The team will now compete under the name “Cloud 9 White” (currently) with the “All-Men Team” “Cloud Blue”. With all, AT&T Cloud9 has expanded its deal with the organization to become White’s current partner.
While many teams are involved Dignitas And Counter logic gaming Currently field in the women’s roster counter Strike Global Offensive And / or Valorant, Those teams compete in most all-women events. According to Cloud9 Senior General Manager Gaylen Malone, the organization is committed to making Cloud9 White compete in a true sister team Valorant’s Male-dominant pro scene.
He told The Esports Observer that the company’s strategy was inspired by the early Korean League of Legends. In early 2010, many Koreans laugh loudly The organizations divided the 10 players into two rosters with similar-themed names (surprise Frost / Blaze, Nazin Black Shield / White Sword, etc.). These rosters often play practice matches against each other and sometimes exchange players back and forth. “I don’t expect that we will exchange players week-to-week,” Malone said, “but I am hoping for the coaches and players of Cloud 9 Blue to finally bring some of the women of Cloud 9 White Integrate into your roster. “
Like those older Korean rosters, teams will have practice times scheduled to compete against each other and both coaches will have “sharing system” coaches. In addition to practicing like sister teams, Cloud9 intends for its two rosters to compete in the same tournament. The two rosters will both aim to qualify for the game’s first official championship, First Strike, to be held later this year.
For Malone, the decision to sign the MAJKL roster was not only due to her status as the top women’s team in the game, but also her approach to competition. He said, “The thing that came to me about this team is that they were already playing together and playing together. They were not a team that was all friends before Valorant And playing for fun. They are a talented group of women who came together because they all wanted to be the best in sports and were Committed to improvement as a team. They were already acting like a C9 team, which I was very interested in! This team was already clearly the top women’s team and they are ready to work on becoming the top Valorant Talent, not only top women Valorant Talent. “
Shizuka Suzuki, sponsor and head of experiential marketing at AT&T, also expressed his excitement about the signing and extended partnership for TEO. She explained that both C9 and AT&T pledged to elevate women in gaming. AT&T recently announced a gender equality initiative for game developers, called Unlocked Games.
Suzuki said, “We’ve got a huge passion about gender equality among sponsors.” “Whether it’s with the WNBA, whether it’s women’s football – there are a lot of different fields where we’re investing intentionally to provide women with a platform to make sure they’re seen by the younger generation or others She is going. “
In addition to its traditional sports activities, AT&T has been active in escorts for many years sponsoring mobile gaming initiatives for ESL. Suzuki said that despite the small scale of many women’s escort programs, brands should take care of the opportunities that exist in the space. “It’s almost a best-kept secret. Typically, those rights fees are slightly cheaper than men’s sports. What he allows is for all marketing budget-sized companies to be able to invest in world-class athletes. “She, however, cautioned that brands need to ensure that such initiatives align with their values before entering the space.
While it remains to be seen whether Cloud9 White can compete consistently with top teams or not ValorantThe organization is positioning itself to make significant progress for women in esports, pushing one step closer to the ultimate goal of co-ed teams becoming the norm in the space.
“It’s going to take everybody,” Suzuki said. “If we all share that same passion of giving women a better opportunity, more opportunities to see, and certainly more content around them … as part of that ecosystem for us to move the needle Is going to take everybody. “
In part, Cloud9 is potentially able to help move the needle due to the groundwork already set by the women’s ecosystem CS: GO. Similarity in gameplay between it and Valorant Women’s teams have been allowed to migrate more easily which is currently the most professional women’s infrastructure in the industry. Malone echoed this sense of need for a collaborative effort:
“I think that CS: GO Was able to have such great struggles due to the community and Teo being pushed to do so. it’s clear that Valorant Is making equal progress through a concerted effort between the community and the developer. Riot Games is taking a quick decision to ensure women are included in the competition and to support those women on the scene. I think other titles can also achieve similar success if they put resources in place for the same Taking conscious decisions and making strides for women to make the degree more inclusive. “
Riot Games’ commitment is also part of why Cloud9 decided to sign the women’s roster. “We have seen opportunities for women to jump into CS: Go in the past, but I think our relationship with Riot Games really made this a unique opportunity. Is passing
By having an open line of communication with the developer and being able to talk about long-term goals, really we should jump into it and start developing talent Valorant. “