“We are fortunate to have a genuine position in women’s esports,” Nicole Lapointe Jameson, CEO of Evil Geniuses, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “EG’s CEO is a woman, and over fifty percent of our directors and above such as directors, vice presidents and C levels are also women.”
The team roster remains unchanged after purchase. The group includes Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido (who will continue to serve as team captain), Amanda “Rain” Smith, Juliana “Showliana” Maransaldi, Melisa “theia” Mundorff, and Stefanie “Stefanie” Jones. They are joined by Kristen “Potter” Che, head coach of the original Evil Geniuses “Valorant”, who will now oversee both teams.
Evil Geniuses said both teams should be referred to as EG Valorant, although the new team can be referred to exclusively as EG’s Game Changers. (Game Changers is the “Valorant’s” regional women’s league.)
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Several prominent esports organizations have been quietly leaving the “Valorant” scene in what has been described as a mass exodus, citing spiraling expenses and a brutally strict partnership process. Dozens of esports companies competed for a few spots available in the “Valorant” leagues that Riot Games overhauled.
Riot Games’ Evil Geniuses app included a slideshow, brochure, and interactive presentation narrated by Evil Geniuses employees who were drawn to resemble the “Valorant” characters. LaPointe Jameson sees Valorant’s strong player base and established developer support as signs of a healthy competitive landscape.
“Riot has been a great partner for all of our titles,” said LaPointe Jameson. “It was really great, I think everyone involved actually, in transparency, in assessing milestones and needs. We have been really happy with this process as a whole.”
LaPointe Jameson is also interested in helping build the “Valorant” scene from the ground up, particularly for groups not represented in esports like women. Notably, Evil Geniuses’ first Valorant debuted as a mixed team led by Che, who was playing as the team’s captain at the time. Since then, the list has been replenished; All of its current members are male.
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EG Valorant will be placed in what the organization describes as an athletics program rather than a gaming program. Instead of putting its players in the team home, Evil Geniuses will set up an EG Valorant base outside the company’s Los Angeles facility where they will have access to subsidized housing, fitness conditioning, nutrition and data-driven training.
Evil Geniuses’ first priority with the team will be getting to know them, which LaPointe Jameson said is essential to winning. Valorant players in both Evil Geniuses teams receive a personalized evaluation to identify areas of growth. This can be anything from in-depth coaching for a player’s team role, improving personal communication or trust building programs. Once that’s done, Evil Geniuses head to the top.
“We will establish reasonable phasing for recruitment,” said Lapointe Jameson. “But we will not be satisfied until we are number one in the league.”