Cloud9 has officially announced they’ve signed one of the first all-female Valorant teams in the game’s esports community: C9White.
Teams the world over have been signing players for Riot’s new FPS left and right but no professional org had signed an all-female squad, until Cloud9’s latest announcement broke on October 25.
In a tweet, the org announced Alexis ‘alexis‘ Guarrasi, Annie ‘AnnieDro‘ Roberts, Jasmine ‘Jazzyk1ns‘ Manankil, Melanie ‘meL‘ Capone, and ‘katsumi‘ – who have all played together before – as the five faces of C9White.
Who run the World?
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) October 25, 2020
Kristin Salvatore, senior vice president of marketing at Cloud9, told GamesBeat in an interview that both the org’s female and male Valorant squads will play in the same league, practice together, and scrim against one another.
“We have two competitive teams,” Salvatore said in the interview. “And our goal is to actually have one competitive team that has the best players on it.”
Ideally, this would be a mix of both male and female pros, something that would be a first for a top-tier Valorant program, and a combination that we have rarely seen in esports at all.
One parallel that could be drawn is Se-yeon ‘Geguri‘ Kim of the Shanghai Dragons in the Overwatch League, but one female bench player on a roster is a far cry from an all-female team or a main club that gives six different women a chance to crack its starting lineup.
As mentioned earlier, all five members of C9White have played together before – on an unsponsored team named MAJKL. They ended up finishing in the 5th – 8th spot at the Counter Logic Gaming Blitz Open Cup, and, later on, got first place at the all-female FTW Summer Showdown tournament in September.
The lineup will play their first matches under the blue C9 banner just a day after the official announcement, at Riot’s First Strike tournament qualifiers starting on Monday, October 26.
It’s no secret that esports organizations are trying to appeal more to the female demographic and get more girls involved in gaming. There is an ongoing effort to break gendered stereotypes in the industry and, from a capitalist lens, their money does spend just as well as males after all. So it will be very interesting to see how this ends up working out for the newly minted pros on C9White.