When it was revealed that Washington Mystics small forward and WNBA superstar Aerial “PowerzSurge” Powers would be represented by the gaming and esports division of Ford Models, some people may have been confused. Normally, announcements surrounding such talented basketball players as Powers revolve around who she is going to sign with to play. Well, she is playing several things–basketball and video games. Today, Powers tells The Esports Observer about her own personal journey and how she came to look at esports and video games as something that transcends just “playing a game.”
Professional sports has been beset by the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen entire leagues such as the WNBA, NBA, and MLB put into quarantine in order to even have a season. And while teams and players were starting to get restless, Powers found a way to cope–video games.
“Video games have been in my life forever,” Powers said. “Literally since the Nintendo 64 days, My entire family plays. In fact, video games are really the catalyst as to how me and my brother started getting along.”
Powers would go on to describe a household with brothers and sisters going through the typical growing pains associated with family life. In fact, it was the moment she and her brother started playing video games that her father took notice.
“Brothers and sisters can fight and be loud at times, which really drove my mom crazy, and one day my dad came home and noticed that the house was actually rather quiet with a rhythm to it,” Powers said. “My dad probably got a little nervous, not understanding what was going on, but when he came in and saw us playing together–nicely–the next thing I knew is that we had two new Xboxes and headsets for the entire family in the house.”
From there Powers saw the world grow smaller as she continued to play video games, meeting people from all over the world through games’ VOIP protocols. However, it wasn’t until many years later that she would learn that the world gets even smaller, all through a platform called Twitch.
“The year we won the WNBA Championship, I was hearing about all these people jumping on Twitch and playing video games where people would come and watch you play,” Powers recounted. “I got on Twitch and started to fall in love with it. I’ve met so many interesting people and have been able to use the platform to do some good things. It’s been great.”
From sports to videos and now Ford Models and Twitch, Powers has found herself in a very unique position that she feels confident in–using her platform to help girls, women, and people of color know that gaming and esports is for everyone, not just the elite. Additionally, she is also looking at her platform to raise awareness and show brands in the space that there is a market for the aforementioned people.
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