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In an article by The New York Times, Bandai Namco Entertainment Brand Manager Mark Religioso spoke about sparking interest in esports among women.

Tekken player Canis at the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2016 Women’s Division qualifier in South Korea.

For many years, the gaming scene has always been composed mostly of male players. It was only recently during the boom of esports that the amount of female players for many different games started increasing. Progress has been slow for fighting games however, which can partly be attributed to the genre being less popular than others like MOBA games or FPS games.

These are baby steps so that we can get more women on the team.

To help bring in more female players into Tekken, Mr. Religioso has begun planning “Bonnie and Clyde” tournaments where players compete in pairs consisting of one male player and one female player. Mr. Religioso has also been working on a mentorship program for female players where they will be taught by the more experienced professional players. The program is already available in the Japan as the Tekken Girls Club and Mr. Religioso is working on introducing this program to the west as well.

One of the known female players in the Filipino Tekken scene, Katrina Rose Libarnes, won the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 tournament at the recently concluded Alliance Cup x C.E.B.U. event in Cebu City.

There are already several impressive female players in the Tekken scene. Canis who qualified in the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2016 had a beautiful tournament run, eliminating top Japanese player Take in the group stage and American representative Princess Ling in the Top 16 bracket. Italy’s Vanex took second place in the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2015 European Qualifier and represented her country in the Grand Finals.

The Philippines isn’t lacking in female Tekken players as well. Just recently, Katrina Rose Libarnes won the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 tournament at the Alliance Cup x C.E.B.U. event in Cebu City. Player Kashieca was also a force to be reckoned with during the group stage of the King of Iron Fist 2016 qualifier in the Philippines. These two female players are only a few of many talented female players that are active in the Filipino Tekken community.

It’s only a matter of time before Mr. Religioso’s ideas come to reality, and hopefully they really will be able to increase the diversity in competitive Tekken. Witnessing the birth of the first female Tekken legend will be an event for the history books for sure.

For more updates stay tuned.

 

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