Players compete for thousands of pounds in UK’s first event of its kind

0
Players compete for thousands of pounds in UK’s first event of its kind

The first women’s professional gaming tournament of its kind in the UK begins on Saturday.

Four teams of professional players will play the first person shooter Valorant, which is the most watched esports game in women’s leagues.

It’s the first time Europe’s top teams have competed in the UK, and organizers hope it will attract more women to gaming.

Meg 'Megsoundslikeegg' Gardner is one of the hosts of the Red Bull Instalock tournament
Picture:
Meg ‘Megsoundslikeegg’ Gardner is one of the hosts of the Red Bull Instalock tournament

“The more people see that you can enjoy the game as a non-native, the more confident they will be and the more they will enjoy it,” said host and streamer Meg ‘Megsoundslikeegg’ Gardner.

Players compete for two days Londonfrom the Red Bull Gaming Sphere for a prize pool of £15,000.

Michaela ‘mimi’ Lintrup, who is one of the best Valorant players in the world and has been playing professionally since she was 18, said: “Back then it wasn’t a big thing like this. is the case today.”

The 26-year-old Dane added: “We fought for a Red Bull thing or something like that, it wasn’t a prize pool with money. I just played because I had a passion for that and I loved it.”

But everything has changed.

Last year, fans watched more than 28 million hours of professional women’s esports, according to industry tracker Esports Charts. Competitions are usually broadcast on sites like Twitch, TikTok and YouTube.

These numbers don’t even include people watching Chinawhere esports is so big that it was watched by more people than traditional sports at the 2023 Asian Games.

In esports, where people play competitively in a variety of video games, there are leagues, prizes, and hordes of fans, just like in other sports.

Professional player Mathilde 'Nelo' Beltoise plays Valorant Karmine Corp
Picture:
Professional player Mathilde ‘Nelo’ Beltoise plays for French team Karmine Corp

French player Mathilde ‘Nelo’ Beltoise, who is part of a team called Karmine Corp, said the level of fandom in France was off the scale.

“Karmine Corp is so huge that everywhere you go, someone recognizes you. Every time I go out on the street, I see someone with the jersey. It’s really huge,” she said.

The popularity of her team in France helped Beltoise’s parents, who are teachers, accept the idea of ​​her playing video games for a living.

“Sometimes one of their students is wearing a Karmine Corp jersey and they’re like, ‘Is that you?’ Now they love it,” she said.

Read more from Sky News:
Why are thousands of video game workers losing their jobs?
New game inspired by House Of The Dragon actor’s grief over loss of father
BAFTA Games Awards: Baldur’s Gate 3 is the big winner with five awards

Being a professional gamer involves international travel and glamorous online streaming, but it’s also a regular nine-to-five job.

“We practice Monday through Friday, but when we get closer to tournament time we will add Sunday,” Lintrup said.

“We have four games a day which usually last 50 minutes. Then we can talk a little about the mistakes we made. [for 10 minutes before the next one]. Then we have about an hour and a half of theoretical time. »

Michaela 'Mimi' Lindtrup is one of the best Valorant players in the world
Picture:
Michaela ‘mimi’ Lindtrup is one of the best Valorant players in the world

Lintrup is the leader of the G2 Gozen game and her role is quite similar to that of a soccer captain.

She said: “After training I usually stream or review, which means I’ll go back and watch our matches and point out mistakes. I have to do a little extra work. I like it that way. “

British competitor Sarah “Sarah” Ahmed is 18 years old and from Derby. She has been playing professionally for six months and became interested in video games thanks to her brother.

She said: “He had a laptop and I didn’t, so when I was 16 I got my first PC, and that’s when I started playing games, just like my brother.”

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Today, she travels the world, having recently participated in Türkiye’s first-ever mixed tournament. She described the moment she discovered the women’s gaming scene on Valorant.

“When I was younger, none of my friends played video games, so every time I played it was just by myself, it was hard to make friends.

“So when I saw there was a big community with a lot of girls playing, I wanted to be a part of it.”

Sarah 'sarah' Ahmed from Derby has been playing Valorant professionally for six months
Picture:
Sarah “Sarah” Ahmed from Derby has been playing professionally for six months

Valorant launched during one of the COVID lockdowns, when there was a surge in people playing video games. Host Meg Gardner believes it is more popular with women because of its storytelling.

She said: “Valorant is very good at being inclusive, so you’ll see a lot of female characters who are not just in a supporting role, but are very strong in the game. People want to choose them to play with. “.

The Red Bull Instalock tournament is streamed live on Twitch from 12pm UK time on Saturday and Sunday.

[ad_2]

T
WRITTEN BY

Related posts