For transparency: Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco used to work full-time for British Esports between September 2016 and February 2021, and currently does some freelance work for them, producing their weekly email newsletter
Just over a week ago, the Lioness Cup 2023 Valorant tournament for women and marginalised genders concluded. But who won and how did it go? Here’s a recap of the tournament, which was organised by British Esports’ Women in Esports diversity and inclusion initiative (which announced a new manifesto earlier this year), and supported by Riot Games.
Surrenderers have won the latest Lioness Cup. They sought revenge on Beyblade Ninjas, who knocked them down into the lower bracket after a 2-0 upper bracket semi-final.
In the lower bracket, Surrenderers went on an impressive run, picking up three straight 2-0 wins in a row, before facing Beyblade Ninjas in the grand final.
Surrenderers took the victory 3-0 to claim the title of Lioness Cup 2023 champions.
Their roster consisted of moshieroo (Sweden/South Korea), jademwah (Scotland), Poetite (Spain), Princessels (Sweden/Switzerland) and Stars (Algeria/France).
Stars told Esports News UK: “I think it was an amazing opportunity to have a tournament with a lot of pretty good players taking part in it during the off season, it kind of brought the joy of competing and playing as a team in me.
“I think I am also starting to see so much progress in the women’s scene in Valorant, which is really motivating. Obviously there’s still a lot more to do, but the small changes give a lot of hope for our future.
“Also, winning is an amazing feeling, it’s the biggest reward after putting a lot of work into something you care about. Obviously when we compete we are aiming to win the games and win it all, so when it actually happens, there’s nothing more fulfilling than that!”
Moshieroo added: “For me, taking part in the cup was a way of just having fun while competing.
“I am gonna be a bit clichéd, but the road before winning was the best part of the tournament, it felt great winning with amazing teammates, but the work we put in and what we showed on the server was the easily the best part.
“For women’s Valorant I don’t have a lot to say to be honest, I hope more Valorant teams in VCL and VRC would be more open to trialling women, but that’s pretty much it. Franchised teams are still a long a way to go!”
UK talent on show at Lioness Cup 2023
Five UK players reached the playoffs of the Valorant tournament, as a host of European talent – and a few international players – came together for the competition.
The five UK players consisted of jademwah (Surrenderers), Puffy (Skullies), koneko (Jokers Slay), Splashy (Meats) and astrixe (Meats). There were also UK sub players Sacra (Jokers Slay), adora (Beyblade Ninjas) and Scarlett (Neon Blade).
Beyblade Ninjas also had UK coach deeco and Jokers Slay had Al3xander.
Let’s not forget the broadcast talent too, which included Hazza (UK), Kairo (Scotland/UK), Twiggy (UK), megsoundslikeegg (UK), mel (Hong Kong), JorangeJam (UK) and Miki (Poland), plus producer Peakalicious (UK).
Lioness Cup 2023 stream stats and co-streamers
The tournament racked up 111 hours streamed overall, with more than 7,000 unique viewers, 250,000+ minutes watched and almost 13,000 live views.
Eight co-streamers also included the following:
- Fnatic meg
- Soul Chains
Interview with UK Valorant player Kazemaru ahead of the Open Qualifier
Caster Hazza caught up with Kazemaru ahead of the Lioness Cup 2023 Open Qualifier.
They discussed getting into competitive play, women’s Valorant and what it was like taking part in the Lioness Cup.
Kazemaru said: “With the kind of the abuse that people face [in-game], that is really what puts people off. I get so much so much abuse for no reason.
“I think it’s about making people comfortable in the space [with tournaments like this] to begin with, which then it allows players to improve and flourish and work on themselves to get better. And the Lioness Cup is an opportunity to display that.”
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He 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 and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.