Complexity Gaming, a subsidiary of GameSquare, has announced that it has been organizing a VALORANT tournament called the Complexity Gaming Paradox Invitational.
Sponsored by Lenovo Legion to commemorate Women’s History Month, the tournament will take place on March 25-26, 2023, featuring a prize pool of $10,000.
This event will kick off a series of VALORANT competitions hosted by Complexity that are focused on empowering female and non-binary VALORANT players.
GameSquare CEO Justin Kenna explained that Complexity has a history of promoting underrepresented gamers, with half of its creator lineup being women.
The event will feature the eight best female and non-binary VALORANT teams from the Americas competing in a double-elimination bracket.
Among the participants are popular teams from the VALORANT Game Changers season, including Evil Geniuses, CLG Red, KARMA, Leviathan, Akave Girls, Velaris, Hamboigas and Complexity’s very own female and non-binary team, GX3.
GX3 team manager Alice “Alimonstr” Lew said that events such as the Complexity Gaming Paradox Invitational create more chances for underrepresented gamers. She explained that the company aims to establish a regular presence in the gaming industry and eradicate toxicity.
Complexity has a longstanding record of supporting underrepresented gamers with half of their creator roster identifying as women.
Justin Kenna, CEO at GameSquare.
Women in gaming industry
Riot Games launched a program called “VCT Game Changers” in 2021, which aims to encourage more women and players belonging to minority genders to participate in VALORANT’s professional scene.
The Game Changers program was established with two initiatives to foster inclusivity for non-male players in the VALORANT Champions Tour. The first initiative is the VCT Game Changers Series, which included several top-tier tournaments held across various regions, beginning with a North American event in 2021.
In addition to the VCT Game Changers Series, the Game Changers program includes a second initiative called the Academy. This Academy was developed to organize monthly tournaments for semi-pro and grassroots players in partnership with Galorants, a community group that focuses on creating a space for women and non-binary gamers.
The goal of the Academy is to nurture a new generation of potential esports stars who may have previously been excluded from conventional tournaments.
“Through Game Changers, we hope to build towards a VALORANT Champions Tour that is more inclusive and representative of our community,” Riot said.
Riot senior director of esports Whalen Rozelle explained that the Game Changers program would offer tournaments and development programs for women pursuing esports beyond competitive ladder play.
Rozelle added that the program is part of VALORANT’s commitment to creating an inclusive, competitive environment and providing safe spaces for women to compete without fearing harassment.
VALORANT executive producer Anna “SuperCakes” Donlon also shared a similar opinion with Rozelle. She acknowledged that women face a disadvantage when competing in games due to the daunting experience of harassment.
Women earn less in gaming
A significant earning disparity exists between male and female full-time esports players. Female players tend to earn much less prize money compared to male players.
Thunderpick head of the strategy Kelly Sanders suggested that women face more challenges in making a living from esports as they are not winning significant prize pools and side deals to become influencers or creators.
Statista has revealed that the top 10 players are exclusively male. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein is the player with the highest earnings, totaling over $7.18 million. In contrast, Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn, the leading female esports player by overall earnings, has only earned $445.311.