History in the Making, also known as HITM, was the name of the all-female playgroup that sophomore Jordyn Hipps’ mother was in ten years ago. Back then, gaming wasn’t officially coined “esports” yet. But today, Jordyn’s leadership of the UNCG Gaming and Esports Club proves that history is still in the making for this second-generation female gamer who has set her sights on a career path in esports.
not the typical “gamer girl”
Growing up with a mom who played in leagues and served as a commentator on game streams means Jordyn Heaps isn’t “a typical 8-year-old girl with parents who would never consider a game console as a gift for their daughter.” But as she continued to play, Jordyn was struck by how boys seemed to dominate most of the forums she participated in. That didn’t stop her from discovering favorite games like Valorant, but it was important to maintain a healthy balance between gaming and schoolwork to keep her college plans on track.
As a high school student from the Charlotte area, Jordyn made it her goal to attend UNCG after hearing stories from her aunt, who is a Spartan alumna. She focused on her grades, thrived socially and artistically as a member of the orchestra, and considered colleges in North Carolina majoring in computer science.
“This is where I belong.”
Committing to UNCG was an easy decision for Jordyn based on the university’s size, welcoming environment and academic programs that included her intended major and a dynamic study abroad program she hoped to participate in. She arrived on campus with a plan for her future, but it soon became clear that at UNCG, Jordyn’s future would find her!
Early in the fall of her freshman year, Jordyn joined the eSports club on campus and found a tribe of friends with similar interests. Just a year and a half later, as a sophomore, Jordyn Hipps is co-president of the UNCG Gaming and Esports Club, which has illuminated career goals in a most unexpected industry.
“If I had chosen any other school, I wouldn’t be on the career path I’m on right now.”
As a club member, UNCG’s Esports Arena and Learning Lab in Moran Commons became Jordyn’s second home. In 2022, Jordyn was the Social Media Manager for the Gaming and Esports Club, which led her to change her major to Social Media Marketing.
“I knew I wanted to be a part of the eSports industry and educate people about the growing job opportunities in the industry,” says Jordyn.
Members of the eSports team such as Mike Ackerman and Eric Unger became mentors, and Jordyn gained valuable experience producing tournaments through arena events.
“I didn’t even know all the behind-the-scenes production tasks related to eSports until my first E2 weekend. It opened my eyes to so many career opportunities in eSports. “
Through UNCG eSports events, Hipps has established a strong working relationship with eFuse, an eSports tournament production company. That networking is already paying off as eFuse has reached out to her to help with other tournaments.
Jordyn is also passionate about using her perspective to encourage greater acceptance of women in eSports circles.
“It’s hard for women to make it in the gaming scene,” Hipps explains. “There is a steep learning curve because women usually start playing later than men. This leads to a stigma that girls are not good when really we haven’t played that long and haven’t perfected our craft yet. There are more all-female scenes in eSports now, and I’m excited to be a part of that movement. Riot games recently created an all-female non-binary scene called Game Changers. And another big-name team just signed a 16-year-old female.
There’s no denying that the gaming industry has come a long way since Jordyn’s mom joined the History in the Making team 10 years ago. And thanks to UNCG’s efforts to connect students’ passions with career paths in emerging industries, Jordyn Heaps is poised to continue her legacy as a changemaker in the eSports profession.
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Narrated by Becky Deakins, University Communications.
Photo by Sean Norona, University Communications.