Li Xiaomeng is breaking barriers as one of the world’s first female esports champions

When she first picked up Blizzard Entertainment’s online game Hearthstone in 2016, Li Xiaomeng was looking for nothing more than a brief respite from her strenuous law studies.

In the space of three years, she went from noob to professional gamer, and was crowned the winner of last November’s Hearthstone Global Championship at age 23.

Coming with 200,000 RMB in prize money, Li’s win was called a “landmark victory” for esports, as she was the first female to triumph at any of Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon tournaments. Fresh off her win, Li discusses the trajectory of her unusual career, as well as the growth of esports in China.

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On Top of Her Game is a story from our issue, “Alpine Ambitions.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


Emily Conrad is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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