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Aerial Powers featured in Gucci docuseries, has paved a path for women in gaming

Minnesota Lynx forward Aerial Powers is not only a WNBA team’s leading scorer, but also a superstar video gamer, whose life story is being told in a Gucci docuseries.

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Aerial Powers
Photo courtesy of Gucci

Minnesota Lynx forward/guard and well-known video gamer Aerial Powers is featured on Episode 3 of GG Legends, an ESL FACEIT Group and Gucci docuseries collarboration. The episode follows Powers through her childhood playing against guys on the courts in Detroit to her time at Michigan State and beyond through interviews with her, her father and her Spartan coach Suzy Merchant.

Powers was very emotional about getting to be on GG Legends. In a recent call with Swish Appeal, she said she’s never had a family member be a pro athlete before her, so all the attention has been new to her throughout her career. For it to reach this point where a docuseries came to her hometown meant a lot.

The episode tells the story of when Powers first started playing on the courts against the guys. On her first trip to the park with her dad, there were tons of guys waiting to get on the court and she wasn’t able to speak up loud enough to get her turn. She returned the very next day, and, in the confident fashion of the Aerial Powers WNBA fans have come to know and love, yelled out “Who got next? ... My next!”

Powers’ dad said that was the moment he knew he didn’t have to worry about her anymore.

Powers said she was very nervous in that moment when she yelled out, which is hard to imagine for people who know her now. She notes that when you’re put in uncomfortable situations, you’re forced to grow more confidence.

Aerial Powers
Photo courtesy of Gucci

Also in the episode, Merchant talks about starting Powers as a freshman and how rare that is, adding that she is “in awe of her and so proud of her.”

Merchant recently stepped down as the head coach at Michigan State due to health concerns, but to Powers she IS Michigan State women’s basketball.

While Powers has inspired people with her basketball career, which has included a WNBA championship with the Washington Mystics, she has been equally influential in the gaming world, calling a NBA2K tournament on ESPN and joining the professional gaming organization Team Liquid as the brand and diversity ambassador, among other accomplishments in the arena of gaming. Her goal was always been to increase the inclusivity of gaming and she has successfully done that.

“I think I made gaming more inclusive in a few ways,” Powers said. “For me, I’ve always believed that if you can see it, you can be it. And, I’m here!

“But, I can also share a few specific examples. I started my Powerz Up tournament that provides women a safe place to come and play 2K and get their confidence up to enter the draft.

“I’ve been a part of the 1,000 Dreams Fund with BroadcastHer in collaboration with HyperX. At one point, I was able to connect with the winners, answer their questions. Recently, one of the girls I spoke with said that around the time we connected, she was going to quit. She said my words helped keep her in the game. And, now, she’s organizing tournaments in the space.”

Powers was also “heavily involved” in the selection and onboarding of Team Liquid’s all-women VALORANT team, which she says continues to compete at a high level.

After going over childhood and college, the episode moves into talking about the isolation caused by playing overseas and how Powers used video games to overcome that because she would play online against her family. She says her mom playing video games is partly what inspired her to start; she is out to show young girls that there are plenty of women already gaming.

Powers started her WNBA career in Dallas before playing for the Mystics. During 2021 free agency she signed with the Lynx and in 2022 just barely edged the legendary Sylvia Fowles as the team’s leading scorer. Powers says she’s enjoying being back in the Midwest, in part because her parents still live in Michigan and have been coming to see her play more frequently. She knows Fowles, who retired after 2022, will be hard to replace, but she’s excited to have another star in Napheesa Collier back from maternity leave.