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Meet Nia, the 25-year-old FIFA Queen challenging stereotypes in Asia

On first glance, Malaysian FIFA player Azroy Adyana Tajuddin, aka Nia, doesn’t look like your average FIFA player.

Though female gamers are on the rise, with a large percentage making up the digital word of adventure, Nia, a hijabi, is one of the top FIFA gamers invited to be part of the eSports team Order of Elites Asia.

Nia, whose gamer tag is ‘Makthor,’ qualified for Battle Arena in Petaling Jaya, as one of the top 64 players out of 512.

“I believe OoE will help me wholly as my coach and mentor, and train me to become a professional gamer. With their skills and knowledge, I hope I will be among the best female gamers in Asia.”

But it hasn’t always been easy. On her journey, she’s been no stranger to haters who have doubted her success. Women are a rarity in the professional gaming community, so Nia has naturally faced some roadblocks.

According to Malaysia Digest, in a recent Facebook post she wrote,

“You can criticise or praise me in any way that you want…I’m just a normal human being that’s willing to learn. This is not just a beginning and this is also not the ending.”

She’s been going so hard that she ranked top 16 on the Virtuelle Bundesliga South East Asia for FIFA 18 at the Battle Arena in Petaling Jaya.

Not bad for someone who claims they only play two hours a week.

Mohamad Xtr3me3 Phirkhan, founder of OoE, commented on how happy he was to have her as a part of the team.

“I believe there are many talented female players out there who need to be given a chance. One of our principles is to support women and to never underestimate them.”

To the wave of female gamers on Twitch and other platforms, she suggests taking advantage of eSports now while it’s on the rise.

“Don’t shy away from the spotlight, prove that you are the best and become a professional gamer.”

She made it through the quarter-final of the tournament before bowing out. But she is anything but discouraged by the loss. She’s motivated to come back stronger than before.

“Well what can I say, this is not the end of my journey… I’ll do better and take any advantage just to succeed in this eSport industries.”

With recent momentum for women in video games, like Twitch granting exposure and funds to girls in gaming, and Kim Se-yeon becoming the first pro female in Overwatch, Nia is a reminder that although female gamers are actively heard, they have much more to leave in their wake.

We know one thing for sure though. She will keep killing it in FIFA.