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Stick Talk: How Chastity Mays Created A Safe Space Online For Women NBA 2k Gamers

Image Credit: Chastity Mays/Twitter

I personally feel like women in NBA2K aren’t respected as much as men and it’s partially our fault.

The NBA2k community has hit tremendous strides within the last few years. The National Basketball Association created an official esports league called the NBA 2K League, prize pool and global recognition of the community have gone up, and this year the first woman pro esports player was drafted into the NBA’s newly established league. But even with this growth, people in the community still feel there’s room for improvement.

One of those individuals is Chastity Mays aka GirlGamerChas. Although she entered into the 2k space during the NBA 2k17 era, over time she’s grown a following of up to 10,000 supporters, immediately tapping into the passionate environment.

But even with this newfound following, a divide and lack of camaraderie is hindering progress for some individuals within this space. And the only way to deal with it is to accept fault, and take action. Which is what Chastity did with the creation of the Female Park Takeover.

For our Stick Talk series, I had a chance to chat with her to find out what inspired this event, how the turnout was and why women gamers are part of the divide.

For those who don’t know, what is the “Female Park Takeover”?

Chastity: The Female Park Takeover was an event that I randomly thought of one day while scrolling on Twitter at home. It’s when a bunch of women who play NBA 2k get together in one park, dressed up in the regulated theme attire chosen by me and essentially take over the park. It’s obvious that us women in the 2k community aren’t respected, told to go back to the kitchen, or that we just aren’t good enough. It’s even worse when you have fellow female 2k players bashing each other over labels, whose better, and trash talking for drama related reasons. I’ve personally have had my beef with other women in the 2k community and it made me take a step back and ask myself “Is it really worth it?”

I got tired of seeing women tear each other down over the most simplest things because if we stand united, no one can divide us. I told my friends before I decided to do it that I want to host an all-female park takeover, and one friend told me to go for it. It was a great way to get women in a park to play against each other and to have our male friends join our park so that we could play against them.

🕹🎮 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕥𝕪 🎮🕹 on Twitter

My first #FEMALEPARKTAKEOVER was AMAZING!! Look at how many women play your game @Ronnie2K and this isn’t even everyone! You ladies were OUTSTANDING today, and it feels good to see y’all support one another and just have fun. I plan on hosting these once a month! #RETWEET

Once you went ahead and announced this event, what did the turnout look like?

Chastity: The event was amazing! Originally, any women who had a PS4 account could join. I expected this to limit how many women were able to participate, but I knew a lot of women had the PS4. Roughly 30+ women took time out of their day to show up for this event. This doesn’t even count the women who couldn’t show up because of work or because they play on XBOX. We had some men come out and support the ladies as well. When finished with the best-dressed competition, everyone headed over to the 2’s court so the top 2 best-dressed women could 1v1 each other for a $50 prize. After that, everyone who was in the park started playing against each other, not to get mad if they lost, but to just have fun and show respect to one another.

 

Why do you feel women aren’t supported by some men in the 2k community?

Chastity: I personally feel like women in NBA 2k aren’t respected as much as men. It’s partially our fault because we don’t put ourselves out there enough. Some of these women just started streaming and posting more about the fact that they play 2k. A lot of men had no idea that this many women played 2k before this event. We have to market ourselves on the map. I think men in general just don’t think women are as competitive at NBA 2k19 because it’s a game with such a huge skill gap. You literally have to be good at your build and have majority positive stats to even be respected, as you would in any game. It’s harder though when you’re trying to compete in a male-dominated game. So, the main goal to address this with the Female Park Takeover was to bring women together, put women on the map, show Ronnie2k that there’s a huge female presence on the game, and for women in the 2k community to have a voice.

🕹🎮 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕥𝕪 🎮🕹 on Twitter

I’m going to do my best to try and put more women in the 2k Community on the map. Y’all have to do your part and turn up though! Start streaming more, grow your communities, and HAVE FUN! Show your competitive side. 💯 #FemaleTakeover 💅🏾

Dreamhack recently announced an all-female CS:Go tournament. Is this something you would like to see the NBA 2k League due outside of its regular season?

Chastity: I think if the league hosted an all-women’s tournament for prizes everyone, and I mean literally everyone, would watch. Although there are some guys who despise women in 2k, I think they secretly want to see what we’re working with. This would definitely be a great way for 2k to branch out and show that they support women gamers and diversity. There will be some backlash but that’s what comes with trying to make changes. You have to make sacrifices to get better results. I think when NBA 2k creators and the NBA 2k League start standing behind more women, everyone else will fall into place and see it’s not as bad as they think. They’ll be more open-minded, there will be less trolls and hate, more women will feel more comfortable and that’s the goal. Because right now, we all feel like we don’t have the support we deserve.

To learn more about esports and gaming culture check out the rest of our Stick Talk series and check out Chastity Mays on Twitter.

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