Ask Awanei: October 2018
Dear Awanei, How did the server start? Why did you start it? What was your goal? How did you first add people?
Hey! The server started back in January, when Haxican and myself were playing on an Open Division team named Elo Hunting Sloots, with Hops, Freqout, Lastlight, and a couple other people not on HoA. Season One of Overwatch League was just starting, and Hax and I were mad that there was zero representation of female players in OWL, despite Overwatch having one of the highest percentages of women players of any video game. When we did the research, the stats said that 20% of Overwatch players were female.
We were scratching our heads about why there were no female OWL players, if 1 of 5 players in the game are female. After much debate, we had concluded that it was probably due to the systemic sexism that we all know runs rampant in the game. We decided that being discriminated against over comms causes female players to either leave comms, get tilted and negatively affect their performance, or are forced on to roles they don’t want to play. As we know, Overwatch is heavily reliant on comms, and being tilted almost guarantees you a loss.
Hax half-jokingly suggested we start an all-girl team. I said “fuck yeah”, and made the Discord server. I wanted experience in a leadership position, but neither of my IRL jobs had an opportunity for that, and I thought that running a server or team would give me some experience. Neither of us expected the server to be over 100 people inside of 3 months. I was unprepared to run a server of this magnitude, but running a server like this is half learn-as-you-go and half pretend-you-know-what-you-are-doing.
Hax came up with the name Hunters of Artemis as a nod to the Percy Jackson series. Both of us are folklore and mythology nerds, and loved the imagery that the name inspired. For those who are unfamiliar, Artemis is the Goddess of the Hunt, and a very powerful female figure in Greek mythology.
Our goal originally was to maybe get enough women to make one Overwatch team and get some free coaching from someone who wanted experience being a coach. We decided to open applications up to transgender players, since we hadn’t heard of a lot of trans-inclusive servers or teams. After some discussion, we decided that anyone who didn’t fit in the cis-male demographic would probably have experienced discrimination in the game, and may have had a rough time finding teams. So, we opened up applications under the terms “female and trans+”, with trans+ being the generic term for anyone not under the cis-umbrella.
Our intention was never to excluded cis-men from the entire server, but to make teams exclusively for our chosen demographics. It was never, and will never be, a man-hating community. As Hax and I both know cis-men who are wonderful folks to play with and don’t discriminate against us, we wanted to make sure they were included as an integral part of HoA. This was for several reasons, but the main ones were to help our members meet cisguys who aren’t assholes and help them deal with some anxiety about speaking in comms. As I am sure you know, the cis-men of our server are awesome advocates for us and are very protective of our community!!!
We first advertised on Jayne and Deo’s Elo Hell server in the “looking for teams” channel in early January. Our very first applicant/member was Minjina, who joined on January 13th of this year!!! (She’ll be so embarrassed I’m talking about her lmao.) Our advertising avenues were mainly a couple Overwatch sub-reddits, and the “Elo Hell” server. It definitely got easier to advertise on “Elo Hell” the more popular Jayne got, as our advertisements started reaching more eyeballs.
Well, that’s the super long story of how our server got started. It’s been a wild ride, but an amazing one. Hax and I talk all the time about how different these last 9 months would have been without HoA. For myself, it’s like coming home to a very large family at the end of the day. Love y’all!
Have a question for Awanei about the server or how to throw harder than that fucking torb one-trick on your team? DM Awanei#4237 and your question may get answered in the next issue of the HOA Herald!