The Vengeful Grandmother: this 62-year-old lady challenges the youngest in ‘League of Legends’ | Technology

“Soak the lentils, cuqui!” Anabel Ávila Vegue yells at her daughter, Natalia, as she puts herself in the shoes of Malzahar, the prophet of the void, and starts handing out big guns. It’s 12 o’clock in the morning on any given Wednesday on La Abuela Vengadora’s Twitch channel. Ávila, a 62-year-old from Madrid, is playing League of Legends (LoL), online role-playing video game, broadcasting the game on the video platform in streaming from Amazon. A hundred-odd spectators are attentive to her struggle to protect the magic crystals in the virtual world as they listen to her yelling at her daughter, who sometimes joins the game. His channel combines the epic of role-playing video games with the costumbrismo of the life of a housewife.

Avila is actually a businesswoman. Or it was. He had a manicure business but the coronavirus crisis swept him away. It was at that moment, when the real world fell apart, that she decided to dive right into the virtual world. “I already played, but I started with this streaming just in March 2020, a few days before the pandemic started ”, she comments in the middle of the battlefield, meeting virtually with the journalist in a game. “That I have ruined myself, that I have had to close my store, that everything was horrible outside. But thanks to this game I could not think, I could not fall apart ”, he explains while dodging an attack. It was the second time LoL saved his life.

“The first was nine years ago, with my last divorce,” he says as he shoots and approaches the enemy base. “I was downcast, depressed, and my oldest son came and said: Mom, I know what you need, it’s called League of Legends and it is an online game. I was so happy with my Super Mario and my racing games, so I said no. But look, in the end he was right ”. I had it. Anabel just won the game despite the burden of dealing with a teammate who asks more than shoots.

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More than 180 million people they play League of Legends monthly. Its audience is eminently male and ranges from 16 to 25 years old. Anabel is an exception and she knows it. Always it was. It was gamer before the term was used. He has been playing since the first video game appeared in Spain. As a young woman, she was more interested in going to arcades than to the disco. “On my honeymoon there was a machine with the Space Invaders in the hotel and I spent half the trip playing,” he remembers with a laugh. In his house, next to the television, there was always a console. The NES, the Super Nintendo, the Megadrive, the first Playstation. The years went by and the machines followed one another.

She shared her hobby with her husband and three children. Now it does so with a vast community of LoL fans. The emergence of online games brought him closer to people with the same tastes, although usually they are usually young people and adolescents. In the nine years he has been in this game, he has only found two people his age, both men, from Latin America. It doesn’t have much to do with them. Many battle mates call her grandmother, but they do so with respect. At the end of the day it is his name in this community. “I had another nickname, but I got the Vengeful Grandmother after I got trolled in a game. So I changed my nickname, I deleted all my contacts and I swore to take revenge on all the rat children, ”he explains with a point of irony.

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In fact, in these years there has been more fun than revenge. Anabel has not felt discriminated against in LoL, neither because of her gender nor because of her age. “What matters to the players is that you are good, they don’t care if you are a boy or a girl,” he says. That is why she strives to improve. In video games, unlike in real life, it is better to shut mouths with punches than with words. Yes, he has had a run-in, in the end it is many years. “Once a kid sent me to sweep,” he remembers. “And the thing is, I love to sweep, but I also love playing League. I told him if we played a one-on-one game and I beat him up. I humiliated him ”.

Anabel plays from Monday to Friday, about six hours a day. “Before I played less but now, with stremearI have to dedicate more time to it ”, he explains. It has 180 subscribers and a few hundred spectators in each game. It is a modest but growing channel. With these figures you can get about 300 euros per month. “My dream would be to be able to make a living from it,” says Anabel, “that in addition to helping me psychologically, it helps me financially”.

After two years of broadcasting, La Abuela Vengadora has established a certain relationship with many of her fans and fellow players. “I’m even in a WhatsApp group, although at first it gave me a bit of trouble. These people have another language, I thought I was not going to understand them ”. In the end, she herself has internalized this jargon and truffles her speech of indecipherable neologisms for someone outside the world of LoL. “I do not flameo, because in my real life I don’t like flaming ”, he assures. “What I do do is tiltear” [”flamear” es insultar; “tiltear” es estar frustrado, decepcionado, enfadado por cómo va una partida]

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In the last weeks Anabel has been a little nervous. He is going to the Gamergy, a great e-sports event that is organized in Madrid. Not only is she going to go, but she is going to do it in disguise. “I’m going to do cosplay de Vi, one of the game’s champions “, she explains,” and it’s the first time I’ve done it in my life. ” Since he started playing in League there have been a lot of firsts, but Grandma Avenging does not flinch. “To me the streaming It is helping me as a person to be more open, to have less shame, ”he says. “And to have fun, which in the end is what it’s all about.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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