The making of Frankie Ward: why I took a huge risk for esports

Frankie Ward is one of the most recognisable hosts and interviewers in esports, working for high tier CSGO events such as IEM Cologne, BLAST Premier, PGL and more, but it hasn’t always been smooth-sailing for the esports star.

In this exclusive interview, Frankie Ward discusses her introduction to esports, her most memorable moments, the huge risks she has taken, as well as her future in the industry.

Entering the world of esports

Fresh out of university, Frankie Ward joined the team at the BBC as a producer, covering a wide range of content and most notably working as the senior producer on League Of Legends Worlds 2015, in which she was first introduced into esports. When discussing the experience, Frankie explained: “Once I got there I just fell in love with the whole atmosphere, all the fans, and the storylines, and I think I was very fortunate that my first encounter with esports was in a stadium because that’s where you understand, you get the emotion straight away.”

Article continues after ad

Following this, Frankie discovered the streaming platform Twitch, which ignited her passion for the industry even more. She later left her role at the BBC to join the team at Twitch as a producer, alongside making some freelance host appearances at GinxTV and ESL UK, solidifying her future within esports.

Frankie hosting at the ESL Premiership

After facing an unexpected redundancy from Twitch, Frankie took a leap of faith and risked it all by deciding to go freelance within esports. Working as an interviewer and host, she said: “I gave myself three months… and my husband was like ‘if you can’t afford to pay me rent while you try this out then I don’t mind for a few months.’ So I knew I had that safety blanket not everyone else has. So yeah, I went for it, and I never didn’t pay rent.”

Article continues after ad

Frankie’s most memorable moments

Following her growing success within the industry, Frankie has worked on some of the biggest productions within Counter-Strike, DOTA and PUBG, with her even hosting a segment on the ‘PC Gaming Show’ in 2018. When discussing the broadcast, Frankie added: “I ended up with blooming, Day 9 on stage in Los Angeles, that show changed my life.”

The life-changing show skyrocketed Frankie’s experience within the industry, seeing her become an interviewer at CSGO’s IEM Katowice 2019. She faced uncertainty within her role, though, stating: “I was very conscious that I wasn’t a stage host, so I was very much ‘this is not my role, this is not the job I’m meant to be doing’ and I think I was a bit shy about taking command about things. I feel like I’m a much better stage host than I was then.”

Article continues after ad

This experience helped Frankie find her true passion as a stage host. Commenting on her interaction with the crowds, she added: “It’s very difficult when you tell people to turn on the torches on their phones and everyone holds it in the air, and you have to stand there and focus and not cry, because honestly, it’s the most incredible sight you will ever see when you’re in a role like mine.”

Watch the full episode on YouTube