Evil Geniuses Make Waves With First Major Co-Ed Team in Valorant
Evil Geniuses has been able to make some waves in Valorant recently with the introduction of the first major co-ed team in esports with multiple female players playing alongside men. While there have been notable examples of women breaking through the barrier to play with their male counterparts (the biggest example being Shanghai Dragons’ Geguri), never before has a major team sat multiple women on their active roster at the same time, and in more than just a token effort. It’s fitting then that Riot’s hit new FPS Valorant is the first game where this has really happened, as tournament organizers like Nerd Street Gamers have paved the way for women to prove themselves through events like the FTW Series.
It was through this that Evil Geniuses discovered both Christine “Potter” Chi and Claudia “Clawdia” Che to join the rising stars Nolan “Temperature” Pepper, Aleksandar Hinojosa, and Ronan “Osias” Javelna. With Potter returning from casting and other esports work to actively competing after playing Counter-Strike for teams like SK Ladies and Counter Logic Gaming Red, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to a team of young players looking to make a name for themselves, as well as prove that she has the chops to run with the boys on the Valorant servers.
Of course, it would be remiss to not note that Evil Geniuses is run by a female CEO, Nicole Lapointe Jameson, who has been instrumental in advocating for female players and staffers to try and even the playing field in what has long been a male dominated industry.
We had a chance to sit down with Potter to discuss her efforts to put together Evil Geniuses’ Valorant squad, her career thus far, and whether gender should even factor into the discussion at all.
Evil Geniuses’ Co-Ed Team Looks to Prove They Are the Best Valorant Squad
Dustin Steiner, Esports Talk: Evil Geniuses is unique in that it’s a co-ed-team with both women and men playing together. What do you think makes Valorant unique that a team like yours can compete with pure male rosters?
Christine “Potter” Chi, Evil Geniuses Valorant IGL: I’m really glad that EG approached me to be part of the strategy process of putting together the overall team. There’s an insane skill cap on all of our players, but we prioritized team dynamics and synergy. Raw talent doesn’t matter if you’re not playing as a cohesive team. As far as gender is concerned, it doesn’t even get factored into the equation — the team we assembled will be able to compete with the best out there.
Steiner: Have there been any significant barriers that you’ve had to overcome as a female player in a male-dominated esports scene?
Potter: No. It’s really a matter of choice for me now, since I’ve been in the scene for so long. Do I want to dominate in a gender segregated league, or do I want to play with the best of the best where I belong?
Steiner: What do you think of the notion that Valorant needs to reward better aiming, like CS:GO, rather than the way things are now?
Potter: People forget VALORANT hasn’t even been out for a year yet. It’s going to take balancing by Riot to get every aspect up to where players expect it to be. I get really excited when I look at where the state of the game and the competitive scene are for VALORANT. It will only improve from here.
Steiner: If you could change one thing about Valorant, what would it be and why?
Potter: Honestly, VALORANT is still a very new game, so there really isn’t one single aspect of the game I can say that I would want to change. I’m looking forward to seeing how Riot will balance adding new agents, abilities and items to the mix while still maintaining competitive integrity.
Steiner: To date, your most significant placement was a 2nd place finish at the FTW Summer Showdown, a women-only tournament. Clawdia was your teammate at that event, but none of your other teammates went on to join EG – did that experience build chemistry for the new team?
Potter: Having played with Clawdia, it immediately became obvious that we had great synergies as teammates. We’re still finding our chemistry and balance as a full team, but it’s encouraging seeing how far we’ve already come in such a short time.
Steiner: How did you originally get into esports?
Potter: I ran into a girl in a scoutsknives CS 1.5 server who essentially scouted me. After playing together for a while, she suggested I download mIRC and start scrimming with her and a few others. Soon after that I found myself on Gx3 and traveling to Paris every year for a tournament. In those days, we did a lot of fundraising and paying out of pocket for all travel and expenses. The rest is history, as I’m now on EG almost 15 years later
Steiner: What drew you to Evil Geniuses as an organization over others in the space?
EG has a strong name and legacy of championships within the esports world, and that’s always something you want to be part of. If I’m coming back to play from commentary and casting, this is the kind of mindset you want from the organization. I wanted to be in an organization that would be supportive of the vision I had for a team, and that’s exactly what I’ve gotten with EG.
Steiner: How has the community perception of your team been so far, seeing as though EG is the biggest example of a co-ed team in a major esports title?
Potter: It’s been amazing to see the community come and rally behind us. Honestly, I don’t think of our team as different, though. We’re five people hungry to win, regardless of our backgrounds. Some of us are vets and some of us are just breaking into the competitive scene, but it just so happens that we are two women and three guys.