“I like fighting games because of the drive it gives me – the competitive drive it gives me.”
Ricki Ortiz: Transgender Street Fighter follows the Chun-Li main as she interacts with long-time friends and sheds light on what it was like to struggle with her gender identity with a spotlight already on her as a professional, including the depression that clung to her as she hid her true self and the shift in public opinion towards her after she came out.
“It was just kinda rough for me because, I mean, I came out as gay when I was younger and, then, I gotta come out again as this?”
BBC also spoke with members of the FGC about Ricki and her role in the community as one of Street Fighter’s top competitors, where it was made clear that being transgender meant little to those who looked up to her.
“Everyone was more focused on trying to beat her. When they’d lose, they’d go back and start talking to each other and, ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s about “How the hell to we beat Ricki?” And it was never about gender identity, or anything like that.”
The documentary does not exclusively focus on her gender identity, however. Ricki also touches base on the friendships and memories she has forged through the years spent in the FGC, and what kind of mindset she experiences when she’s on stage competing in front of thousands of people.
Ricki’s 2016 season brought the LGBT icon enormous success, the cherry on top being when she placed second in last year’s Capcom Cup, Street Fighter‘s most prestigious and hyped event of the year. She holds a total of 964 Capcom Career Points
BBC received flak from the eSports community in November when they released a piece titled “100 Women in 2016: The women challenging sexism in e-sports,” which was meant to shed light on the struggle that women face in eSports. Dozens of eSports personalities, including CLG Red’s Stephanie “MissHarvey” Harvey who was featured in the article, criticized the BBC for cherry-picking statements, publishing wildly inaccurate facts, and crossing game scenes to compare the gender pay gap. While the statement, “the top earning for the top male player in e-sports amounts to over $2,500,000 while the top female earnings as less than $200,000” remained in the article, their claim of Twitch being owned by YouTube was fixed.
Thankfully, this time, the narrative was entirely left to someone who knew what they were talking about.