Nerd Street and Spectacor to host all-women's VALORANT tournament

Riot Games

Nerd Street Gamers and Spectacor Gaming, the gaming division of Comcast NBCUniversal, will host an all-women's VALORANT tournament on Sept. 12 called the FTW Summer Showdown.

The event will feature eight women's VALORANT teams, with a qualifier set to take place on Sept. 5. The tournament will have a $10,000 prize pool, with sponsors for the event including G FUEL and T1, the pro esports team co-owned by Spectacor Gaming. Nerd Street and T1 previously hosted an Ignition Series event for VALORANT in June called the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Showdown, which featured some of the top professional teams in the game.

"We want to give more women a seat at the table in this industry -- both for competitors and for women seeking a career in esports," Nerd Street senior marketing director Paige Funk said in a statement. "We're excited to team up with Spectacor Gaming, T1, and G FUEL to host our first all-women VALORANT invitational and spotlight female gamers who are making strides in the industry. From the players to the logistical staff, this tournament is a testament to the power that women have to drive the gaming industry forward today and in the future."

The FTW: For the Women initiative was first launched by Spectacor in 2019 to help push forward opportunities for and connect women within the gaming space. That has included support for women's tournaments run by Nerd Street in the past, as well as outreach in communities on messaging platforms such as Discord.

The owners of the Philadelphia Flyers, Spectacor entered gaming in mid-2017 when it acquired rights to the Philadelphia region in the Overwatch League. It would establish the Philadelphia Fusion, one of the first 12 teams competing in the inaugural season of that league. The Fusion made the grand finals at Barclays Center in New York in the 2018 season, where they lost to the London Spitfire.

Since, Spectacor has made a strategic investment into Nerd Street and started a joint venture with SK Telecom for its esports team T1, uniting one of the biggest American telecommunications companies with its South Korean counterpart. T1's roster includes the most famous and successful League of Legends player in the world, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, as well as one of North America's top VALORANT teams.