G2 Gozen win Red Bull Instalock as community questions mainstream media coverage of new women’s tournament

G2 win Red Bull Instalock 2024

G2 Gozen have been crowned inaugural champions of Red Bull Instalock in 3-1 win against VCT Game Changers 2023 title holders Shopify Rebellion.

Streamed live from London’s Red Bull Gaming Sphere, the tournament was billed by organisers as ‘the UK’s first professional women’s Valorant tournament of 2024’.

Red Bull Instalock brought together top teams and talent, with G2 Gozen, GiantX, Karmine Corp and Shopify Rebellion taking part.

Putting a twist on the traditional team composition, the competing teams were required to implement three of the game’s offensive class: duelists.

Gaming monitor brand AGON by AOC joined as the official Monitor Partner for Red Bull Instalock.

What happened in the Red Bull Instalock games and creator showmatch?

The first game of the main Red Bull Instalock tournament saw powerhouse G2 Gozen battle it out against underdogs GiantX, with the latter securing their position in the Upper Finals with a tiebreaker victory against G2 Gozen (2-1).

The second match featured North America’s Shopify Rebellion, who swiftly relegated the French force of Karmine Corp to the Lower Bracket (2-0). Facing off once again, G2 Gozen vanquished GiantX in a Lower Bracket match underdog victory, securing themselves a position in the Grand Final to compete against Shopify Rebellion (2-0).

This Lower Bracket victory marked a turning point for G2 Gozen, who delivered a flawless masterclass in Valorant against the North American titans Shopify Rebellion.

The best-of-five Grand Final saw Shopify Rebellion start off strong, with a one-map lead, a reward following their success in the Semi-Finals, but G2 Gozen quickly closed in on that lead as they took the first and second maps.

In a third and final map, G2 Gozen swiftly closed out the tournament, claiming the win over the tournament frontrunners Shopify Rebellion (3-1).

The tournament also featured a showmatch featuring some of the UK’s most beloved Valorant creators going head-to-head, including Talia Mar, Shan “ThePizzaWaffle” Hadden, Ella “Tenshi” Merry and Alexandra “LexieMariex” Butterfill.

Hosted by British Fnatic content creator and partnered streamer Megan “Megsoundslikeegg” Garner, the creator showmatch saw Team Jupi take the win after a surprise comeback from Team Tenshi forced the match into overtime.

Mimi and Yinsu on Red Bull Instalock: ‘We saw a lot of creativity and pros thinking on their feet’

Following the grand finals, recently crowned Red Bull Instalock champion, G2 Gozen Pro and Red Bull Player Michaela “Mimi” Lintrup said: “We learned so much playing in this new format at Red Bull Instalock, how undisciplined people can be when playing something so chaotic.

“In the chaos, the thing that helped us to secure the win was to chill.”

Mimi (pictured below, centre) won Instalock with her teammates Petra (centre right), amy (far left), rezq (centre left) and Vania (far right).

Red Bull Instalock host Yinsu Collins added: “I loved my experience at the first ever Red Bull Instalock! The invited teams were incredibly competitive and tackled the format in a really unique way.

“Throughout the tournament, as the player’s normal game plan was out the window, we saw a lot of creativity, pros thinking on their feet, adaptation and some new approaches to how the game can be played.”

Valorant esports community criticises mainstream media coverage of Red Bull Instalock

News and opinion by Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco

The likes of the BBC and Sky News picked up on the Red Bull Instalock tournament news, and described it as ‘the UK’s first women’s esports tournament’.

I remember speaking to a friend on Discord as I saw this, and sighing.

We’ve been here before, and as a journalist, I’m not excusing it, but I can see how this has happened.

The press release for Instalock mentioned the tournament as ‘the UK’s first professional women’s Valorant tournament of 2024’.

This is technically accurate, given the other UK Valorant women’s tournaments this year have been in the amateur space, like the Insomnia 72 Valorant Women’s Cup – below the top-tier of G2 Gozen and co.

However, an editor at the BBC has probably seen this and tweaked it slightly, taking it as the first women’s esports tournament in the UK, which is wildly inaccurate, as outlined in this thread below by freelance observer, caster and producer Kara ‘DSHZY’.

This led to several others calling out the mainstream media publications, asking them to do better in the future and better understand esports and our history here.

Sky News’ story now says it’s a ‘first event of its kind in the UK’.

There was a lot of noise on social media, and as has been the case in the past when mainstream media sometimes focuses on the women in esports topic, it also unfortunately led to some sexist and abusive comments towards women.

Here’s just one example shared by UK esports host and personality Frankie Ward.

Let’s not let this noise detract from what was some top women Valorant players showing what they’re capable of, in an unusual format that Red Bull likes to adopt with its esports tournaments.

Red Bull probably won’t mind the noise, good or bad, as it seemed to generate broader coverage of their tournaments than usual.

There were clips and other comments shared on social media too, including this humorous clip of UK casters Twiggy and Billie being caught with a hot mic (sorry both!)

You can see some of the BBC’s live coverage here:

Related article: Interview with UK Valorant Game Changers player Sarah ‘sarah’ Ahmed

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