Valorant Update: Just last month, Spectator Gaming’s FTW initiative became the first tournament organizer to receive official professional-level tournament status from Riot Games for an all-women tournament. The winners of this all women tournament MAJKL has now been picked up by Cloud 9 as a sister team to its existing Valorant roster.
The team will now compete under the name “Cloud9 White” with the (currently) all-male team rebranding to “Cloud9 Blue.”
Who run the World?
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) October 25, 2020
“I had this group of girls together, I thought we could achieve things no one has done before,” explained Mel, the in-game Leader of the newly formed Cloud9 White team. “Our goal is to compete at the tier one level. . . I think it was the culture of C9 that drew us to them over any other organization. I feel like female empowerment, equality, and supporting marginalized communities is part of their culture. When we interacted with [the team] at first, our initial point of contact was a woman in a position of power who set us up and guided us through the process.”
The roster of Cloud9 White consists of:
Alexis “alexis” Guarrasi
Annie “AnnieDro” Roberts
Jasmine “Jazzyk1ns” Manankil
Katja “Katsumi” Pfahnl
Mleanie “meL” Capone.
Cloud9 Senior General Manager Gaylen Malone, the organization is committed to turning Cloud9 White into a true sister team competing in Valorant’s male-dominated pro scene.
“What stood out to me about MAJKL is that they had to work hard to perfect their play, find each other, and then compete as a unit,” explained Gaylen Malone, Senior General Manager of Cloud9. “They are a talented group of women who came together with the goal of being the best at the game and were committed to doing what it took to get there, and watching their improvement over just the past few months has been incredible. They displayed so many of the values we have here at C9, both within the game and out of it, and I’m beyond excited to be welcoming them to Cloud9.”
A 2019 Newzoo study found women make up 46% of the gaming industry; Momentum Worldwide reported 29% of esports fans are women. According to WomenInGames.org, 71% of respondents say women aren’t represented enough in esports and gamingo . Momentum Worldwide noted 62% of female esports fans do not believe brands market to them. Salvatore believes that for esports to change, some of these stats have to improve. Multiple teams including Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming currently field women’s rosters in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and/or Valorant.
Kristen Salvatore Senior vice president of marketing at Cloud9, in an interview with GamesBeat. “One of the coolest things about esports and competitive gaming is that, unlike traditional sports, you’re playing with a mouse and keyboard,” Salvatore said. “It genuinely does not matter who’s behind the game sitting at that keyboard in terms of their physical prowess or their gender or their cultural background. None of that matters. And so there is every reason that this should be a really powerful way to change what people think a team should be.
company’s strategy was inspired by early Korean League of Legends.