The first female player to officially qualify for Call of Duty World League is Kayla “Squizzy” Squires. Call of Duty World League is an esports tournament. It’s operated by Activision. Teams play Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for big prizes. 

Qualification for the Call of Duty World League started two weeks ago with LAN events in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Thirty-two teams were invited to compete and half of them made it in on the spot, with the remaining spots filling via an open qualifier.

Squires is a 19-year-old from Western Australia. She put together her team at the very last minute—about 20 minutes before registration ended—and had played with only one of her teammates prior to the competition. The team includes players Glodek, Tupacah, H22ok, and Squizzy. They do not yet have a name. And yet, against all odds, they still defeated four other teams in the qualification rounds, including the 2nd seed of the tournament.

“I am so very proud of them, I couldn’t have done it without them,” she says.

Squires mentioned that competitive gaming has not been without obstacles for her, because of her gender. “There have been quite a few people that have instantly judged me without playing with or against me and I think me being a female has been the root of that,” she says. “I have had many nights that I have constantly doubted myself, but I always manage to pick myself back up and come back even stronger!”

Competition in the Pro Division of the Call of Duty World League will begin in early January.

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Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website, is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.