Britanni Johnson has been a figure in gaming and esports for over a decade. It all began with an audition that spiraled into a whirlwind that tossed her into a leadership role at G2 Esports. Compared to others working in the industry, Johnson’s start didn’t begin with a specific interest in esports.
“My origin story is very much a unique one,” she told Ritual Motion. “It all started when I auditioned for Borderlands while in undergrad. Landing the role of Angel definitely changed my life. When I graduated and finished filming Borderlands 2, I decided to go out to LA for press events and never looked back.” However, Johnson wasn’t satisfied at just being the talent in a video game. She wanted to dive into the business side. Her motivation led her into consulting in gaming and esports where she worked in several verticals of the industry.
Eventually, she found a home at G2 Esports as the Head of Creators, where she currently operates. Her life as a leader has been anything but conventional.
“I’m based in LA and the rest of the G2 team is in Europe so we work on a 9-hour time difference. I’m typically up very early for meetings and calls with the team and spend my mornings working on any collaborative efforts (strategy, marketing, planning, etc.). Then when it’s their evening, I switch to more scouting and North American initiatives,” she continued. Finding balance is must to keep going. “I have to go to the gym and get a good workout around lunch to keep my energy going, but my afternoons are for me to work on any personal projects, meetings with talent, management, and agencies, and to wrap anything up for Europe’s beginning of the day (my night).”
While Johnson wears different hats in her position, a lot of her success depends on the relationships she develops. She added, “I have a great network and built strong relationships and trust, both within the industry and with talent, which is very important.” For her role, sometimes it’s all about staying ahead of the curve. The job requires “impeccable communication skills, to be able to work with a team AND a lot on your own. Not to mention being ahead of the curve and staying on top of who is up-and-coming, industry news and updates, and opportunities.”
Her advice for those trying to enter the industry? Sometimes you just have to jump in.
“Working on Borderlands was the first talent gig I ever had, and I’m so grateful for that opportunity,” Johnson added. “When I realized how much I loved it, I just tried taking on as much as I could to build my skill, experience, and resume. I took a few classes and had coaching here and there, but the best way that I learned was just by jumping in and DOING.”
Despite her success, Johnson has experienced frustrating barriers. She said: “When I first started, and for a while thereafter, there weren’t many other females in the industry at all. Many times I would be in meetings with team owners, publishers, and other big decision makers and people would think I was a friend or assistant of someone. I had to show that I was not going anywhere and could hold my own. It was a huge achievement for me to finally be seen as one of them, but now it’s so great to start seeing more women in the industry and especially on the executive level.”
While inclusivity for women is still a major work-in-progress for the gaming and esports industries, thankfully leaders like Britanni have already begun paving the way for more women to find and create their own professional roles.