And its implications in the esports scene
With AFK Pros’ most recent female professional players all announced, we thought it would be a great opportunity to recap and share our thoughts on the future of female VALORANT and female esports in general.
We couldn’t be more delighted with our signings to this date. Representing the best free agents across both Europe and North America is something we are incredibly proud of and excited about moving forward.
It is no secret that women and people of marginalised genders have encountered barriers and challenges in our industry that other groups may not. Studies have shown that women in esports comprise 35% of esports amateur players, but only 1% of esports professionals. This is due to factors such as bullying, harassment and a lack of development support. FandomSpot reported that 93% of the female gamers they surveyed experienced sexual harrasment online, with a further 76% disguising their gender while gaming online. The proportion of female players making it to a professional level is therefore hardly surprising. Figures like these go a little way to explaining how much harder it is for women to commit the necessary hours to the game, to reach the very top.
We believe that VALORANT esports has the opportunity to buck this trend and meaningfully elevate female VALORANT professionals and teams. By Riot’s own admission League of Legends has a very small pool of female professional players, seen as a missed opportunity.
“We need to make sure that from the beginning, from the inception of what this esport is, women are at the forefront of our mind, because we want to see mixed teams, we want to see all of those teams and a variety of different people represented.” – Shelby Ulisse, Event Producer at Riot Games.
This intent has been shown throughout the Game Changers Series. A welcoming experience for women and marginalised genders, designed to accelerate their opportunities and exposure.
The growth we have seen in both NA and EU since their first Game Gangers series, in March 2021 and September 2021 respectively, is amazing. Furthermore, after speaking with stakeholders surrounding the Game Changers series, we’re even more excited for the future of this circuit.
The end goal is an esports ecosystem where there is no need for the Game Changers series, as women and people of marginalised genders compete on mixed teams at the highest level of competition. This is a sentiment shared by Riot and many organisations, such as G2 Esports.
At AFK Pros, we want to play our part in achieving this goal, through providing female and marginalised gender professionals with the same level of expert support our existing roster of top male talent has come to expect.