For a long time now, men have dominated pro-level esports. This is surprising when you look at real-world player demographics. In the United States, around 41% of gamers are female. Despite this, only a handful of top-level esports athletes are women. Nonetheless, more women than ever before are penetrating the industry. Below, we spotlight 10 of the best female esports players of all time.
10. Alyona “Ailey” Bordukova
This Russian pro is one of the best female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players of all time. Her worldwide rank might leave a lot to be desired, but when it comes to high-stakes play, she can more than deliver. She’s competed in numerous CSGO tournaments and walked away with a first-place finish back in 2018.
9. Alyona “Candy” Kuvaeva
Alyona “Candy” Kuvaeva is another fierce female player from Russia. Just like Ailey, she’s a living legend in CSGO circles. She’s participated in several tournaments over the years, with a career highlight being a victory at the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) back in 2017.
8. Julia “juliano” Kiran
CSGO has produced some truly legendary female players. One of the earliest champions was Julia “juliano” Kiran, a Swedish player who once played for the all-female Druidz lineup. In 2013, Druidz trounced ALTERNATE during the final stages of the WESG.
7. Christine “potter” Chi
America is also home to a fair few female players worthy of mention. A case in point is Christine “potter” Chi. A little older than many other players on this list, Chi played professionally for more than a decade. She might now be retired, but her legacy lives on. Looking to see who’s ready to take on Christine Chi’s mantle? Check the latest CSGO schedule at 1337pro.
6. Zainab “zAAz” Turkie
Swedish player Zainab “zAAz” Turkie has a track record that many pros can only dream of. She’s participated in more than 30 tournaments during her career, amassing CSGO earnings of more than $32,000. Highlights include securing a first-place victory at the Intel Challenge Katowice alongside the Bad Monkey Gaming lineup.
5. Anna “Ant1ka” Ananikova
As CSGO players go, Anna “Ant1ka” Ananikova never fails to disappoint. She’s been playing professionally for many years, but she only really came into her own in 2017. This Russian pro secured a succession of first-place finishes as part of the Dynasty Gaming and Team Secret lineups. She’s also one of the top-ranked CSGO players in her native Russia.
4. Ksenia “vilga” Klyuenkova
Ksenia “vilga” Klyuenkova is one of the few female players who can claim to outrank fellow Russian Ant1ka. Since 2015, she’s secured an impressive collection of first-place finishes, with her first notable victory being at the 2017 WESG finals.
3. Marjorie “Kasumi Chan” Bartell
Marjorie “Kasumi Chan” Bartell is arguably one of the greatest female esports athletes of all time. In her native United States, only a couple of other gamers come even close to her. She’s one of the most established top-level gamers of all time, having played professionally since 2006. Back then, she came second at the Championship Gaming Invitational playing Dead or Alive 4. However, she emerged victorious the following year and walked away as a champion alongside the Chicago Chimera lineup.
2. Katherine “Mystik” Gunn
Katherine “Mystik” Gunn is another American player that deserves a place in the esports hall of fame. Her career was relatively short, spanning from 2007 until 2010. Despite this, she’s amassed one of the biggest fortunes of any female gamer.
1. Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn
It wouldn’t be fair to talk about female gamers if we didn’t mention Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn. Based in the United States, Scarlett doesn’t just lead the pack when it comes to girl gamers, she’s an esports legend in her own right. She’s also one of the most versatile players around, participating in everything from Dota to Starcraft II. With a six-figure fortune behind her, she’s also the highest-earning female pro of all time. In 2021, she joined the newly-formed Shopify Rebellion roster and shows no signs of slowing down.