Addressing the limited representation of women in the gaming world, Esports organization Cloud9 has decided to sponsor its first all-women esports team in Riot Games’ Valorant esports tournaments. Los Angeles based Cloud9 runs several esports teams for games such as League of Legends and Fortnite. It will partner with AT&T in creating more opportunities for women in the gaming arena. The team will debut at Riot’s First Strike tournament qualifiers starting on Monday, October 26th.
Female representation in the industry
A 2019 Newzoo study came across the fact that women make up 46% of the gaming industry. Momentum Worldwide reported 29% of esports fans to be women. According to WomenInGames.org, 71% of people believe that women are represented inadequately in the industry as compared to men. On Momentum Worldwide, 62% of respondents believe that brands do not reach out to women even if they claim to do so. Kristen Salvatore, the senior vice president at Cloud9, believes that some of the statistics need to improve for esports to change. Women in the gaming industry experience the same amount of adversity as women in any other industry.
The main motive for this collaboration is to have a single team comprising of men and women, who are equally incredible in their gaming style. Currently, a few members are in the elite eSports teams. Competitors on the Fortnite roster have just one girl on their team. Shiz Suzuki, associate vice president at AT&T, said in a statement,
Our goal is to not only provide value to gamers with AT&T’s products and services but to also contribute to real, meaningful change in the industry by giving this powerhouse team and other talented women what they need to succeed. We can’t wait to tell their stories and see the best of the best represent Cloud9 and AT&T on some of the world’s largest stages.
Cloud9’s all-women team
Cloud9 is introducing the MAJKL Valorant squad to the tournament. The team will be known as Cloud9 White and comprises Alexis “alexis” Guarrasi, Annie “Annie” Roberts, Jasmine “Jazzyk1ns” Manankil, Katsumi, and Melanie “meL” Capone. As MAJKL, the team has already won first place in the FTW Summer Showdown Tournament and became the sixth highest-paid team on the competitive circuit.