Eagan, Minn. – January 9, 2023 – Today, Version1 provides an update on its path forward in competitive VALORANT by announcing a new roster that will compete in the open bracket of North American (NA) VALORANT Challengers League and VALORANT Game Changers.
The new Version1 VALORANT roster is Melanie “meL” Capone, Alexis “alexis” Guarrasi, Ava “florescent” Eugene, Nicole “Noia” Tierce, and Sarah “sarah” Simpson.
“As we evaluated our future in competitive VALORANT, we looked at a lot of different variations of what it meant to continue in the scene,” says Brett Diamond, Chief Operating Officer at Version1.
“When we learned the core of this roster was interested in coming to Version1 it became a no-brainer this was the right path forward. We’re honored that legends such as meL and alexis are continuing their career with Version1 and excited to see them compete alongside top up-and-coming VALORANT players.”
With today’s announcement, the organization also sunsets the VersionX brand as its new team will compete as Version1. VersionX (VX) was the name of the organization’s first-ever women’s roster that was established in September 2021 and competed in Game Changers through last fall.
The new Version1 roster is composed of some of the most successful women competitors in the game. Each has contributed to the collective success of Game Changers, which continues to draw fan and sponsor interest. According to an article from Esports Insider, the 2022 VALORANT Game Changers Championship tournament garnered 5.4 million hours watched over 47-hours of match play. The championship match between NA team Shopify Rebellion and Europe’s G2 Gozen peaked at 239,334 viewers and is the second-most viewed female esports event to date.
The New Version1 VALORANT
MeL and alexis are two of the most decorated competitors in VALORANT. Together with their Cloud9 White teammates, they won six consecutive North American Game Changers titles and finished fourth in the world at the Game Changers Championship in November 2022.
Florescent is the youngest female player to have hit the in-game rank of Radiant, which she accomplished when she was 14. She made her debut on the competitive circuit at 16 as part of Misfits Black.
Sarah made a name for herself in VALORANT as part of Immortals, where her smooth mechanics and playmaking ability helped propel her team to numerous top placements.
Noia, known for a playstyle that combines calculated aggression and cerebral outplays of her opponents, previously competed in the Game Changers circuit on XSET Purple and Rix.GG Lightning.
“Joining Version1 is a new opportunity for this team to achieve its goals,” says meL, Version1’s in-game leader. “We’re excited to represent Version1 because the organization supports our ambitions as a team. We look forward to competing in NA Challengers to earn a spot at Ascension, and our expectation is that Version1 VALORANT will continue to defy what people expect competitors who identify as women or non-binary can do in esports.”
North America VALORANT Challengers League
Beginning today, Version1 will compete to qualify for one of six remaining spots in the NA VALORANT Challengers League.
Teams hoping to qualify for the NA Challengers League have two opportunities: this week’s open qualifier and a final qualifying round taking place January 17-22. In total, six teams from the open qualifier rounds will join another six teams invited by Riot Games to compete in the NA Challengers League.
The Challengers League is divided into two splits, and a mid-season Invitational, where teams have a chance to earn points to qualify for playoffs. After both splits and the Invitational, the eight teams with the most points will earn a spot in NA Challengers League playoffs. The top two teams from the NA Challengers playoffs earn a spot in Americas Ascension, where they compete against top Challengers teams from Latin America and Brazil. The team that wins America’s Ascension will earn a spot in the VCT Americas International League.
VCT Game Changers
Established in 2021, VALORANT Game Changers is an extension of VALORANT esports for women and other marginalized genders.
Riot Games has not yet announced the formal 2023 schedule for Game Changers North America. In 2022 and 2021, the competition was structured around three competitive circuits beginning in March/April and culminating in playoffs in November that led into the VALORANT Game Changers Championship. In 2022, that international tournament was held in-person for the first time in Berlin, Germany.