If you are one of those people that thinks only boys like esports and video games, brace yourself because we are about to change your perception.
27-year-old Suriya Banu is a team manager at Amazon, that loves cosplay (costume play) and gaming! A lot of people tend to assume that women aren’t into gaming but this outlook is slowly changing in South India – especially in Chennai. With more women gamers on the rise, there is a substantial representation for girls in the e-sports arena.
Suriya Banu belongs to one of India’s first all-woman league of legends teams. She plays for Girlaxy India as a top laner and the word around town is that she can totally slay! Her team also played at the Indian Cyber Gaming Championship held at Goa (2014-16).
Suriya told us that she loved cartoons and video games even as a child. At the age of 15, she watched her very first anime series. Her favorite anime includes Fullmetal Alchemist, Inuyasha and Naruto! She attended the Bangalore comic con in 2014 where she would be inspired to become a cosplayer. For her first cosplay, she dressed as LeLouch Vi Britannia from Code Geass, Lelouch of the Rebellion. She wore a rather simple outfit but everyone seemed to love it. Now, Suriya makes her own costumes, even the weapons and shields. While it is time-consuming, she says the effort is totally worth it. Her love for League of Legends doesn’t get left out when she cosplays. She once starred as Kindred, a half wolf, half sheep ranged marksman/jungler. Suriya has touched base with Hollywood as well, dressing up as Lady Thor, Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy and even Judy Hopps from Zootopia.
Apart from cosplaying and gaming, Suriya loves to travel and paint. Women like Suriya are on the rise thanks to supportive families and a progressive society. However, there is still A LOT of room for representation in Chennai – not only for women but men too. The cosplaying community in Chennai doesn’t get the opportunity to attend many events, unlike others in Bangalore or Northern India. Perhaps it’s time to give these talented new age cosplay enthusiasts some recognition in Chennai. Only time will tell!
For now, we are happy to have met Suriya and hope that she will inspire other youngsters to follow their passions!