|photography by James Bland|
The first time Kelly Law-Yone played Guitar Hero, she was terrible. Even though she was an experienced gamer—in fact, she had a gaming nickname, “Tipper Queen,” from her expertise in another game—she couldn’t beat any of her friends. Within months, though, she was beating them all, even placing third overall in the first two Guitar Hero tourneys she entered.
Now playing Guitar Hero II, Law-Yone is considered one of the top gaming girls in the country. Sorry. One of the top gamers, period. “A lot of people who don’t know me well think I’m known just because I’m a girl,” says Law-Yone, 20. “All they see is some girl in a skirt. Until I whip them.” Law-Yone, a UT-Dallas junior and Plano West graduate, competes on the World Series of Video Games tour as part of Team Pandemic. This month’s stop is in Los Angeles.
At the Dallas WSVG event in July, it was clear Law-Yone’s profile was growing. She spotted two fans who had driven from Arkansas sporting “I (heart) Tipper Queen” t-shirts. “It was so sweet!” she says. “I hated to tell them they’d already missed my performance.”