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United Kingdom’s First Professional Women’s Gaming Tournament Launches

The Red Bull Instalock tournament

This weekend marked the first the that the United Kingdom put on it’s first professional women’s gaming tournament of it’s kind, with the event officially kicking off on Sunday, according to Sky News.

Four teams of professional gamers will play Valorant, a first person shooter that is also the most-watched esports game across women’s leagues, and the event officially marks the first time Europe’s best teams have battled it out in the United Kingdom, sparking hope that this will be the first of many. The esports players will be competing over two days at London’s Red Bull Gaming Sphere for a prize pool of £15,000

“The more people see you can enjoy gaming as somebody who’s not native to it, the more confident they’ll get and the more they’ll enjoy it,” host and streamer Meg ‘Megsoundslikeegg’ Gardner said.

“Back then it was not a big thing like it is today” Michaela ‘mimi’ Lintrup, who is the one of world’s best Valorant players and has been gaming since she was 18 added. “We fought for a case of Red Bull or something, it was not a prize pool with money. I just played because I had passion for it and I loved it.”

The popularity of women’s esports is growing, and the numbers illustrate that.

According to Esports Charts, more than 28 million hours of professional women’s esports last year, and those numbers don’t factor in the people who are watching in China, where esports is a major force.

Lintrup talked about the work that goes into preparing for these competitions.

“We practice from Monday to Friday but when we get close to tournament time, we will add Sundays,” she said. “We have four games a day which usually last for 50 minutes. Then we can talk a little bit about the mistakes we made [for 10 minutes before the next one]. Then we have about one and a half hours of theory time.”

“After practice, I will usually stream or review which means I will go back and watch our games and point out the mistakes. I have to put in a bit of extra work. I love it like that.”

“Valorant is very good at being inclusive so you’ll see a lot of female characters that aren’t just in a supportive role, but like people that are very strong in the game” host Meg Garner said. “People want to pick them to play with.”

The Red Bull Instalock tournament is being broadcasts live on the video game streaming platform Twitch from 12pm UK time on Saturday and Sunday.

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