Growing up I loved playing video games. Though my mother would have preferred me playing outside, I was much more content with my nose either stuck in a book or stuck to a T.V. screen, listening to the melodic cadence of Super Mario Brothers, Tetris or Zelda. Whenever I would go to a friend’s house and play games with “the boys”, I was usually met with a chorus of “Girls don’t know how to play video games!!”, which made my wins over them even sweeter. Now as an adult I read, I game and I’m lucky enough to write about the outstanding talent of Los Angeles. This month, Up & Coming sat down with Mariah Hale, the owner and founder of the professional E-Sports organization Gone Gaming. A woman who proves that girls can not only play video games… they can be game changers.
Mariah’s history includes a love for both gaming and team sports. She grew up playing sports competitively and has been gaming for about 15 years. E-Sports are a natural fit for her. The multiplayer video games played by gamers for spectators, just made sense. Becoming a professional gamer and owning a E-Sports organization didn’t always seem to be in the cards for her. This is not due to any lack of love for the industry on Mariah’s part, but more pertaining to certain aspects that could be interpreted as blockades to her success. The gaming industry is mostly male, and women aren’t always welcomed with open arms into the community. There’s the idea that women can’t compete as well as men, and we’ve all heard of the “trolls” who harass women online, sometimes even going so far as to send death threats. Luckily, Mariah isn’t a woman who is easily thwarted. “E-Sports is where I feel most at home. When I found out about competitive Call of Duty, I knew I somehow had to be a part of it. I was fascinated by it and completely intrigued. When I got into it, I knew I was sure that this is where I was meant to be.”
The pursuit of one’s dreams isn’t often an easy journey. It’s passion and determination that keeps Mariah vigilant and focused on success. She shared with us that a large part of her accomplishment is owed to the things she’s been through and the lessons learned along the way. In life, people are going to try to tell you what you can’t or shouldn’t do, and the trick is to be persistent and trust the process. “Things don’t happen overnight, not even to the lucky ones. Build a solid foundation and put in the work, every day, and you’ll eventually start to see that growth in return.”
Though breaking into a male-dominated industry can be difficult, Mariah finds no fear in the process. “Most of the guys I play with are super cool. They don’t often bring gender into the mix, but they don’t really have to either. Also, trying to reach people who have no idea what E-Sports is (can be difficult). Educating people on the potential has been difficult but I am really thankful for those who see my vision and want to support what I’m doing.”
What’s “Up & Coming” for Mariah Hale in the next year? She’s looking forward to cultivating Gone Gaming and taking good care of the players she signs. Plans are to build her team by signing competitive players, content creators, and streamers to her organization. She’ll also be focusing on building her “Gone Girls” department to aid growing the female presence in the industry and help give a channel for more competitive female gamers. There is also a Gone Gaming Apparel Clothing Line to look forward to. It’s refreshing to have a strong new presence to represent women in the gaming community and we’re excited to see where her career goes. GJWD (good job well done).
To contact Gone Gaming and Mariah Hale: Click Below