These players are ready for the OMEN Challenge 2022

This year’s all-female contestants on inclusivity, representation, and why they are looking forward to competing.

By Sarah Murry — January 25, 2022

When the curtains rise on this year’s OMEN Challenge, contestants won’t be on a massive soundstage or an esports arena. Rather, they’ll warm up their trigger fingers bathed in the glow of their own PC screens. 

The OMEN Challenge, aptly named “The Video Game Game Show,” is back this year as a livestream event where gamers and content creators will face off in a multi-round, video gaming tournament where attendees and fans can interact with players on Twitch. Hosted by actor, comedian, and writer Ron Funches and featuring OMEN squad member, streamer, and special guest CupAhNoodle, the Challenge will be broadcast on the OMEN Twitch channel this week.

The eight contestants  — who will compete to win the latest OMEN by HP and Intel gear and the opportunity to donate OMEN equipment to communities in need —  comprise a roster of all-star female gamers and content creators: Sparkles_QT, MsAshRocks, Tsikyo, Blushi, QTCinderella, StoryModeBae, YouGelly, and Kat “Mystik” Gunn

Their goal? Make it through four rounds of trivia and four rounds of gameplay, but don’t get voted out by fellow competitors. One victor will be left standing, and she’ll not only win bragging rights, but also the “ultimate gaming battle station” complete with the OMEN 30L desktop and OMEN 27i monitor, a slew of HyperX peripherals, a mini fridge, and mood lighting. The winner will also get to present a donation of HP Victus laptops to their local Boys & Girls Club.

Reflecting gaming’s growing mainstream popularity, this is the first year that the OMEN Challenge will lean toward mass-market titles, including racing game Hot Wheels Unleashed, one-on-one roguelike shooter Rounds, the colorful multiplayer Gang Beasts, and the sci-fi first-person-shooter Splitgate.  

The Garage got the chance to talk to a few of the OMEN Challenge participants as they prepared to bring their A-games to the competition. 

Why are you excited about the OMEN Challenge?

Kat Gunn: I always love a challenge! Being a hyper competitive person I will always find ways to compete, whether it’s video games, TV game shows, or chores. Also, as a side bonus, I get to remind younglings to “git gud.”

Blushi: Not only am I helping out a Boys & Girls Club charity of my choice if I win, but I get my own dream gaming setup! 

StoryModeBae: OMEN and HP are both innovative and trailblazing forces in the tech industry, which makes it such an honor for me to be able to team up with them. Being able to battle head-to-head with other streamers in hopes of winning computers for our local Boys & Girls Club was just the cherry on top.

In what ways have you seen gaming becoming more inclusive over time?

Kat Gunn: Growing up, gaming was never a career option. Now with social media, esports leagues, and a lot of pioneering influencers helping make it mainstream; it has become not only acceptable, but something most kids want to pursue. 

StoryModeBae: I love seeing games start to incorporate storylines with main characters of diverse backgrounds, including those that are Black, POC, and LGBTQIA+. Proper lighting for skin tones and hair textures/styles are becoming addressed a little more frequently, and not feeling like an afterthought like they’ve been in the past. While these are great things, I look forward to the day that these are not questioned and met with backlash, which means there’s still more work to do.

MsAshRocks: Gaming brands are speaking up about inclusivity and how it is important to them. In the streaming space, having brands highlight and uplift our stories has been a great start. 

What do you think the biggest trend in gaming is for 2022?

StoryModeBae: I noticed more people are beginning to hop into VR gaming. If the demand for new games can keep up with the amount of players jumping into the world of virtual reality, I see the possibility for a lot of cool things to happen this year.

MsAshRocks: More indie and story-driven games being introduced with content creators, and more console exclusives making it into PC gaming.

Kat Gunn: Hopefully more OMEN Challenges! Opportunities like this are originally what reinforced making a full-time job out of playing video games for me.

“Despite what some may say, there’s space in this industry for us, and the biggest step is you believing in yourself.”

— Briana Williams aka StoryModeBae

What has surprised you the most in your career as a streamer/content creator?

Kat Gunn: My misfit second family: Over the many years of streaming I have curated a group of like-minded individuals. They challenge me in many ways I could not foresee and I love it. 

Blushi: Not only have I gained a community of over 200,000 amazing people but I get to be in a game show next to women I look up to!

StoryModeBae: This is not easy work, and not only do you have to have a tough skin,  your mental health plays a huge role. Those moments where the view counts aren’t what you had hoped for, when the inevitable burnout kicks in, and the “grind culture” mentality starts to take over your mind. Having outlets for yourself to rest, relax, and recharge is so important, and taking these steps to better your mental health pays off not only for your mind, but oftentimes your content, too.

What is a common misperception about female gamers?

Kat Gunn: Women can be dismissed for their looks or what they wear. When, really, we are all humans trying to find enjoyment in what we do. 

Blushi: That we are not very good at the games we play. But I’ve seen some AMAZING gameplay by the women in this community! Everyday, females are proving the haters wrong.

StoryModeBae: The biggest one is that women don’t play video games. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to grasp the idea that not only do women enjoy playing games, we can kick your butt in them, too. 

MsAshRocks: The most common are that women are only playing for attention, and we are not “true” to the game. Another one is that we are only meant to play support characters/roles. This industry doesn’t believe women deserve to be “top frag” or aggressive since we aren’t “good” enough. It’s repetitive to the point where it doesn’t bother me anymore, since I know I’ll do better than them!

What would you say to women who want to get into gaming?

Kat Gunn: Do what you are passionate about. With the gaming scene and social platforms constantly changing, I want to remind women to stay diverse, adaptive, and creative.

StoryModeBae: Be authentically you, and know that it’s not always easy, but my biggest piece of advice is just start. Despite what some may say, there’s space in this industry for us, and the biggest step is you believing in yourself.

MsAshRocks: There is so much more work to be done for women to be included in all areas of gaming, but we dominate the scene. We belong in gaming, and we are here to stay.


Tune in to watch The Video Game Game Show OMEN Challenge on January 27 from 3-5pm Pacific / 6-8pm Eastern at Here’s how to play along from home.