Why I don't play Hearthstone anymore
I get asked why I've left the Hearthstone scene a lot and I can't really explain it all into a tweet so I have to make this twitlonger and with everything that has happened in the past few days this is the absolute best time to address and explain things. Some of my regulars kind of understood it but they weren't really in that headspace of putting themselves in my shoes until this week. So I hope this clicks and makes sense to everyone afterwards.
First off, I want to say that I'm really happy for the new changes that Hearthstone has announced about finally having better women representation for their future invitationals. They know themselves they didn't get it right the first time (they've been around for 7 years total and I happened to be part of 6 of those years). Having that extremely low representation of 10% women for that long really hurt the women who had interest for their game. It had us stuck in this self-perpetuating cycle that breeds more and more harrassment to women by men who didn't feel like women "belong" in hearthstone and also competitive hearthstone. This wasn't inviting or welcoming to any women. We basically had to create our own little hub/space which was our stream communities but even there sometimes we weren't safe from the main problem that we were considered a minority where some men looked down on us and laughed. There were also 'pick me' girls who were part of those toxic communities who helped make those men feel like their behaviour was okay towards other women to be accepted as one of the boys, when it really wasn't okay. It was a terrible scene for all women and you can ask any woman in the hearthstone scene if they experienced anything sexist and I guarantee you they will have some sort of story.
When I first came into the HS scene I didn't know what or why this was happening and even I know I made my fair share of mistakes because guys would feed girls into this behaviour and constantly compare us and bring out some petty behaviour out of us. But as time passed I and many other girls who were also learning this, began to grow and see what the main issue really was. It was only a matter of time for us women in the Hearthstone scene to rise up, use our voices, not be scared and make a stand. With Hearthstone accepting the new changes I KNOW things are going to be much better for women in Hearthstone.
With that being said some people might ask "Knowing all of these changes.. why do you still want to leave Pathra?" So this is where I dive into more personal experiences I had that maybe some of you guys may or not know about.
When I was in grandmasters I personally felt like I was a guinea pig in a social experiment.
"Hey lets try bring 1 girl into this highly competitive tournament and not moderate the chat even if we always see countless amounts of abuse" Why wasn't there atleast 1 Blizzard staff that thought to themselves "Hey this is messed up!" So many people who supported me have told me they were not able to watch me anymore cause they couldn't stand seeing what was written in chat (and yes Navi's discord did not help at that time). Was 2 seasons long of this grueling hate towards me in their chat. Thank you to Sunglitters who fought so hard for me in the Playhearthstone chat btw. Who knows if there were any girls watching and thought no way in hell am I ever going to put myself in that position. There's no way any girl sees that and thinks "Yea I wanna go competitive with Hearthstone". It was such a terrible experience for me going through it. I know because of what I faced and experienced they are monitoring the chat these days to make sure lunalove doesn't get any hate and I'm so glad no else will go through what I did.
I know Hearthstones staff is saying that they don't stand for any harrassment within the scene even if it were to be inside public discords but honestly I felt like they had to have somewhat known about Navi's discord and the ton of women harrassment that was going on in there for a while yet they didn't try to stop it. I remember being at events in hotel room gatherings with other HS streamers and pro players who talked and knew Navis discord was toxic and we all thought this was probably the reason why he had stopped being invited by Blizzard to any Hearthstone event since 2017/2018 (don't know if its true but just our hunch).
So when Navi did go around thinking and telling his community that the GM spot was between "him and I" and that he deserved the GM spot that I specifically took away from him... I thought this man has to be delusional. But regardless, his jealousy of me taking the GM spot fueled his community to hate me back then. I know he has apologized recently for his actions and I have forgiven him and I'm glad he's becoming a better person (he really is, he's made actions that I've seen already). I just had to bring it up again because it's part of my side of the story and all the hate I received.
After me being done with GMs (cause of relegation) I was very much happy to have left that mess and go back to being a streamer/content creator for Hearthstone. But because I was part of s1, s2 of Grandmasters (s1 and s2 were biggest seasons and it was featured on Twitch not on Youtube), this meant a lot of casual players and viewers saw me getting hated for and possibly even joined in on that hate back then. I felt and I know my reputation was tainted from it. In 2020 and 2021 I was never invited to any of the Hearthstone invitational events on PlayHearthstone's channel even though I was their "first woman grandmaster" and some were standard events which they put battleground players in. I felt like because I had that stigma, they didn't want to deal with the constant comments on social media or hate in the chat "Pathra is such a bad player, she sucks" so I felt like maybe they didn't invite me cause it's easier to not have to deal with that. But we all know they helped promote this behaviour because they didn't stop it early on. It was going to be a hard road if I wanted to rebuild myself in Hearthstone. But when I did attempt to and tried battlegrounds I was constantly reminded by people in chat coming in and asking me about my competitive life and about standard. As much as I love the game I just can't enjoy it like I once used to with having those bad memories and experiences attached to it. How can one continue to play a game that feels like they didn't even have respect towards you after all the years you made content for them? I rather start fresh somewhere else playing a game I enjoy with no stigma attached to it even if it means I get barely any viewers. Its not about money for me it's about my happiness.
I hope people from Hearthstone can remember me for the things I did achieve:
Countless legend grinding, trying to be top 100 to make it into JustSaiyan's watchstone, 1st with Reynad and Kranich at Blizzcon Innvitational (2017), two top 8s at Hearthstone Global Games for New Zealand (2018 and 2019), 1st in Badass Women's Tourney (2019), 2nd in WSOE (2019), and helping to pave the way for a better future for women in Hearthstone.
Thank you for reading and I hope everyone completely understands now.
Sorry for no TLDR.