Valorant Champions Tour Game Changers EMEA Series 2 will be a women’s event after all.
Riot Games announced this change on October 8 after facing criticism for initially making the Game Changers event open to both all-female and mixed-gender teams.
“In response to community feedback and deeper discussions with existing Game Changers teams, we have decided that it is too soon in the development of EMEA Game Changers to explore an ALL IN tournament,” Riot said in a tweet.
Game Changers started in North America in February, introducing an all-female Valorant tournament to the competitive scene.
“Through our research, we’ve seen that opportunities for women to compete do exist, but we recognized that the necessary connections weren’t being made,” Riot Games head of academy Matt Nausha said in an interview with WIN.gg. “We see this as an important step to help with making pro League of Legends more diverse and inclusive.”
In early September, Riot Games announced that Game Changers was coming to EMEA. But in October, Riot Games added that the Game Changers EMEA series would be open to mixed-gender teams as well if their rosters were made up of mostly women. This was called the ALL IN tournament format.
But the Valorant community was generally not in favor. Fans were mixed on the concept. Some said that the point was creating a safe and inclusive tournament that spotlights female talent, and the addition of men diluted that effort. Others noted that it was the next step in Riot’s mission to safely include women in tournaments that also had male competitors.
After the community criticized Riot for including men in the Game Changers tournament, the developers decided to change the tournament structure to be women-only.
Riot apologized for the “inconvenience” it caused to mixed teams that have already signed up. But the decision was made based on community feedback and discussions with Game Changers teams. The community applauded Riot for listening to the Valorant community.
Riot did note, however, that ALL IN events are still a future plan.
“Our goal of creating a diverse Valorant ecosystem remains unchanged. We still strongly believe in the ALL IN concept and plan to revisit it in the future,” Riot said.
Riot stated that the team would be working closely with the competitive Valorant scene to refine the concept of ALL IN, integrating it in a more respectful and successful way.