“eSports Gives Me the Freedom to Unapologetically Be Me”  — Je’nielle Cavanagh

When it comes to women’s sport, we continue to see exponential growth in every aspect and when we talk about eSport that trend is no different. Je’nielle Cavanagh is a gamer and is someone who is hoping to inspire more female players to become part of the gaming world. All Photos: Supplied

When it comes to women’s sport, we continue to see exponential growth in every aspect and when we talk about eSports that trend is no different. Je’nielle Cavanagh is a gamer and is someone who is hoping to inspire more female players to become part of the gaming world. 

Cavanagh has only been a competitive gamer for the past year and a half, and her passion for what she does is clear to see. 

The 33-year-old says her journey to becoming a gamer started when she was younger, as she was influenced by her brother and uncles, and her love only continued grew for gaming when she ‘found her tribe’ as a teenager, a space she could be comfortable in. 

“It gives me the freedom to unapologetically be myself, you don’t need to conform to an idea. You don’t even need to conform to a gender with these online games, you have an alias and that is who you can be. So, if you are somebody who shies away from people, it doesn’t matter on the game and that is what I love about eSports, everyone is welcome,” said Cavanagh on how eSports inspires her.

She does feel there is a bit of a misconception when it comes to gamers and just what they are all about, saying that what people assume about her and others in her field is far from reality. 

“For people who are into gaming, you are put into this box, you are a loner, you are a recluse, you just on your phone or computer the whole time but I don’t think they understand the world that you are open to.“

“You are literally on an international platform, you are conversing and playing with people from around the world, and you get to make and meet friends from around the world.”

Team Bang Bang Mobile Legends gamer, Je’nielle Cavanagh

Cavanagh and her Mobile Legends female Team Bang Bang have made their way to the National Team Trials (NTT) after the Cape Town based crew came out on top in the recent Provincial Championships that took place in February. 

Along with a team of four other female gamers, Cavanagh and the team booked their place in the finals that will take place later this year. Should they be successful there, they could represent South Africa in Morocco for the top prize, later in 2024. 

The PES Society member isn’t a full-time gamer at the moment, but is a qualified pastry chef. She is currently lecturing at a pastry school, and also spent time in the kitchen creating some pastry masterpieces. 

However, gaming is something that she has true love and passion for and she hopes that by becoming part of this world, she can inspire more girls and women to connect in the gaming sphere. With the introduction of the International Esports Federation (IESF) Mobile Legends female division, this can only create more equity for girls and women who participate. 

“I feel that ISEF, together with Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) and the work that MSSA does will definitely allow more females to come through and allow more girls to see that other girls are doing this, there are women who do this, so I can do it too.”

“I think it’s a bit of a cliche’ to say that I am paving the way but it generally does feel like that, to be part of something for the first time is incredible!”

It’s clear to the sheer joy Cavanagh exudes not only when she is playing her sport but also when she shares things about the world of gaming. She has this simple advice for those who are thinking about becoming a gamer. 

“Don’t listen to the madness and block out the noise. Don’t fit in, just be authentically you, do what you like, and do what you enjoy!”


Photo caption: When it comes to women’s sport, we continue to see exponential growth in every aspect and when we talk about eSport that trend is no different. Je’nielle Cavanagh is a gamer and is someone who is hoping to inspire more female players to become part of the gaming world. All Photos: Supplied 

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