This week the Valorant Esports team revealed a new program called VCT Game Changers for women and other marginalized genders. The program will be a supplement to the competitive season by creating new opportunities and exposure within the game. This system has been in the works since the For The Women (FTW) Summer Showdown Ignition Series took place back in September 2020, with the goal of making this a year-long effort to build a VCT that is more representative of the diversity of the game's community. A schedule has yet to be implemented but so far we know the program will consist of the two competitive initiatives you see below. We have a couple of quotes about the program from Riot Games about the new program as well.
- VCT Game Changers Series: A set of top-tier competitions that will take place in multiple regions around the world during 2021 and will be similar in scale to last year's Ignition Series tournaments. These will kick off with the North American event first this March.
- VCT Game Changers Academy: Academy events, including monthly tournaments giving players more opportunities at the semi-pro and grassroots level, will be organized in partnership with GALORANTs, one of the largest communities within VALORANT, and one of the organizers behind the "For the Women Summer Showdown" tournament last September.
"Game Changers will provide tournaments and development programs for women who want to take their game beyond competitive ladder play," said Whalen Rozelle, the Sr. Director of Esports at Riot Games. "With Valorant esports, we're committed to fostering an inclusive environment for competition and creating safe opportunities for women to compete without fear of identity or gender-based harassment."
"Competing in games as a woman can be a daunting task, oftentimes resulting in a very real competitive disadvantage," added Valorant Executive Producer, Anna Donlon. "While we're addressing this challenge in-game, with improvements to chat, voice communications, and mitigation of griefing, we also see an opportunity to take another step with esports."