Riot Games has announced a new women’s League of Legends standalone tournament called Rising Stars. The goal is to "promote inclusion and opportunities in esports", with each team having to be composed entirely of women over the age of 16.
This is very much an event with an eye on the future, rather than something on the scale of LoL Worlds. The teams will be competing for a £3,000 prize pool while the event broadcast will be produced in Nottingham by Esports Production students learning their trade. TIL you can do a degree in Esports Production.
The inaugural event will be held online on November 26 & 27 this year and is geared towards the Northern European region, which Riot defines as the UK, Republic of Ireland and Nordic nations, though it is also open to players from other European regions.
Those interested in participating can register here until November 22. "Player registration will include gender verification in collaboration with DivE, an organisation promoting gender diversity in esports who already assists in the EMEA operation of Riot Games’ [Valorant] Game Changers tournament and Wild Circuit Game Changers," reads the press release. "Moderators will also be present throughout the tournament to ensure and support a safe space for all participants."
The phrase 'gender verification' is not expanded upon in the official materials supplied. However Riot's agreement with DiVE as regards the Valorant Game Changers program says that "Age, residency and gender will be checked by DivE in order to confirm your eligibility [...] In particular, DivE will ask you to show on webcam documents as proof of your eligibility. DivE will not keep any record of the documents used to verify your age, gender and residency."
Valorant's ongoing Game Changers initiative started in 2021 and is a program meant to create "new opportunities and exposure for women within Valorant esports".
"Riot Games is committed to creating more opportunities for women gamers," said Riot's Will Attwood. "Game Changers has been a huge success for Valorant and will continue to expand into other games. Rising Stars, as a local, standalone tournament, is another example of the work that we and our partners can do to promote diversity and inclusion in the esports community. The fact that we’re also able to support students taking their first professional steps in the industry is the cherry on top."
Rising Stars will be broadcast on Twitch on November 26 & 27.