Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn

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In the world of competitive StarCraft II, Hostyn has acquired several nicknames: “foreign hope,” a reference to her Canadian nationality (virtually all competitive StarCraft players are Korean, making all other countries “foreign”); “Queen of Blades,” in honor of the insect-like Zerg army she favors (though she dislikes the nickname), and the similar “Zerg Queen”; and Scarlett, the monicker she and her fans favor.

Hostyn’s admirers are, like her swarm, legion. Red Bull, one of the game’s sponsors, calls her one of “two of the most popular players in the world.” She has an entire Wiki article’s worth of accomplishments to her name, including being the only female player to have won a professional StarGate match on Korean TV, and emerging victorious from what some call the greatest game of StarCraft ever played. She does have detractors, who at times target her trans status – particularly when she won an all-female competition -, but the hate hasn’t fazed her (or stopped her from taking home over $70,000 in prize money, making her the 35th highest-earning player globally.) As the proud member of Team Acer puts it:

“Yeah, I read it just to see what people are saying, but I don’t care what they say. You just get used to it after a while after reading the same stuff every day. You just think that they’re idiots.”

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