How it feels to be a pro female e-sports player in China

Professional female video gamer Shan Chen used to encounter men who didn't think she could play – now she leaves those opponents in the dust. In the video above, Danny Vincent discovers what life is like for a gifted female e-sports team in China.

E-sports – or professional, competitive video game-playing – is a booming industry worldwide. Last year, it produced nearly $500 million in revenue, and that number could reach billions more in just a couple years.

Nowhere else is the industry taking off faster than in China, which has long been a global hotspot for competitive video gaming. “E-athletes” quit jobs and drop out of school to pursue their dream of fame and fortune as famous gamers.

But for China’s up-and-coming wave of professional gamers, there are some who are facing roadblocks: female players. Despite hours of training, women face sexism in the form of fewer opportunities and fewer earnings than their male counterparts.

Untold World

Untold World is a special series from BBC Future that covers tech beyond the alleys of Silicon Valley – click here for more stories about how technology is profoundly changing underreported communities the world over.

BBC video journalist Danny Vincent talked to members of an all-female team of players in Shanghai – Shan Chen and Ding Ding  capturing their emotion about the sacrifices they’ve faced, and their jubilation when they win in a tournament.

Read more about e-sports in China, and the challenges female players have to overcome.

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