Valorant’s new tournament series is aimed at making its esports scene more diverse

2021 is an enormous yr for aggressive Valorant, with developer Riot kicking off an bold, yearlong esports circuit referred to as the Valorant Champions Tour. However the firm is additionally trying to make the scene more diverse with a separate competitors referred to as VCT Sport Changers, which it says will “create aggressive alternatives for girls and marginalized genders inside Valorant.”

This system will embody a series of “high tier” competitions all through 2021, however maybe more necessary is an academy series designed to foster new expertise. Right here’s how Riot describes it:

The VCT Sport Changers Academy program will host month-to-month tournaments, giving gamers even more alternatives to compete at the semi-pro and grassroots degree. Academy occasions shall be organized in partnership with GALORANTs, one of many largest communities inside Valorant. GALORANTs beforehand helped arrange the “For the Ladies Summer season Showdown” tournament in September 2020. Each the VCT Sport Changers Series and Academy will assist construct the subsequent era of leaders who aspire to succeed with the aggressive Valorant group.

Ladies-centric esports competitions aren’t a new phenomenon, because the scene is nonetheless largely male-dominated throughout the most important video games, whether or not it’s League of Legends, Overwatch, or Fortnite. However as a comparatively new recreation, having launched final yr, Valorant is in a doubtlessly good place to domesticate a more diverse participant base. In truth, there are already optimistic indicators; when esports group Evil Geniuses entered the skilled Valorant scene, it did so with a mixed-gender roster.

“Competing in video games as a girl could be a daunting process, oftentimes leading to a really actual aggressive drawback,” Valorant govt producer Anna Donlon mentioned in a press release. “Whereas we’re addressing this problem in-game, with enhancements to talk, voice communications, and mitigation of griefing, we additionally see a possibility to take one other step with esports.”

Riot says this system shall be a “year-long effort.”

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