In what was supposed to be a routine visit, Kenyan esports star Sylvia “QueenArrow” Gathoni and the rest of the continent were taken aback when it was revealed that the Tekken gamer was now a member of the Red Bull Gaming family, becoming the first Kenyan to do so.
Though the announcement was unexpected, it was not surprising given that the lawyer and professional Tekken gamer has made waves worldwide since her professional esports debut in 2017 at the age of 18.
From being the first female gamer in East Africa to be signed by an esports team in 2018 to competing as the only female gamer in Season One of the Tekken 254 Circuit, to signing as a content creator for American esports organisation UYU in 2021, and this year becoming the first-ever esports athlete to be featured in the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30. The sky appears to be the limit for the 23-year-old esports star.
The Kenyan has also been making her voice heard by speaking at numerous events including the Goethe-Institut’s #EveryGamerCounts project and at the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Forum (CEF) where she stated “I was a little nervous, but I really enjoyed sharing my insights, especially as a young thought leader from Africa. I wanted to tell people that there are so many prospects that are open to us if we are given the opportunities.”
“I also wanted to communicate that Africa is an equal. You can’t discuss the Global Esports Federation or #worldconnected without talking about Africa.”
In a tweet following the announcement, QueenArrow expressed her surprise and said she is honoured to be the team’s first Kenyan member. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen. I am super honoured to be the first Kenyan esports athlete to join the Red Bull Gaming family. I’M A FREAKING RED BULL ATHLETE NOW!”
“Thank you so much Red Bull Kenya for honouring us and our body of work like this. We won’t let you down. Thank you Ahmad Daham for giving us our first hats,” she further stated.