The partnership aims to provide women gamers with competition and content that celebrates high achievement, inclusivity, and positive play.
Xbox, ESPORTSU, and Paidia Gaming announced their partnership which will continue their ongoing commitment to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in gaming. This activation includes three gaming events designed to spotlight collegiate women gamers, concluding at the Collegiate Esports Commissioner’s Cup (CECC) Texas this May. The activations will showcase women competing on a national level and includes two content series.
The top national collegiate women players across the continent will compete in a specially created women’s qualifying VALORANT event, with the winner punching a ticket to CECC Texas on May 6th – 7th, 2023 at the Esports Stadium Arlington. CECC Texas is the largest multi-conference gathering of collegiate esports programs across North America and hosts over 64 teams across various game titles. Collegiate women from all over North America are eligible to compete in the all-women’s qualifying tournament being held on paidiagaming.com
Additionally, Xbox, ESPORTSU, and Paidia have partnered to launch The Paidia Cup: Women’s VALORANT Matchmaking Season. From February to May, women gamers from across North America will compete, with one matchup to be aired live weekly on ESPORTSU’s Twitch channel. The top two teams will receive invitations to compete in a show match at CECC Texas and the winner will be crowned the inaugural Paidia Cup champion. The Paidia Cup spotlights up-and-coming women gamers and highlights the future of women in VALORANT.
“We are thrilled to partner with Xbox and Paidia on this important and ground-breaking new initiative,” said Jim Connelly, Chief Revenue Officer for CSMG/ESPORTSU. “Together, we will continue to push the boundaries to open doors and make the esports gaming space more inclusive, by shining the spotlight on the incredible talents and skills of women gamers.”
Throughout the course of the tournament, Xbox, ESPORTSU, and Paidia will integrate custom content to highlight these teams as they prepare for CECC Texas. The content series will include support from elite college coaches dubbed the “Road to CECC,” as well as “Cast This,” a content series to find and develop new shout casting talent. Women interested in a career in shout casting can be mentored by industry leaders and develop their skills working towards their debut as a shout caster at CECC Texas. These events and content pieces aim to disrupt the industry, making gaming inviting, entertaining, and engaging while fostering positive social connections.
“At Paidia our mission is to provide an inclusive and safe place for women and diverse gamers to connect, learn and play,” says Jill Kenney, CEO for Paidia Gaming. “Initiatives like this one are paramount to closing the equity gap that has dominated our industry for decades. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Xbox and ESPORTSU to create a series of events and content that celebrates women gamers and the power of positive play.”
“At Xbox, we believe that gaming is for everyone, and should be ‘Inclusive of all’ and ‘Accessible to all’. Paidia and ESPORTSU share these same values, which is why this collaboration is such a natural fit,” said Katie Schroeder, US Xbox Marketing. ”We are proud to be working alongside Paidia and ESPORTSU in their efforts to create an inclusive online gaming community and to empower gamers around the world to do more of what they love – connect to their community through games.”