Crushing Gender Barriers: Streamer Pathra Cadness

Yes, women gamers are a thing

Professional Hearthstone player and Twitch’s Disney-obsessed, humble streamer, Pathra Cadness, has been a force in the streaming world since 2015 when Twitch was in its infancy.

Portrait of Pathra Cadness.
Pathra Cadness

The competitive gamer broke barriers in the esports scene as one of the top female gamers in the Hearthstone scene. She excelled in cultivating a following through her unique blend of stellar gameplay and down-to-earth attitude.

"I always wanted to be my own boss, and with content creation, I have been. It’s been a dream come true in a lot of ways," she said in a phone interview with Lifewire.

Quick Facts

  • Name: Pathra Cadness
  • From: She was born in the Philippines to a Thai mother and New Zealander father. Cadness describes her childhood in the Philippines as full of love and joy, because her stay-at-home mother and computer programmer father would "spoil" her and her siblings, introducing them to gaming and technology while supporting their creative habits.   
  • Random delight: A global citizen of the world, Cadness has lived on four separate continents in four different countries: the Philippines, New Zealand, France, and now the United States.
  • Key quote or motto to live by: "Even if your efforts may betray your dreams, they’ll never betray you."  

A Fairytale Life

Cadness grew up on the warm shores of the Philippines before deciding to move with her father to New Zealand when her parents got divorced at age 10.

The only constants in her life were the video games she would take with her. She spent her adolescence in New Zealand before eventually finding her way back to the Philippines after graduation, to reconnect with her mother back in her home country.

Cadness had a knack for creativity, and often spent her time drawing the very video game characters she spent hours playing growing up. After enrolling in the local university in her township, she settled on studying animation.

“Out of all the jobs I had, it was never a big deal that I was a female. With Esports, I felt like that was such a huge thing.”

“I remember thinking, 'Wow, I really love video games because I’m even putting it towards my design because I grew up with it, and it was a huge part of my life,'” she said. ”I knew then I wanted to do something along the lines of being a game designer, which led me to animation.”

Some friends introduced her to the concept of streaming and, after college, she took them up on the challenge. She found success immediately on the platform, despite dividing her time between her career as a freelance graphic designer and occasional commercial model and the late-night world of video game streaming.  

Into The World of Gaming

“I loved doing streaming so much I actually started doing more of it throughout the day, and I remember seeing more of it grow,” she said about starting her career in streaming. “I saw it grow into something bigger until it became my main source of income… I thought I preferred doing this compared to going into an office job.”

After four months of streaming, Cadness was selected as a Twitch Partner, becoming one of the first Philippines-based streamers to achieve a milestone that marked her as a top-performing creator and allowed her to begin maximizing monetization. Out of over 2 million active broadcasters on Twitch, only around 27,000 are Partners.

Her preferred game? Blizzard’s fast-paced strategy card game Hearthstone. She honed her skills in the game and began gaining recognition in the professional scene, participating in local tournaments before going international.

Pathra Cadness on an eSports live show.
ESP Gaming 

She participated in Blizzard’s invitationals while competing in Dreamhacks and Blizzcon tourneys, as well. Her name began echoing throughout the community as a prominent female gamer.

Eventually, she became one of a few Grandmasters, competing in the world championships on one of the 48 teams representing different countries. She and her team finished in the top eight, solidifying her place in the competitive Hearthstone scene.

The Other Side of eSports

With a shortage of women in the gaming scene, Cadness eventually decided she needed to become a role model for other women gamers in the professional and streaming spaces. She felt that Bombshell, a movie about the sexist world of Fox News through the lens of former host Megyn Kelly’s harrowing story, was nearly identical to the environment she was traversing as a woman in gaming.  

“Due to esports and the gaming scene being male-dominated, there is a brand of toxicity,” she said. “I was the only girl on the mainstream Hearthstone (Twitch) channel, and there was so much sexism in the chat talking about how I needed to go back to the kitchen. Any event with a woman on the stage needs to do proper moderation, or else it snowballs into this hate bandwagon.”

“Women gamers are trying to change the future for other woman gamers, and It has gotten so much better.”

Competitive female streamers often would have their accomplishments diminished, she said. Dealing with the bigotry of low expectations was a common theme. Her experiences became a learning curve for organizations she worked with. “Out of all the jobs I had, it was never a big deal that I was a female," she said. "With Esports, I felt like that was such a huge thing.”

Now, she has delved into the hottest first-person shooter in the streaming world, Riot Games' tactical-style Valorant, because she didn’t see much growth playing Hearthstone after dedicating half a decade of her streaming career to the game. She started seeing unique growth on her TikTok from a new batch of fans.

Her page often involves showing what she deals with while playing the game as a woman, which has resulted in something she never had seen—a predominately female audience. With her platform, she’s ready to challenge the industry standard. 

“Women gamers are trying to change the future for other woman gamers, and It has gotten so much better,” she told Lifewire about the future of the industry. “People wouldn’t talk about these things before and now…everyone jumps in saying you can’t be like that to people. People are starting to realize those ‘jokes’ aren’t jokes.”

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