Interview with Billieidk, Women In Esports Manager & Content Creator
Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with Billie, she’s working in esports as a manager, and also in Valorant Game Changers!
When and how did you get into esports?
Billie: Hello! I started as a volunteer as an admin for Grassroots communities in Valorant! Then, I started at Esports Scotland, which was the only tournament organizer that worked in Scottish esports at the time, I was an events coordinator, I managed the first Valorant tournaments they ran. That was my first experience working at a LAN event, and it grew from there. I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself in a full time position now in British Esports!
Yoann: Great, that’s cool! What is your role working at Women In Esports?
Billie: I started there as the Women in Esports manager, in charge of the initiatives, the projects, the tournaments… We also have a Women in Esports committee. It’s always great to have these women to look up to, role models for other girls in esports. It’s really inspiring being able to work alongside people well established in the scene.
My role now is project Development lead, I’m in charge of wider British Esports initiatives, and tournaments such as British Esports Student Champs, a school and college tournament that we run, we had over 500 teams competing last year. It’s great to be able to work on a variety of different projects!
Yoann: Awesome! You've also been working on the Valorant Game Changers broadcast, What can you tell us about this experience?
Billie: I basically threw my name in the bucket, it was my first experience in a broadcast, I’ve always been behind the scenes. It allowed me to be in front of the camera and show my expertise and knowledge of the game. I was on a team previously as their IGL, so I have a good understanding of the fundamentals of the game.
It’s been an incredible experience, a great opportunity. I’ve just recently gotten back from being on the analyst desk at a LAN event in the U.K., the Insomnia event.
It opened new doors for me, it’s really exciting to see a different role in esports that I’m not usually used to, but I enjoy it very much!
Yoann: That’s so cool! What is your preparation routine ahead of a broadcast?
Billie: There’s obviously a lot of preparation involved, you have to keep up with how the teams are progressing throughout the tournament, there have been a lot of roster changes in the Game Changers EMEA scene this year.
Doing prep on certain teams, players, and their current form.
But on the actual broadcast day, it’s pretty much jumping into Discord, do your tech, audio checks. Then run away, make myself look pretty and nice to be in front of the camera, and then yeah, it’s just show time!
Yoann: How’s the atmosphere like behind the scenes?
Billie: Everyone’s very buzzed on the broadcast day, we have a story meeting to discuss everything we want to go over in the broadcast, and the energy is usually high!
Yoann: How do you feel about today’s Valorant's Game Changers program?
Billie: I think it’s great, I’ve always been an advocate for women to have a space where they can compete, develop new skills, meet players that have similar ambitions, but it’s also providing a safe space for women to go to.
I know there is this argument that Game Changers is dividing the scene between men and women, but in my opinion, I think it’s a platform to help them develop!
Yoann: This question wasn’t planned, but would you like to talk about Mel’s recent situation regarding the Valorant scene?
Billie: Yeah! This situation shows why Game Changers has been created because it comes down to a lack of opportunities for women to even trial for VCT teams. It’s great to see players take the initiative to branch out of Game Changers and try to compete in the bigger VCT scene, and show that they are also competing to be the best in the overall Valorant scene.
The Game Changers program makes women feel comfortable to take the step, and seeing that women are not even given the opportunity to trial for a team is heartbreaking and shows we still have a lot of work to do in making esports more inclusive.
Yoann: Yeah, that’s very problematic.
Let’s now move on to the quick questions part, I will ask you ten quick questions, and you’ll have to answer as fast as possible! Ready?
Billie: Yeah, I’ll try my best!
Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?
Yoann: What's your favorite map?
Yoann: What's your favorite agent?
Yoann: What's your favorite skin collection?
Billie: Oh, I’ll go with the classic Reaver!
Yoann: How would you define your last night market in a few words?
Billie: Disappointed but not surprised!
Yoann: Who are your favorite teams in Game Changers and VCT?
Billie: I really love Version1 and Acend in Game Changers, but for the VCT, I have to go with Fnatic!
Yoann: What kind of music do you listen to before a broadcast?
Billie: I listen to a variety of music such as The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, that kind of vibe!
Yoann: What's your favorite memory of working in esports?
Billie: I have a couple! One of my favorites with Women in Esports was a showmatch with 3 Game Changers players in each team, 1 Women in Esports community member, and 1 Women in Esports staff member in each team. It was great to highlight our players and organization!
But more recently, I’d say working on the Insomnia LAN event, it was great to be on stage, it felt like home!
Yoann: Awesome! Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent?
Yoann: Great haha! Let’s now get back to the standard questions!
How often do you play Valorant in your free time?
Billie: More than I’d like to admit! When I was competing, I was playing the game every day, but I don’t get to play as much as I’d like to, just because of work and life in general. But I probably play a little bit more than I should.
Yoann: Are you playing with the people you are working with?
Billie: Most of the time, I’ll play with content creators or friends I have made in the scene. I know that you recently interviewed Kairo and Hazza, they’re two of the people I would usually stack ranked with!
Yoann: Awesome! What are your hobbies/passions aside from gaming?
Billie: Gaming and esports are taking up most of my time today, but outside of that I enjoy keeping fit, going to the gym, and socializing with friends. I come from a sports background, I used to compete in basketball for Scotland!
Yoann: That’s cool! If you were a developer, what would you change to Valorant right now?
Billie: This might be a controversial opinion, but I would love to see a long range shotgun, how the Judge was before it got nerfed!
Yoann: I have to disagree on this one haha!
Billie: Yeah, people already complain about the Judge users, but I find it so funny to watch!
Yoann: What would be your dream roster?
Billie: I was thinking about this a lot, I would have Amy from Acend on sentinel, V1 Mel as the IGL, I’d have G2 Mimi as the initiator, she’s insane! And I’d have Daiki from Liquid, and Smurfette from FUT in the duelist role!
Yoann: Great! What advice would you give to someone trying to work in esports?
Billie: It’s a hard one, because for me, I was looking to take on any opportunity I could, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do in esports, I just wanted to be part of the industry in some way. That’s why I’m still looking for opportunities to build upon my skillset, even though I’m fully immersed in it.
The advice I would give is to get real life experience first, in a boring day-to-day job. I’ve previously worked at Starbucks for years, and it’s given me the social skills that I use today in esports. That’s very important for gamers, we’re all stereotypically introverted, I think it’s very important to develop our social skills. Reach out with both arms to any opportunity you can get. They don’t come around very often in esports.
Yoann: Awesome! What are your ambitions on Valorant?
Billie: I would love to see more women taking that step to compete in the VCT scene, I’d love to see more mixed teams, now we are starting to see them in discussion. I feel like the work we’re doing at Women in Esports can help women taking that step, not only in Valorant, but in esports in general.
I’m very passionate about making esports more diverse and inclusive because I feel like esports is an activity that could be one of the most inclusive.
Yoann: Yeah, for sure! Thank you so much for your time, and I wish you the best!
Billie: Thank you!
Twitter (X): @billieeidk