Valorant, a free-to-play competitive shooter, hosted a major all-female tournament that boasted impressive viewership numbers. The future of female pro gaming is bright.
Valorant is a highly competitive game where all of its players are striving to get the best rank as possible by simply winning games. Easy to play but extremely hard to master, only the best of the best are able to reach the professional level. With a strong female player base, Valorant is doing its part to help grow the female esports scene.
Titled VCT Game Changers, the initiative encourages women and "minority gender" gamers to get involved at a professional level. Holding its first North American all-female tournament, it was Cloud9 White (esport organization Cloud9's all-female Valorant team) that took home the grand prize of $20,000 USD having not lost a game. The victory was two-fold - with the tournament incurring 250,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, this is a strong signal that female esports has its place on the main stage.
Professional gaming is unique in many ways compared to tradition sports - one of the key differences being that esports teams can comprise of different sexes. However, this is extremely rare to see (for example, only 1 out of 200 professional Overwatch players is a woman). Thus, having segregated tournaments is certainly a way to make esports more inclusive, but we still await the day where the biggest tournaments aren't male dominated.
Similarly to the WNBA, female esports certainly can hold its own when it comes to viewership, but it pales in comparison to male esports tournaments. But with female esports tournaments and initiatives becoming more numerous, hopefully we'll see true inclusion sooner rather than later.
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