VALORANT has seen a year of success in the esports environment with the Champions Tour’s journey being one of the most viewed tournaments of 2021. As the year caps off with multiple announcements of how the tournament circuit will change in 2022, we see some familiar formats being reintroduced and olds ones getting a revamp for more competitiveness in the scene. One of those being the VALORANT Game Changers, which is considered to be a step into the future of competitive esports.
VALORANT Game Changers
The VALORANT Game Changers is the competitive tournament circuit exclusive to female professional players. This tournament scene allows the women to have a stage to compete in and develop their skills until such a time arrives that there will be no need to have an exclusive format. For now, female pros don’t have a lot of opportunity in the main leagues which causes them to stay further behind in the competitive scene. This tournament aims for those women to catch up so that there will be more females in the main tournament format.
This tournament format isn’t a new arrival coming into 2022. In fact, Riot Games has already held VALORANT Game Changers tournaments through 2021 but the circuit was really small and had only a decent amount of viewership for a minor league. In 2022, Riot Games aims to make VALORANT Game Changers more legitimate by formalizing the tournament schedule and creating international qualifiers for all of the regions that hold their own Game Changers tournaments to crown the first-ever World Champion.
The Controversy Behind the Tournament
Recently in the CS:GO community, ESL also announced that it will hold its own version of a women-only tournament circuit to promote the involvement of women in esports. However, the community didn’t take this decision well since they believed that the segregation of men and women in esports promotes discrimination rather than inclusivity. A lot of people was also concerned that this tournament simply lowered the quality of the main tournament format since they had to split their resources into this league.
Personalities in social media, especially women, went on to say that having their own exclusive format is important for women to have a stage to grow and experience being an esports professional. They further explain that it’s true men are currently better in esports but only because they are given the opportunity to compete, which is something that women aren’t given. The goal of this tournament is not to have a permanent tournament scene for women but to help them catch up with the men.
The Rising Stars of VALORANT Game Changers
Believe it or not, a lot of teams around the world have already made a name for themselves in the VALORANT community as the top names in each region. However, there are two names that stand taller than the rest because they are the closes to reaching the level of a standard VALORANT team in the main series. Let’s take a look at these teams and why they should be the people that you should be watching when coming into the 2022 Game Changers season.
1. Cloud9 White
Cloud9 White are the Queens of North American VALORANT. They are multiple steps ahead of the competition that nobody even comes close to being able to beat them in a full series. Even though there were some teams that managed to take a map off of them, the team was simply too good at what they do that it was never a question of whether or not they will win the tournament but if their opponents will put up a good enough fight to make the series entertaining.
In terms of the VALORANT Game Changers international scene, Cloud9 White are one of the two favorite teams to win it all. They have mechanics that are comparable to the average VALORANT team in the main series and have been scrimming with Cloud9 Blue, who was a participant in the VALORANT Champions in 2021. They continue to impress but the lack of competition in their region raises the concern of whether or not they are as good as they are shown to be domestically.
2. G2 Gozen
G2 Gozen is the female VALORANT team for G2 Esports. Even though they didn’t have as much of a dominant run as Cloud9 White, the European team found great success in the later half of the circuit when they finally found the perfect piece to complete their roster. They showed an exceptional run in VALORANT Game Changers Series 3 and have been considered one of the strongest teams in the entire world right now due to their powerful lineup being able to compete against the best.
The advantage that G2 Gozen have is that EMEA is a much more competitive region. The team didn’t breeze through the competition, they had to fight tooth and nail to win the championship which means that they have more experience working under pressure. If EMEA manages to retain their competitiveness in 2022, there’s no doubt that G2 Gozen will only become better by the time the internationals arrive. While we’re not saying that this team will surely be the champions in 2022, we do recommend that you keep an eye out of them in the coming circuit.
Is VALORANT Game Changers the Future of Esports?
Having a women-only tournament is indeed a step forward for the esports community as a whole because it introduces a place for a new wave of potential VALORANT professionals to grow and develop. This tournament is necessary to expand the competitive diversity of esports and should be applied not only in VALORANT or CS:GO but also to other esports as well so that we can diversify our audience and show that girls can play video games too.
The esports community wants to see a future where there is no need for a women-only or men-only tournament but for that to happen, we need to provide opportunities for one or the other to get better. This also provides a chance to shine the spotlight on female players who have been ignore or overshadowed by male players which might catch the attention of big esports organizations. If you ask if VALORANT Game Changers is the future of esports, the answer will always be YES.