Kayane top top inclusivity in the FGC (2:57)Marie-Laure "Kayane" Norindr gives her thoughts about inclusivity in the Fighting game Community and also what it method to have actually women in the FGC. (2:57)


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LAS vegas -- Marie-Laure "Kayane" Norindr, 28, prospered up in a family members of gamers in France. She picked up her an initial love, Tetris, when she was only four. As soon as Soulcalibur 2 come out for the Sega Dreamcast, the game"s aesthetic and music caught her imagination. One of the characters, the fierce sword-wielding Chai Xianghua, came to be her idol and what she want to end up being when she grew up.

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"I had actually to prove myself at a very young period at a time women weren"t contending at all and also I was among the an initial ones," Kayane said.

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Her two older brothers to be the ones who took Kayane"s love the Soulcalibur and transitioned it into the civilization of competitive fighting games. Her earliest brother to be a mastermind behind the techniques of the game and also could analyze the sweet science of what worked best in each situation. The second brother to be the opposite, a complete instinct-first player, whose flexibility was second-to-none and could adapt to every little thing was thrown in ~ him.

Both brothers, though, short the organic reflexes their tiny sister possessed. Nevertheless of exactly how technical lock were about the game or exactly how well they to be at rolling through the punches, the absence of those quick fingers and also mechanics minimal how much they can go as players.

The brothers, realizing their ceiling and also watching their tiny sister play, knew the only means for someone in the household to do it to the next level would certainly be if they teach Kayane every little thing they knew -- and that"s how the Queen the Soulcalibur was born.

"I started to think I was solid when i was 10 year old," Kayane said in an interview through 2175forals.com at the 2019 advancement Championship collection at the Mandalay bay Convention center in ras Vegas. "At nine, I started to compete and also my brothers carried me come tournaments, and also they dubbed me a prodigy ns was beating human being twice or three times mine age."

Marie-Laure "Kayane" Norindr smiles before her Soulcalibur VI complement with Shen Chan at the advancement Championship collection 2019.Caitlin O"Hara for 2175forals.comKayane saw her very first international tournament at the period of 12 and also finished fourth at the Soulcalibur human being Cup. She started learning English during this time for this reason she could connect with the players she met if traveling throughout the world. When Kayane might communicate against opponents v the language in the game -- how each player moved, what someone did in a certain situation once backed against a wall -- she wanted to have the ability to make friendships in ~ the ar outside of just the television monitor and the fighting pole on their laps.

All the her hard work led as much as 2009 as soon as she completed for the world championship of Soulcalibur in ~ EVO, believing she can win the all. When it was every over, she finished in ninth place, one spot exterior of the all-important top-8 place which every entrant covets. If you do the height 8 in ~ EVO, you"re allowed to pat on the huge stage in prior of the raucus las Vegas crowd. Kayane, exasperated and also laying down on the floor adhering to her ousting, didn"t understand if she would ever have the possibility to play on the big stage in prior of the ar that make her who she is today.

"The difference between other games, other esports and fighting games is the the fighting game ar ... Is a community," Alicia Junus said. Janus, a lifelong Soulcalibur fan prefer Kayane, flourished up in Canada and also has become a clip in the scene, commentating top 8 at this year"s EVO and owning her very own esports team, accelerate Gaming. "We all come together. Because that the players, it"s "oh, let"s share a room together. Sure, we don"t recognize each other too well, yet hey, it"ll do it cheaper.""

A decade complying with what she thought could be her final chance to go into the main stage at EVO, Kayane obtained her 2nd chance v the release of Soulcalibur VI, return the legendary series to the fighting game spotlight. After being a side tournament in 2018 (in which Kayane finished fifth), the game was promoted to the main event this year. Back Kayane had won one all-female Street Fighter side competition at EVO, no one of the success took far from the absence of a medal offered out by the organizers of EVO, which recognizes the height 8 football player of each main title game.

She wanted a medal.

When she ultimately qualified for the height 8 because that the first time at EVO top top Friday, tears of pleasure escaped from she eyes. When asked just how it felt come look into the group applauding her victory, she didn"t use words "crowd." it wasn"t a crowd to Kayane. The human being in the former of the stage, jumping up and also down and also mimicking the mannerisms of the personalities in the game, were a part of her community. They"d been v her since she was a child and also now, at 28, they were still there, maybe with various faces and also backstories, however the community was still with her, nonetheless.


"I had actually a many of world who underestimated me and didn"t expropriate me, yet I found a neighborhood that to be welcoming and treated me like a small sister," Kayane said.

Kayane didn"t win the Soulcalibur tournament. In fact, she lost easily in her very first match in the peak 8. A day later, though, there to be no signs of defeat on her face or tinges of sore in she tone. She to be happy. As she bounced indigenous interview to interview, so as well did she top-8 medal, slung approximately her neck, a price of the difficult work she has put into the game and also community for two-thirds of her life.

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She might have not remained in France, however watching her talk to fellow competitors and also take photos v fans of the Soulcalibur game, the Queen of Soulcalibur was home.