We recently had the opportunity to meet up-and-coming, female esports professional, Allison “Skybilz” Waters. After getting to know her, it’s easy to see how Allison’s high-energy, positivity, and passion for this space has translated into a successful career in gaming. But, to be sure, it’s been no easy road and there has been plenty of hard work and dedication to her craft going on behind the scenes — and on top of it all, she’s made it a priority to give back by offering her skills and talents in support of many charitable causes through gaming. We’re excited to bring her story to the Ritual Motion audience and to have her share her experiences as a professional in the industry.

Tell us about your career journey within the esports industry and how that has led you to where you are today.

My career with esports specifically started in Winter 2018 when I had received an email from Wizards of the Coast inviting me to compete in their Magic the Gathering Arena Mythic Invitational 2019 at PAX East in Boston, MA. During this tournament, I had my first ever feature matches and won one of them against a two-time world champion.

Even though I fell one game short of the top 16, I was so proud of all I had accomplished in such a short time. From that tournament on, I began my esports journey where my mission was to become one of the better-known players of MTG Arena and inspire other people that they too can enter the world of esports with enough practice and drive. I signed with Team Genji (now OXG Esports) and began to make a name for myself via other tournaments such as Fandom Legends where for a 5-month span, I constantly battled the Magic Pro League to sharpen my skills. Today, I continue to participate in tournaments including, but not limited to, the Venus and Mercury League, the Fade to Karma invitational, and my personal road to Double Mythic rank each month on MTG Arena.

You’ve created an excellent platform for your brand and voice. What accomplishments are you most proud of to-date? Where and when can followers find the content you’re producing?

The accomplishments I am most proud of include winning a feature match at the MTG Arena Mythic Invitational, hosting for Games Done Quick for five years, running two shows (Random Number Generation, Mercy Kill) on Games Done Quick Hotfix, running personal charity events for Play Live: St. Jude and raising nearly $50,000 collectively over four years, getting top four at one of the Fandom Legends tournaments and writing my first ever MTG articles for Cardsphere.

Followers can find my content at twitch.tv/skybilz, twitter.com/skybilz, youtube.com/skybilz, and my MTG articles on cardsphere.com.

It’s fantastic to see how much time and effort you’ve dedicated to fundraising and supporting nonprofit causes. Can you tell us a bit more about some recent events you’ve participated in and what you have upcoming in that area?

The most recent event I participated in as a host and head donations processor is Summer Games Done Quick, a speedrunning week-long event that benefits Doctors Without Borders.

Also, I ran a game and hosted at Power Up with Pride, a speedrunning charity event that benefits The Trevor Project. Soon, I will be volunteering for Fleet Fatales, an all-women Games Done Quick speedrunning event benefiting the Malala Fund (Nov 15-21). I’ll also be hosting at Calithon’s Spooktacular (Oct 30-Nov 1) benefitting the California Fire Foundation, and volunteering at Awesome Games Done Quick (Jan 3-10) benefitting Prevent Cancer Foundation.

What is it like to be a competitor at the highest levels of esports? What do you find most challenging and/or rewarding about your experiences?

Being a competitor at the highest level of esports is the greatest feeling and provides the best educational experience possible in the field. High-level tournaments are experiences that test my abilities in the game, how to maintain composure in a stressful situation, and provide opportunities to network in my field.

Do you have any advice for women trying to pursue a career in the industry?

Practice the game, research, and seek out opportunities in the field, and network. Networking does not require the biggest stream numbers either, so do not let slow stream progress discourage progress. The most important advice is to set realistic goals for each month and keep a positive attitude. There are so many circumstances where a positive attitude can keep an open mind and go a long way.

What can our audience expect to see from your platforms in the next few months?

I started a brand new segment on my stream dedicated to variety and taking a healthy break from over practicing my esport. I’ll spend the first half of my stream practicing MTG, and then for the second half, I have started playing a more casual game so I can engage with the chat and provide gameplay for people not as interested in MTG or trading card games in general. The current game I am on is Final Fantasy X, and playing a long role-playing game provides a perfect opportunity for me to talk about health and wellness conversations such as taking breaks, protecting hands (especially with the gaming skins from Ritual Motion), and staying hydrated. Playing a less mentally taxing game for half of my stream also provides me with opportunities to network and catch up with my chat.