Winners of GirlGamer Oradea Festival EU LoL tournament head to women’s world championship & set to sign to G2, begging the question: why don’t we have a LoL Game Changers EU circuit yet?

Burger Flippers LoL team

A team known as Burger Flippers, who later signed with G2 Esports as G2 Hel, have won the women’s GirlGamer Oradea Festival 2022 European finals in Romania.

They beat Grow Up Stars 2-1 in the grand final and have now progressed to the GirlGamer world championship, which we understand will take place later in the year.

Burger Flippers’ roster is as follows:

  • Lizia (top, Italy)
  • Karina (jungle, Lithuania)
  • Tifa (mid, Germany)
  • Caltys (ADC, Sweden)
  • Colomblbl (support, France)

The players celebrated on Twitter, with Tifa expressing her delight at being European regional champions and going to worlds.

Burger Flippers ADC Caltys has previously played at the European Regional League level with Valiance in the Esports Balkan League, along with experienced UK League of Legends top-laner Ashley ‘Rifty’ Mayes, however she was later dropped from the roster and requested to leave the organisation.

Caltys is also a part of AchieveMinds, an esports agency launched by former Excel Esports head of performance Fabian Broich.

Caltys was awarded MVP (most valuable player in these finals):

GGBET MPU blast gif - June July 2024

There are other regional GirlGamer tournaments taking place throughout the year, with the winners set to meet at the world championship.

Esports News UK understands there isn’t a prize pool for the regional event, as it works as a local European qualifier for the main event, which will have its own prize pool. The previous event’s prize pool was $52,500, as we undersand it.

We’ll update our article with more concrete info on this once the organisers have got back to us. We have since heard that organisers are keeping the date and location of the world finals under wraps for now.

UK talent in GirlGamer Festival’s LoL tournament

UK esports organisations Resolve and LDN UTD recently participated in the qualifier for the GirlGamer Oradea European finals, with their women’s Resolve Blue and LDN UTD Ice teams respectively.

Resolve Blue made it through, with them, the two finalists and KTRL playing in the LAN finals in Romania. Three teams qualified from the EU qualifier, and KTRL came from a separate Romanian-only qualifier. KTRL had a mix of gold/plat/master players, with gold and plat being lower elos than other teams in the finals.

There was one UK player in the qualifier, top-laner Calico (aka Pivotless) playing with Qlash Midnight and also casting the first three games of the GirlGamer finals on the caliconya Twitch channel as the only English co-stream.

There were also English speaking casters in the finals – Aaron ‘Darkvirus’ Brown and Kiwi, aka Kiwi10p.

‘It’s important to push our Resolve Blue team to inspire more women to get involved in esports’

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Jeff Simpkins, operations director at UK esports organisation Resolve, shares his thoughts with Esports News UK on the tournament and Resolve Blue’s performances.

“We’ve been championing women in esports for quite a while now, before I joined Resolve,” Jeff said. “And it’s important we push our Resolve Blue team to hopefully inspire more women to get involved in the esports space.

“Our girls have done really well this weekend and in the qualifier in the build-up to it, and it’s the first tournament with this roster, so we’re really happy with how it went. Hopefully we’ll continue to improve and we’ll see better results as the season goes on.”

On VCT Game Changers and whether Riot should implement something similar for League of Legends, Jeff added: “I don’t think there’s any women’s LoL tournaments that Riot runs, not that I’m aware of anyway. So it’d be nice to see some more support there, for sure.

“I’ve heard some rumblings of some stuff, but nothing seems to have materialised. If they’re doing it for Valorant, I don’t see why they couldn’t do it for League of Legends as well. It’d be good to see support from the developers.”

Hear more from Jeff when he joined Resolve in our interview here.

Update (August 31st 2022): Resolve have announced they’re withdrawing from women’s League of Legends due to a lack of developer support and tournaments.

‘Valorant Game Changers is promising, but where’s the League of Legends Game Changers scene?’

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Lauryn Halpenny, the Women & Non-Binary League of Legends Product Manager at NUEL, talks about the need for an EU Game Changers circuit

Lauryn said: “It’s really promising seeing how developed the Game Changers scene is in Valorant – a Riot-endorsed tournament with amazing women talent teams such as C9 White and G2 Gozen – but it begs the question as to where is the League of Legends Game Changers scene?

LCS introduced a Game Changers initiative in North America, but this seemed to be more workshop-focused rather than a competitive scene, and there still isn’t anything on an international scale. Valorant is still in its infancy whereas League of Legends was released in 2009 – Riot has a lot of catching up to do!”

‘The female LoL scene in EU suffers horrendously from a lack of support from Riot’

pivotless lol

Evie ‘Pivotless’ Pullen, aka Calico, a UK Master-tier top-laner who has played in women’s tournaments and previously managed the LoL team of Bulldog Esports before they were acquired by X7, provides insight into the women’s LoL scene

“The female scene in the UK has a lot of really great support from NUEL specifically – the effort they’ve put into pushing the Women’s & Non-Binary League has been fantastic in creating a space where female and non-binary players have a more comfortable environment to learn and develop.

“The female scene as a wider circuit in EU though suffers horrendously from a lack of support from Riot, and the current format promotes fairly cut-throat teambuilding practices – it’s hard as an organisation to want to spend the time to develop a player when there are usually two or three major female events a year, and missing top four (or in GGF’s case, three, as a Romanian team prequalified for LAN) means missing out on critical exposure for those orgs.

“This tends to result in the same players at the top end year on year, as players that aren’t already integrated into the scene rarely know much about it, and managers/coaches within the scene rarely scout outside of the already known quantities.

“A good example of this is me only ending up on team’s radars at all (in spite of being a female Master tier top laner) after I had a strong performance of a middle-of-the-pack team in La Coupe Féminine last year, which then resulted in trial offers from every top team attending the LAN who were totally unaware of me existing prior. We need a Game Changers-style intervention quite desperately!

“Adding something to Spring would be fantastic for the female scene generally – anything would be better than an event where the ruleset, start times and format aren’t announced until after sign-ups close. That is to say, one day before the qualifiers actually start. Planning and execution initially was pretty poor on the stream production end from GGF too – a pattern that sadly is fairly common in EU female events.”

“I’ve reached out to a handful of people around running an event given I have TO experience and virtually every manager in the scene is desperate to run something with a format that isn’t a mess and staff that seem to actually care, it’s a shame the state things are in EU given how many fantastic female players we have here.

“I’d love to lend a hand anywhere I could. Adding something to Spring would be fantastic for the female scene generally – anything would be better than an event where the ruleset, start times and *format* aren’t announced until after sign-ups close. That is to say, one day before the qualifiers actually start. Planning and execution initially was pretty poor on the stream production end from GGF too – a pattern that sadly is fairly common in EU female events.

“I’d also love to get more involved in casting – I’ve done a few bits and pieces before, especially with the UK Inhouse League stuff a few years ago before I managed Bulldog and I’d definitely be up for NLC and similar.”

Why it’s time for Riot to introduce a women’s Game Changers circuit for League of Legends – opinion

ENUK editor Dom Sacco shares his opinion

In early 2021, Riot Games announced its Valorant Game Changers initiative, a programme designed to give more opportunities to women in Valorant.

This tournament series has been successful, with top organisations entering teams into it, such as Guild and G2, with the women’s G2 Gozen team recently winning a record three VCT EU Game Changers tournaments in a row, and UK org Tenstar winning two Game Changers in a row last year.

Finals have drawn hundreds of thousands of viewers, and it’s been fantastic to see a women’s circuit get direct support like this from a developer.

But League of Legends, a game launched years before Valorant, doesn’t have an initiative like this. Why not?

“This GirlGamer Festival news and the reaction it’s generated on social media has shown there is a demand for this, and has highlighted the absence of an official circuit.”

There is a distinct lack of women player talent at the top level of League of Legends and esports in general, and opportunities for them to partake in women’s tournaments. Sure, we have the great work of tournament operators like the university-focused NUEL, which has its women and non-binary tournaments, as well as the likes of Women in Games, FemaleLegends and others supporting the space, but I want to see more done at the top level.

There has been controversies in this space, such as the all-female Russian LoL team Vaevictis Esports losing by crazy scorelines like 52-2 in the LCL all because their owners wanted to run an experiment with a team at a lower elo than everyone else in the league, to push a women’s team as a sort of gimmick.

Women’s esports is not a gimmick and we shouldn’t present it that way if we want to encourage more women to play and attempt to reach the top levels. I want to see women playing in the LEC one day, and it doesn’t start with things like that pushing the space back. It starts with initiatives like Game Changers.

I also don’t want to rubbish the GirlGamer Festival, but there were some tech problems on the broadcast, such as the wrong casting desk being displayed on the English broadcast, and casters have highlighted other problems in the past. People in the GirlGamer chat initially complained that there was only a Romanian broadcast and not an English one, and organisers cobbled together an English stream together at the last minute. Some Riot polish here would be welcome.

While the ESL CSGO Women’s Circuit, ESL Impact, has been criticised by some, and there hasn’t been strong evidence to suggest these women’s tournaments will definitely result in more pro women players on the global mixed stage in the future, it’s a start and we need safe spaces and better dev support to counter the sexist toxicity many women face on the solo queue ladder. A topic highlighted by Montecristo when talking about the ESL Women’s Circuit a little while ago.

So, Riot, if anyone from your company is reading this, give us what is long overdue, an EU League of Legends Game Changers circuit, and show the same support to the game that put you on the map as you do to your new baby, Valorant.

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