you spearheaded it, using your passion for growing the scene and thought through the idea. But also, The Goose House backed you up. 

Meg: Yeah, they really listened to all my points. They’re really good at communicating and hearing what I have to say. They trusted me with the tournaments I had done before, so they knew that the female tournament would be just the same, if not better. It turned out just that way.

Run It Back: That’s great to hear! So you are having the next iteration of Birds of Prey this weekend, but thinking ahead, do you have any additional plans for this tournament series?

Meg: So we definitely plan to do more, with us calling it episode 1 and episode 2. We planned at the start of it that we would do as many as we possibly can. If we can be a stable point for these female and marginalized genders teams to play every month or every couple of months and get that experience in a competitive environment, that’s what we really want to do. 

Run It Back: There are a few other tournament organizers getting involved in this scene, is there something unique to your tournament?

Meg: I’d say it is because it comes from my own motivation as a woman in esports, I’ve done it to grow the scene. There’s no need for any extra money or reach for us. It is just brought out of my passion to grow female esports and the scene around it. I think we might stand out on that point. Some of the orgs may have done it for different reasons, but I believe that it’s different because I pushed this from my own female esports point of view. 

Run It Back: I can tell it does sound like a passion project.

Meg: Yeah, for sure

Tournament Reception

Run It Back: So after the first episode happened, what kind of reception have you received personally or just in general regarding the event?

Meg: The reception for the first one was huge. We got a lot of overwhelmingly positive responses from Twitter. We got a lot of happy people that participated and people that watched. We got really really good response from everyone. The best part of it was seeing how grateful the EU female and marginalized genders teams were. Just seeing the teams thank us and post tweets about how much they enjoyed it just made us wanted to do it again and again and again. Basically just as much as we can.

Run It Back: I definitely noticed a lot of positive comments as well. What do you see as the future of the scene for women and marginalized genders? Why VALORANT in particular and why has it prompted this influx of women and marginalized genders compared to other titles?

Meg: I think it simply comes down to how inclusive Riot is and how much they push for Game Changer events. Riot as a whole is always very inclusive and always trying to push for opportunities for minorities in the gaming scene. I do think that they’ve done a really good job with VALORANT and it’s just kind of bringing a new wave of esports and making it so beneficial for people like me to be a part of. It’s so nice to see something grow from like five years ago when we played games like CS. It would be really rare that you’d seen these female tournaments do so well and have so much coverage and so much backing. It’s so nice to see it change and just get all these positive views.

I like seeing other organizations like Rix.GG doing the Huntress Trials and the Girls’ House tournaments in the EU. We just wanted to help grow the scene. I think that was our main point for us just to create opportunities. On the Discord, we have quite a few female members and quite a few female admins as well and just giving people the possibility to shine.  

Run It Back: Actually touching on that, I know we talked a lot about players and trying to grow the scene, but what’s your take on the growth behind the scenes for getting more women and people of marginalized genders involved. 

Meg: It’s nice to see the normalization of it, just to see women in roles that maybe 5-10 years ago that you wouldn’t really see. Like myself, being a tournament organizer, it’s not something you see all the time. A lot of our admins, we’ve got a good strong ratio of male to female admins. And with female casters, it’s so nice to see. Because again, it’s just all about the opportunities. For growing and giving more and more opportunities for everyone wants to get involved. 

Run It Back: I definitely appreciate having you and The Goose Hoose wanting to grow the scene, so I’m looking forward to seeing all the much-anticipated growth.

Meg: I appreciate you guys getting involved with us.

*Answers may have been edited or altered for clarity, fluidity, and brevity*

Thanks to Meg for her time! Stay tuned to Run It Back for more interviews and coverage on the Birds of Prey and other EU tournaments!


9/4/2021

Lynne "drDelta" Dumeny

Covering the women's scene in Valorant. You can also catch her occasionally observing and casting Valorant. Twitter: @drDelta150