Cloud9 has signed five of Valorant’s top female competitors to its new team, Cloud9 White, to compete in First Strike tournaments in North America.
Spearheaded by in-game leader Melanie ‘meL’ Capone, the roster also features Alexis ‘alexis‘ Guarrasi, Annie ‘AnnieDro‘ Roberts, Jasmine ‘Jazzyk1ns‘ Manankil, and ‘katsumi’. The team will make its debut as Cloud9 White today, October 26, in the first round of qualifiers for First Strike, Riot’s first self-produced esports tournament for Valorant. The five previously competed alongside each other as part of MAJKL and competed at a number of community tournaments. It most notably won the all-female FTW Summer Showdown, scooping a $25,000 prize in the process.
This is the first all-female roster to be picked up by a major organisation in Valorant and marks a massive moment for women in esports. While all-female rosters have been formed and continue to play in other competitive scenes like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, to see a big name like Cloud9 invest in female talent in the early stages of Valorant esports is extremely encouraging.
In Cloud9 White’s announcement video, katsumi sets out the expectations for the team to challenge the male-dominated elite level in esports.
“We want to go for Tier 1,” katsumi says. “We want to be as good as possible and break barriers that women in esports haven’t done yet.”
Cloud9 White becomes the organisation’s third Valorant roster. Cloud9 Blue is its other NA team, while Cloud9 Korea also ensures presence in the shooter’s Asian market.