Cloud9 has named the MAJKL Valorant roster for women as the first women esports team.
The team of Alexis "alexis" Guarrasi, Annie "Annie" Roberts, Jasmine "Jazzyk1ns" Manankil, Katsumi and Melanie "meL" Capone will compete as Cloud9 White in competition for Riot Games Valorant League.
The new team is sponsored by AT&T.
As MAJKL, the team has already won first place at the FTW Summer Showdown tournament – part of the Valorant Ignition Series. With that $ 25,000 in prize pool, the team was the sixth highest paid team in the competition.
"What I noticed about MAJKL is that they had to work hard to perfect their game, find each other and then compete as a unit," Gaylen Malone, Cloud9 senior general manager, said in a statement. "They are a talented group of women who teamed up with the goal of being the best at the game and committed to doing what it took to get there. It was amazing how they looked have improved over the past few months. "
Competitive sport should be a place where women and men can compete on equal terms, but the league still faces the same problems as other competitive events. Few women are members of the elite teams in eSports. Competitors like the FaZe Clan (which is sponsored by TechCrunch's parent company Verizon) only have one girl on their Fortnite list.
"Our goal is not only to add value to players with AT&T products and services, but also to contribute to real, meaningful change in the industry by giving this high-performing team and other talented women what they need to be successful, "Shiz Suzuki, Associate Vice President, Sponsorship & Experience Marketing, AT&T, said in a statement. "We can't wait to tell their stories and see how the best of the best represent Cloud9 and AT&T on some of the greatest stages in the world."
Women players experience the same type of harassment and inequality as women in other sports.
"A lot of female players are being evicted and don't want to be seen as players," Madison "Maddiesuun" Mann told online publication ShondaLand. “I remember being pretty insecure in high school. I didn't tell anyone I played video games until I graduated – it's just this weird uncertainty. "