There are women in esports—if you know where to look

OCTOBER 27, 2022

There are women in esports—if you know where to look
Girls play and slay in “Valorant: Game Changers.”


There are women in esports—if you know where to look
Girls play and slay in “Valorant: Game Changers.”

Hey, Sentinels just won VCT Madrid. What are your thoughts?

My friends and I have been watching Valorant tournaments since 2021. Valorant, a first-person shooter (FPS) game, is one I play myself and although I cannot play at the level of these pro league players, I love watching them battle it out in online tournament settings or face-to-face (LAN) tournaments as well. Most of the tournaments for any esport, however, are widely dominated by men. So, not to be that person, but where are the women?

Women have a long history of not being able to compete in esports leagues because of many reasons. This includes how the gaming market is forgetful of how much it could make with the inclusion of women in the gaming industry. League of Legends (LoL), for example, did not have a female tournament until September 2023 despite its pro scene being home to many esports legends such as Faker from the Korean T1 team. Maybe LoL is just the wrong game. Maybe a multiplayer online battle arena (Moba) isn’t the best entry game for women.

Riot Games, the same company that created LoL, also created Valorant, which does have an active esports tournament for female gamers, “Valorant: Game Changers” (GC). “Valorant: GC” is a tournament that is home to teams like Cloud9 White and G2 Gozen, some of the most influential teams. Our region of Southeast Asia has also been a contender in these past few years with Team SMG being one of the more notable teams for running a four-man duelist team composition—duelists being your entry and or main scorer/fragger. Team SMG went up against Evil Geniuses GC and didn’t even intentionally pick to play a four-duelist team. The way that all these female teams play is amazing and hopefully, SEA can send another team, or maybe more teams this year to the regional and global stages.

There are women in esports—if you know where to look
A battle of who can play off their team comps better

Pro qualifiers

I was fortunate enough to become a watch party host and caster for the SEA open stage games for the 2024 season of “Valorant: GC.” But, before getting into the teams, how does one exactly get into the pro qualifiers for Valorant’s esports sphere? There are many ways, but one is to join an organization that sends teams to these competitions. Not all teams start with pay but most start with at the very least having a manager and/or a coach.

Some of the all-female orgs I know in the Philippines include Aureole Esports and Girls Got Game PH, with the latter being a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that aims to encourage girls into any sport. As someone who knows how hard it is to be part of a game still predominantly followed by men, communities like these make girls feel safer. As someone who is part of Aureole myself, I think that the main point is to give girls a safe space to grow into the players of any game they want to be.

Going back to “Valorant: GC,” the open stage started March 26, with two games being broadcast. What I love about this is the diversity of a regional tournament. The first four teams to take the stage had a total of seven women with different nationalities, including two women from the Philippines.

There are women in esports—if you know where to look
Who can adjust better—Team Deviant Topaz or Team Fear Eater Sierra?

For the first broadcast, I decided to watch Team Deviant Topaz and Team Fear Eater Sierra battle it out in a best-of-three game to get to the next stages. Casting the maps played was very much a challenge in terms of trying to keep up with all that was happening. The two maps played in this game were Sunset and Ascent, my personal favorite. Both teams tried their very best to play to win but in the end, Team Deviant Topaz won. I hope to see more from both teams.

I hope that many women are inspired to watch these games and realize that women can also make it in the pro gaming industry, in more ways than one. For myself, I hope that casting and becoming a content creator can help young girls and or other women see that gaming can be for girls. I hope that “Valorant: GC” and female esports league FPS, who handles the SEA region, will continue on to inspire more women to step up as players, casters, coaches, and more.

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