Rich investors are making it possible for China’s female gamers to go pro—and they’re crushing it

When she was a teenager, Gui Lisha routinely skipped classes to play video games at cyber cafés, to the point that her father threatened sending her to rehab for internet addiction. Soon after high school, Gui snuck away from her hometown to join a professional video gaming team.

Her father thought that she had fallen prey to a pyramid scheme, and flew to the city where she was in a bid to rescue her.

Gui, now 20, is better known as “LLG Shan Chen” in China’s competitive video gaming, or e-sports, community. The “LLG” stands for her team’s name, “Love Laughing Girls,” one of China’s first all-female professional video gaming teams. In its most recent contest, LLG went head-to-head at the end of August with three other all-female teams from Europe, Taiwan, and South Korea at a League of Legendstournament in Hong Kong, for prize money worth more than $10,000, but also for recognition that female gamers should be taken as seriously as their male counterparts. “I want to prove that I’m not inferior to guys,” said Zhang Zhou, 19, a teammate of Gui’s.

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Equality it is ... Good to see