Valorant pro meL addresses reports of Tier 1 VCT trial denials

Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Valorant pro Melanie “meL” Capone has responded to reports of her being denied Tier 1 VCT trials due to male players supposedly not wanting to “play with a woman”. 

On September 19, esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau claimed that a number of top female Valorant pros were being turned away from trials with Tier 1 teams. This was allegedly due to the fact some male players did “not want to play with a woman”.

Slasher has since clarified his comments, stating that in meL’s case, it was not true for every instance she was denied purely based on her gender. However, the news nonetheless shocked the Valorant community and sparked plenty of outrage

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Hours after the news gained traction, meL has since responded to Slasher’s comments, revealing her side of the situation directly.

“I’ve been denied opportunities to trial for co-ed Valorant teams with a handful of talented co-ed rosters over the years,” meL confirmed in her statement. However, the reason behind this rejection wasn’t always down to the fact male players didn’t want to play with a female, she further explained.

“Reasons that include teams not wanting to pay a buyout for me and because I was viewed as, and I quote, ‘too valuable of an asset to release this close to partnership selection when I’m so pivotal to my org’s application’.

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“There was at least one situation where I was being considered but it was soon communicated back to me from a Tier 1 team that a player was not comfortable playing with a woman,” meL added. 

At the time, meL “let it rest” and did not publicly address the matter “as to not risk being viewed as a liability to other teams. I don’t know why this has resurfaced, but I feel like I have no choice other than to share this because I see people saying this could never happen and it’s impossible.” 

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“I had a bad experience I did not feel like discussing out of fear that it would take away from future opportunities.”

Furthermore, meL said she feels “embarrassed” due to this all being public now, with a number of pros not involved “having to defend themselves from the masses.”

“I just want to play the game and grind to improve with my teammates.”

meL ValorantColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
meL is one of the top female Valorant players in the world today.

Defending the Valorant scene as a whole, for the most part, she stressed how “the vast majority of men in the professional community advocate for [her], make themselves available for advice, defend [her] in toxic ranked lobbies,” and some have even directly vouched for her on various teams.

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“I’ve never felt this kind of support from any other esport. I appreciate you all so much; you’ve been arguably the most important allies.”

For now, meL added that she just wants to put the situation behind her and focus on the upcoming VCT Game Changers Series 3 competition, an event that determines which NA team qualifies for the Game Changers Championship.

“I just want to play the game and grind to improve with my teammates.”

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