“History in the Making,” also known as HITM, was the name of the all-female gaming group that sophomore Jordin Hipps’ mother was in ten years ago. Back then, gaming wasn’t officially coined “esports” yet. But today, Jordin’s leadership in UNCG’s Gaming and Esports Club proves that history is still in the making for this second generation female gamer, who has her eyes set on an esports career path.
not your typical “gamer girl”
Growing up with a mother who played in leagues and served as a commentator for gaming streams meant that Jordin Hipps wasn’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, Jordin was struck by how boys seemed to dominate most forums she participated in. This didn’t deter her from discovering favorite games like Valorant, but it was important to keep a healthy balance between gaming and school work to keep her college plans on track.
As a Charlotte-area high schooler, Jordin set goals to attend UNCG after hearing stories from her aunt, who is a Spartan alum. She focused on her grades, thrived socially and artistically as a member of the marching band, and considered North Carolina colleges with computer science majors.
“This is where I belong.”
Committing to UNCG was an easy decision for Jordin based on the university’s size, welcoming environment, and academic programs that included her intended major and a vibrant 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, Jordin’s future would find her!
Early in the fall of her freshman year, Jordin made connections with the esports club on campus and found a tribe of friends with similar interests. Just a year and a half later as a sophomore, Jordin Hipps is co-president of UNCG’s Gaming and Esports Club, which has illuminated career goals in a most unexpected industry.
“If I had picked any other school, I would not be on the career path I’m on now.”
As a club member, UNCG’s Esports Arena and Learning Lab at Moran Commons became Jordin’s second home. In 2022, Jordin 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,” Jordin says.
Esports staff members like Mike Ackerman and Eric Unger have become mentors and Jordin has gained valuable tournament production experience through events at the arena.
“I didn’t even know all the behind the scenes production jobs associated with esports until my first E2 Weekend. It opened my eyes to so many esports career opportunities. “
Through UNCG esports events, Hipps has established a strong working relationship with eFuse, an esports tournament production company. This networking is already paying off as eFuse has contacted her to help with other tournaments.
Changing the game
Jordin is also passionate about using her perspective to encourage more female acceptance in esports circles.
“It’s hard for women to make it in the gaming scene,” Hipps explains. “There’s a steep learning curve because females typically start gaming later than males do. This causes a stigma that girls aren’t any good, when really we haven’t been playing as long and haven’t yet honed our craft. Now, there are more all-female esports scenes and I am excited to be a part of that movement. Riot games recently created an all-female non-binary scene called Game Changers. And another well-known team just signed a 16-year-old female.”
There’s no debating that the gaming industry has come a long way since Jordin’s mother 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, Jordin Hipps is poised to continue her legacy as a change maker in the esports profession.
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Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications.
Photography by Sean Norona, University Communications.