The coronavirus pandemic has been responsible for many things – and one positive has been “Sunny’s” fledgling e-sports career. “As leisure opportunities were restricted, I started playing Brawl Stars about a year ago,” says the 23-year-old. She’d never played video games before but filled her free time with climbing and hiking; the main thing was to be outdoors and active. “Brawl Stars was the very first mobile phone game I was shown in the store. I downloaded it and started to play,” she explains. “Sunny” improved all the time, could quickly join an organization and made it into the best of the four teams.
E-sports PostFinance Gaming Cup: “Sunny’s” steep learning curve
From 0 to 100: “Sunny” has only been gaming for a year but this autumn, she presented her first Brawl Stars tournament in the PostFinance Gaming Cup. The medical student herself explains how it happened.
From gamer noob to caster
In an in-game chat during the summer, “Sunny” heard that a co-host was being sought for the Brawl Stars tournament as part of the PostFinance Gaming Cup 2021. “Sunny” seized the opportunity. With the agreement of her team, she applied as a presenter, was selected and provided background information about the game during the tournament. “It was my job to take a look inside the heads of the gamers and to explain why, for example, they had selected certain characters on a particular map.”
About the PostFinance Gaming Cup
The PostFinance Gaming Cup is the new e-sports event in Switzerland for everyone who enjoys gaming. Participants compete in the most popular video games in teams of two to five.
Presenting for up to six hours per day
Just like in her medical studies, “Sunny” showed perseverance in the Brawl Stars tournament at the PostFinance Gaming Cup. “On finals weekend, I spent six hours straight on Saturday and five hours straight on Sunday co-hosting with lead presenter Chief Avalon”, she says. “It was only in the evening that I noticed I’d done a lot of talking.” She is familiar with speaking online to a large audience since the coronavirus pandemic because of her role as Vice President of swimsa, which represents the interests of over 9,000 medical students from throughout Switzerland. However, presenting at the PostFinance Gaming Cup was still a particular challenge. “Before I’d never have thought it would come so naturally to me to commentate on a tournament for a game I’d only known for a short while.” But she just talked away. “And if something is incorrect, someone in the community points it out right away.”
Good at learning by heart, good at e-sports
“Sunny’s” learning curve in the Brawl Stars game is astoundingly steep. “That I had so much success so quickly in the game may be because I quickly absorb new knowledge and am good at learning by heart,” suggests the medical student, who is already in her fifth year of studies. Pressing the right buttons with the right fingers at the right moment is just one ability needed for gaming. Far more important is the ability to know when to take up which position and when to work offensively or defensively as a team. “Learning these strategies and interactions by heart comes pretty easily to me because of my studies. Also, I’m a little older than most other players.”
In 2021, “Sunny” presented the Brawl Stars tournament in the PostFinance Gaming Cup.
Almost alone among boys
“Sunny” is not only under the spotlight as a presenter but also as a Brawl Stars gamer. “To my knowledge, there are very few women in this game who have taken part in a large tournament,” she says, adding an anecdote: “When pictures of me were shown at a tournament, there was uproar in the chat. There were funny questions like ‘Is that a player with long hair or is that really a woman?’ I quickly had a large following. The fans welcomed the fact that there was finally a woman up there. They encouraged me to show other girls that e-sports can also be for them – not just for boys. So I also felt a certain pressure as a role model to be successful.”
A small additional income with e-sports
From her role as e-sports presenter, “Sunny” is taking away a few things for her future. She has already been promised that she can present the event again if it were to take place. Also, one of the lead presenters in the European region, who commentates on the biggest tournaments across Europe, has proposed on his live stream that they should commentate on an event together. She had not envisaged all this. “If people had said to me a year ago that I would generate a small additional income with a game, I would have laughed.”
As a balance to studies
But where does “Sunny” find the time for her e-sports commitments? “I’ve always done something alongside my studies. For example, I’ve worked in care or I get involved in specialist associations. This gives me a good balance.” Because of online lessons, coronavirus opened up an extra window of time for gaming. But her studies take priority. She hasn’t yet decided on a speciality as a doctor: however, neurosurgery, paediatric surgery and hand surgery are among her favourites.