This piece is one in a series about unapologetic women whose hair makes a statement. Follow their stories here.
ESports and competitive gaming has grown from an underground subculture to a prominent force in pop culture, thanks to, in some part, the female players and hosts that have given the industry a voice. One of those rising voices? Rachel Quirico, also known as Seltzer to her biggest fans.
Although she grew up playing video games, Quirico first found eSports at trade shows, where she would compete in walk-up tournaments. Soon she was competing online and at LANs, even forming her first competitive team (for Team Fortress 2 with the PMS Clan). She even competed on the WCG Ultimate Gamer Syfy reality show in 2010, solidifying her status in the gaming community. Never did Quirico think that she’d soon be behind a broadcaster’s desk or microphone, interviewing eSports stars on TV, at sold-out arenas, and more.
As Quirico has risen in the ranks of gamers, so has her assumed responsibility to bring eSports and gaming to the mainstream in a positive light. Quirico has said that esports, unlike traditional sports, is one of the most inclusive activities out there — everyone, regardless of age, gender, or physical ability, can participate in competition.
Video games also helped shape her look: Discovering Japanese anime and one “strong, badass but really feminine” character helped Quirico own her style. Dyeing her hair blonde helped her resemble the gaming characters she had long admired. “She was just the kind of strength and style that I wanted to have,” she says. “I loved the idea that you could be strong and you could be a badass, and you could still care about having long blonde hair and a really cute outfit.” Learn how Quirico embraces her individual style, from the gaming broadcasts and beyond.
About the Director
Eliza McNitt is a writer and director of commercials, films, and Virtual Reality experiences. She’s directed commercial and branded content campaigns for Essie, Revlon, Panasonic, TED, Maybelline, and Google. Her bold voice as a director, fusing science with narrative storytelling has been supported by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, TED, Google, Intel, Oculus, and Time Warner OneFifty. Her most recent documentary film collaboration with Google followed a group of three female astronauts and their journey to the stars. She is the creator of Fistful of Stars a Virtual Reality experience following the journey of The Hubble Telescope through the cosmos that drew an audience of over 6,000 people at BRIC! Celebrate Brooklyn and was the world’s largest communal virtual reality experience to date. The New Yorker profiled the experience writing “it astounded me, this feeling of floating above Earth, and tears began to emerge from my cardboard goggles.”
Eliza on Rachel:
"Rachel sees gaming as a way to connect people. She's a trailblazer, reinventing an industry where she is defying stereotypes in eSports. Rachel is fearless, and will probably beat you at any video game.”