VersionX is the organization’s fourth overall esports team and second professional VALORANT team
Today, Version1 announced its fourth professional esports team, VersionX. VersionX is an all-women’s professional VALORANT team competing in the North American circuit of Verizon VCT Game Changers as well as open pro VALORANT events at all levels.
“Supporting diversity and inclusion in gaming has been an important part of our organization from our founding,” says Brett Diamond, chief operating officer at Version1. “The investments being made in women’s esports by organizations and game publishers are laying the foundation for a bright future. VersionX will immediately access the support structure we offer all of our teams: housing in Minnesota, state of the art equipment and a world class practice facility, media and content resources, and compensation that enables the players to be full-time esports competitors.”
The VersionX VALORANT roster includes:
- Kiara “Milkyway” Blue Kukilakilaokalani Makua is VersionX’s in game leader and controller. The agents she currently plays are Astra and Reyna. Milkyway has been a professional competitor since 2016, starting in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and transitioning to VALORANT in 2020.
- Natalia “Natty” Jackson currently plays Jett, Raze, and Viper and is the duelist main on the team. She’s been a professional competitor since 2017 and also started playing CS:GO, moving to VALORANT in 2020.
- Rachel Lynn “Rush” Hang currently mains Sova and is the team’s initiator. Prior to switching to VALORANT in 2020, Rush competed in CS:GO and has also played Unreal Tournament competitively.
- Katherine “Karra” Lee currently mains Sage and in the past has served as the smoker for the team, playing Astra, Omen and Brim. VALORANT is the first game she’s played professionally.
- Naomi “Naomi” Sauvola is the sentinel for the team, playing primarily Killjoy and Cypher but also flexing Skye. She joined VersionX from CLG Red where she played from March to August 2021.
Prior to joining Version1, Milkyway, Natty and Karra played together as Just Breathe and placed 7/8th in Verizon VCT Game Changers Series 2. The trio added Rush and Naomi to form VersionX. Rush previously played with Infinity and SinCere; Naomi previously competed with CLG Red.
Version1’s announcement comes on the eve of the third round of Verizon VCT Game Changers.
Verizon VCT Game Changers Series 3 starts this weekend with 32 teams competing in a 5-round Swiss best-of-three elimination, followed by a top 16 double elimination best-of-three open qualifier.
Eight teams will advance from the open qualifiers to the Main Event, next weekend (September 30 – October 3). This double elimination bracket features best-of-three matches leading up to the best-of-five Grand Final.
Verizon VCT Game Changers matches will be livestreamed on multiple Twitch channels (twitch.tv/valorant | twitch.tv/nerdstreet | youtube.com/valorantesports). VersionX match times and stream information will be announced on the Version1 Twitter as available.
Following Verizon VCT Game Changers Series 3, VersionX players will move to Minnesota. The team looks forward to living and working in an environment that caters to their competitive mindset.
At Version1 HQ, VersionX will have access to state-of-the-art gaming PCs and other training infrastructure. Being in the same location also provides logistical benefits when it comes to things like content shoots and daily practice schedules. Currently, the players live in different states and time zones across the U.S., including in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan.
“Our goal is to be the top female team in VALORANT and we know that with hard work, that will come,” says Kiara “Milkyway” Blue Kukilakilaokalani Makua, VersionX’s team captain and in game leader. “When we started playing together, we wanted to be good enough to make it to the main VCT Game Changers event and we’ve accomplished that. As VersionX, we’ll continue to build on our success. Being together in Minnesota will help us improve in-game, at a much faster rate.”
Verizon VCT Game Changers was introduced in February 2021 as a program that corresponds with VALORANT Champions Tour. The program is creating new competitive opportunities for talented women and other marginalized gamer communities within VALORANT esports. The program is global and VersionX represents the North American region.
Adding a women’s pro roster is a natural next step in Version1’s growth and development. It also reflects the identity of the staff at Version1: 60 percent of the organization’s leadership team is women as is half of overall staff.
Version1 is also creating an environment where women gamers can connect, no matter their location or skill level through V1SIONARIES. V1SIONARIES organizes tournaments and gaming events and provides a space for women gamers to network, support and play games together. V1SIONARIES has hosted multiple events for amateur and top tier competitors, including a Call of Duty tournament with eFuse, a VALORANT tournament and a HALO tournament. In October, V1SIONARIES is teaming up with the*gameHERS to host a collegiate VALORANT tournament for women and femme folk.
Version1’s other teams include Call of Duty League’s Minnesota Røkkr. During the 2021 season, Røkkr built momentum as a top team and won CDL Major V, earning the organization its first-ever major tournament win. The team had a strong showing at CDL Champs, finishing fourth overall.
The Version1 VCT VALORANT team has also earned success early on. In 2021, it qualified for the first-ever LAN event of the VALORANT Champions Tour, competing as one of two teams representing North America at the VCT Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavík, Iceland. The team finished 5th/6th.
Version1’s Rocket League team will kick off its second season in the Rocket League Championship Series in October.