As 2021 ends, we are grateful for the experiences and opportunities we’ve had as an organization. Our second year was a busy one and we’ve come a long way. Let’s take a minute to reflect on where we’ve been!
In February, our parent company rebranded as Version1 and signed our first VALORANT roster. In the following months, we expanded beyond esports teams, adding several talented content creators. We signed three Call of Duty: Warzone players, Blazt, Smixie and Almond; variety creator Autumn Rhodes; Rocket League’s Krissy; and most recently, VALORANT’s Nosyy.
In May, Version1 VALORANT was one of two teams to qualify and represent North America at the VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavík, Iceland – the first-ever VALORANT LAN event. The squad did not disappoint, earning respect from their peers and fans on a world stage with a 5th/6th place finish and landing a viral moment during their win against Team Liquid.
In August, Minnesota Røkkr earned our organization its first Major win when it achieved the nearly impossible: a thrilling, best-of-nine reverse sweep against Toronto Ultra to win the Call of Duty League’s Major V. Thinking back to that day on stage and at our Minneapolis watch party still gives us the chills. Røkkr carried the momentum into playoffs and ended the season with a 4th place finish at Champs. Our organization and staff also showed out in Los Angeles for Champs. Determined to capitalize on the magic of Røkkr’s Major V victory, we turned the Galen Center purple – handing out free t-shirts and Røkkr swag to fans to keep the excitement alive and hopefully convert a few to team Minnesota in the process.
In September, Version1 signed its fourth professional team and first all-women’s roster: VersionX. This group of dynamic and talented women is helping to usher in a new era of esports, one that’s more accessible to all competitive gamers. While we only saw the team compete once in VCT Game Changers after joining our org, we can’t wait to see what they do next year when the circuit picks back up in March.
As for programming, we established two unique platforms. V1SIONARIES, a gaming network for women is focused on providing opportunities for the competitive scene through tournaments and events that elevate women who are at the top of their game. Røkkr Regiment presented by USAA Insurance is a first-of-its-kind appreciation program for active and retired U.S. military service members. Its first activation came together through a Call of Duty: Vanguard tournament for around 100 service members from a Minnesota Army National Guard unit deployed to Kuwait over the holidays.
We also established a relationship with Boys & Girls Club Twin Cities’ Little Earth. At that location, member of a gaming group called Indigenous Gaming Tribe impressed us with their skill and passion for grinding various games, chasing their dreams in gaming and innovating to grow their community. In 2021, we also linked up with Cxmmunity, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the participation of minority young people in gaming and esports. We established a scholarship program for HBCU students and look forward to continuing to build on a solid foundation next year. We’re collaborating with both organizations to help young people gain access to opportunities in gaming on the competitive side, but also in developing the skills and experience needed to one day pursue a career full-time in the gaming industry.
Heading into a new year, we are excited to build on our successes of the past one, explore new territory, and continue challenging ourselves creatively and competitively. Cheers to 2022!
We are #NeverDone.