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Evil Geniuses double down on ‘Valorant’ with female roster

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Esports organization Evil Geniuses announced Thursday the acquisition of a female “Valorant” team, making it the first all-female competitive team in Evil Geniuses history. The new team, which was previously Dignitas’ “Valorant” team, will officially debut as the Evil Geniuses team on August 6 at the Astral Clash 2022 Finals in Los Angeles.

“We’re lucky to have an authentic position in the women’s esports space,” Evil Geniuses CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson said in an interview with The Washington Post. “The CEO of EG is a woman, over fifty percent of our managers and above such as directors, vice presidents and C-levels are also women.”

The composition of the team remains unchanged after the acquisition. It includes Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido (who will continue to serve as team captain), Amanda “rain” Smith, Juliana “Showliana” Maransaldi, Melisa “theia” Mundorff and Stefanie “Stefanie” Jones. They are joined by Christine ” potter” Chi, head coach of the original “Valorant” team of Evil Geniuses, who will now oversee both teams.

Evil Geniuses said both teams should be called EG Valorant, although the new team could be exclusively called EG’s Game Changers. (Game Changers is the regional women’s league of “Valorant”).

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Many top esports organizations have quietly left the ‘Valorant’ scene in what has been described as a mass exodus, citing growing expenses and the brutally rigorous partnering process. Dozens of esports companies are vying for the handful of spots available in Riot Games’ revised “Valorant” leagues.

The League of Evil Geniuses app at Riot Games included a slide deck, booklet, and interactive presentation narrated by Evil Geniuses staff members who were illustrated to look like “Valorant” characters. LaPointe Jameson sees “Valorant’s” strong player base and loyal developer support as signs of a healthy competitive scene.

“Riot has been a great partner for us on all of our titles,” said LaPointe Jameson. “They were really great, I think for all the participants in fact, in terms of transparency, the assessment of milestones, of needs. We were very satisfied with this whole process.

LaPointe Jameson also wants to help build the “Valorant” scene from the ground up, especially for underrepresented groups in esports such as women. Notably, the first Valorant team of Evil Geniuses initially debuted as a mixed team led by Chi, who was then playing as team captain. Since then, the list has been revamped; all of its current members are men.

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EG Valorant will be placed in what the organization describes as an athletics program rather than a gaming program. Instead of placing its players in a team house, Evil Geniuses will base EG Valorant off company facilities. in Los Angeles where they will have access to subsidized housing, fitness, nutrition and data-driven training.

Evil Geniuses’ first priority with the team will be getting to know them, which LaPointe Jameson says is critical to winning. “Valorant” players from both Evil Geniuses teams receive a personalized assessment to identify areas for growth. This could be anything from more in-depth training for a player’s team role, improving intrapersonal communication, or confidence-building programs. Once that’s done, Evil Geniuses aim for the top.

“We will set reasonable milestones for placement,” LaPointe Jameson said. “But we won’t be satisfied until we’re number one in the league.”