European esports org G2 Esports have announced their first ever all-female team for Valorant: G2 Gozen.
The team includes Serbian-Hungarian player Anja ‘aNNja’ Vasalic who previously played for UK esports org Rix.GG’s Lightning team.
In signing aNNja, G2 have completed one of the first ever female player buyouts in esports.
The rest of the roster consists of team captain Julia ‘Juliano’ Kiran, Michaela ‘Mimi’ Lintrup, Zainab ‘zAAz’ Turkie and Petra ‘Petra’ Stoker.
The formation of the team is part of G2’s end goal to ’empower men and women to compete alongside each other in mixed leagues’. G2 say they strive to hire the ‘best and highest performing gamers in the industry to compete at the highest level possible, irrespective of gender identity’.
Today’s announcement confirms the news first broken by Dexerto’s Adam Fitch a few weeks ago.
‘Gozen’ is apparently a Japanese term meaning “young lady” or “young lord”, and is sometimes applied as a title for female warrior samurai.
Juliano said: “I grew up with gaming since I could walk and talk. I started playing Counter-Strike when I was 11 and went to my first tournament at 16. Now that I play professionally, I take my career in esports very seriously.
“There is no end goal for the team. Instead, we strive for greater success and continuous improvement. We all train for eight, nine, ten, 11 and 12 hours a day in order to continuously improve and win more tournaments.
“Many people argue that there is no difference between being a woman and a man in terms of skill and they question why there are no women on the top level, however, they are unaware that women make up such a small percentage of the industry. Competing as a woman within this industry means you have to deal with a lot of bullying and a lot of things that men don’t have to deal with, and it can be unnerving.”
Carlos ‘Ocelote’ Rodriguez, founder and CEO of G2 Esports, commented: “To me they aren’t a female team, they are our Valorant team. At G2, we build teams and bring in players based on skill and brand fit. These are amongst the best female players in the world and we’re proud to have them.
“We’ll support them all the way, as we support all our teams, and look forward to seeing them grow and kick some ass as part of the G2 army.”
Juliano’s comments touch on an important topic, which you can read more about here:
- 59% of women gamers say they adopt a non-gendered or male identity to avoid harassment while playing online
- The line between constructive criticism and vile abuse towards rising esports broadcast talent needs to be addressed
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.