Valorant’s “Women Only” Tournament Receives Criticism, Devs Respond
There’s nothing wrong with a “women only” tournament, in Valorant or otherwise. That’s just a fact. In particular, VCT Game Changers is for women and marginalized genders. Naturally, this means people on the internet decided to scream about this as it is unfair that men aren’t allowed to enter this tournament. The Riot devs have responded to the criticism of the Valorant “women only” tournament. It’s not a bad idea, either; people are just getting the wrong idea about it. That or certain people aren’t willing to see that they are the problem.
Women Reaching Success in Esports Is Harder Than It Should Be
The thing to remember is that Riot Games want to make Valorant open for everyone. In particular, people tend to be excluded from esports and competitive play. If someone is found to be a woman in virtually every online shooter, we know what the response tends to be—jeers, insults, slurs, at best. Trans people suffer the problems in-game.
Coleman’ Altombre’ Palm, Valorant’s insights and strategy dev, spoke about the event and the reasons behind it. Though they do not work on this program, they reached out to another Rioter that does. “A lot of comments have already clarified this, but just to chime in – the goal of this program is not to divide genders in competitive play, but rather to support the communities of women who exist in Valorant and highlight incredible players of those communities. The end game is not to separate genders or to create a separate league – we just want to provide more opportunities for everyone to learn, grow, compete at a high level, and be celebrated by the Valorant community at large.”
So not everyone is clueless about the purpose of the Valorant women’s only tournament, VCT Game Changers. There’s a lot of sexism in Valorant voice chats, to be sure. Women who are new to the game who want to get into it get chased off by people screaming at them, just for the crime of being women. The higher you climb as a woman, the worse it gets too. They get accused of being carried, of cheating, you name it.
Many women don’t want to try and compete because they know what awaits them if they do. Things like this need to exist so women have a chance to compete and prove their worth without being harassed or insulted. There’s also the worry about being safe in the environment (like a team house). Finally, they may not be accepted because they’re women in a “man’s world.” This is an opinion shared by many in the Reddit thread that announced VCT Game Changers.
Another Rioter, Nathan’ R3DALERT’ H, head of video production, put in their two cents. “Going pro is an very different prospect for people who aren’t men. It’s important to create an avenue that is free from at least some of the social and political forces marginalized groups face.”
Now, we need to see Valorant take a real stance on the sexism and abuse women face in their game. There’s talk that this is an issue being addressed and action will be taken in the future. We can only hope. But the Valorant women’s only tournament is a good thing for the community, and, unfortunately, some very loud voices do not see why. Some women compete, like Cloud9 White. We’re just hoping for a day where teams like this aren’t the exception, but the rule. We want to see co-ed teams where the female players are valued as much as the male players are. That’s the dream, anyway.