Hold onto your Spikes, VALORANT fans: from Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 13, G FUEL is teaming up with Nerd Street Gamers, Spectacor Gaming, Riot Games, and T1 Entertainment & Sports to host the FTW Summer Showdown, an all-women competitive VALORANT tournament. Featuring 12 professional, amateur, and content creator VALORANT teams—including four amateur teams that made it in via a qualifier event on Saturday, September 5—the tournament is the latest initiative of FTW: For The Women, a Spectacor Gaming-founded organization dedicated to building a welcoming and vibrant community for all women in gaming. The event is also part of the VALORANT Ignition Series, with Riot Games working closely with the organizers in order to build a competitive ecosystem for the popular new first-person shooter title.
Competition for the title of best all-female VALORANT team will be fierce indeed, but more than just bragging rights are on the line: participating teams will have a chance to win $50,000 in cash prizes. The tournament will be streamed on twitch.tv/nerdstgamers from Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 13, starting at 5 PM ET / 2 PM PT each day.
GALorants, a women’s VALORANT Discord community, is hosting the qualifiers on Saturday, September 5th at 6:15 PM ET / 3:15 PM PT on twitch.tv/nerdstreetgamers. The qualifiers are open to all women gamers. If you’re interested in competing in the qualifiers, you can register here. Competing teams will have the chance to secure a portion of the $1,000 prize pot. The winning team will advance to, and become the eighth team competing in, the FTW Summer Showdown on September 12.
Established in 2019, FTW: For The Women began as a resource group to help women connect, support, and inspire each other across every branch of the gaming and esports industry. “We have amazing content teams and companies of women that are really helping us produce this entire show,” said Meredith Weber, the Spectacor Gaming Executive Operations Manager who co-founded and heads the organization.
After attending the inaugural FTW event in Venice Beach, California, Nerd Street Gamers officially joined the effort in February 2020, partnering with Spectacor to hold the FTW: For The Women Gaming Summit, a Philadelphia learning and networking event for women in gaming. FTW is also active online, uplifting and advocating for women in the gaming industry on social media. “The whole mission of FTW is to get women together across all sectors of esports to pave the way for the next generation of gamers,” said Spectacor Gaming Communications Manager Kelsey Rowley. “The women over at Nerd Street Gamers were some of the first people we tapped to ask, ‘hey, how can we expand this mission?’”
The upcoming VALORANT Summer Series event is FTW’s first esports tournament. “There’s definitely going to be more tournaments in the future, across different games,” said Nerd Street Gamers Senior Marketing Director Paige Funk. “But the hype for VALORANT is so big across the entire industry, and it’s such a badass game—I think it’ll showcase some badass female talent.”
Created by Riot Games, the VALORANT Ignition Series is a global tournament series designed to give fans a first look at high-stakes, high-level competitive VALORANT play. Nerd Street Gamers has been involved in the initiative since it began in June, powering a number of Ignition Series events, including the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers VALORANT Showdown and FaZe Clan VALORANT Invitational. The FTW Summer Showdown is the first all-women VALORANT tournament to join the Ignition Series lineup and is one of the largest prize pools in female esports tournament history.
It’s only fitting that G FUEL, T1 Entertainment & Sports, and Riot Games are the primary sponsors of the FTW Summer Showdown. All three companies are longtime supporters of women in the gaming industry, and combining this support for female gamers with an event involving one of the most exciting new esports was a natural fit. “Spectacor Gaming and Nerd Street Gamers have been leading a powerful initiative to elevate women in gaming, and we’re honored to support their efforts as a partner of their first FTW tournament,” said Cliff Morgan, G FUEL founder and CEO. “We’re looking forward to a memorable event and milestone for women gamers.”
G FUEL is not only one of the event’s sponsors—it’s also a participant. A team of 5 G FUEL ambassadors will be competing in the tournament: SHORTYPIE, CuteNoob, GnarlyRita, Asikaa, and Flowerz. “We recognize these players that are already established in the gaming world, who also happen to be women, but they also just happen to be at the top of their game,” Weber said. “It’s nice to be able to give the option and the opportunity for a less-known team, or some less-known players, to play with their predecessors.”
The tournament will kick off on Friday, September 11, with five rounds of round-robin matches feeding into a playoff stage featuring the top eight teams. The majority of the quarter-final matches will take place during a single-elimination bracket on Saturday, September 12, with the top four teams competing in two semi-final matches and a grand final on Sunday, September 13.
Tune in at 5 PM ET / 2 PM PT from Friday, September 11, through Sunday, September 13, for the largest all-female VALORANT tournament the world has ever seen. You can watch all the action live at twitch.tv/nerdstgamers on all three days.
This article was written by Alexander Lee, an editor, freelance writer, and esports connoisseur based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @alexleewastaken, and check out more of his work on his website www.alexlee.work.