8th March 2023
It is time for you to meet our first female-led Esports team, the SDC Seagulls Yellow.
The SDC Seagulls Yellow (SDCSY) Esports team first came together in October. The team consists of eight players and is now in the second season of the British Esports VALORANT* Student Champs 22-23. The players are hoping to get to the finals, in Nottingham, but are not being too hard on themselves and are mainly playing for fun and enjoyment.
*VALORANT is a is a free-to-play team-based (5v5), first-person tactical shooter game developed and published by Riot Games.
The team used its eight matches in the winter season as seeding. This means it puts the team into the right category for future matches. It also allowed the SDCSYs to know their individual rankings and how they play as a team to make them prepared for the spring season. They spent this time arranging and rearranging the team to find the best combination and making strategies so that they could go into matches prepared and confident in what they are going to do.
During the winter season the SDCSYs took part in a VALORANT charity match where they were given the opportunity to play against players who were ranked in the top 500 players in the region. This gave the team a chance to get used to their playing styles and techniques, and learn how higher ranking players played.
The team came together initially because they felt they were playing in a very male dominated environment and since coming together as a team, they feel much more comfortable playing. They are very positive, encouraging, and empowering to each other which they found very rare when playing individually. They give each other constructive criticism to help each other improve and boost their confidence and just have fun with it.
The team members have found that when playing as a team, it is much easier to get coordination and communication is much better as you are not ‘teaming up’ with strangers. As the team are in the same room when playing their matches, they bounce off of each other. The team are able to commit to their game play strategies as they can trust their teammates, where as if they were playing with strangers, you can essentially be on your own as you cannot trust them.
In VALORANT, there are 22 ranks. You can begin to access ranked play once you have unlocked Competitive Mode which is when you reach 100,000 Account Points (which is equivalent to Profile Level 20). From then, you need to pay five placement matches to get your first rank. The team play at an average rank meaning they come against players at both a higher and lower rank to them. They spend about two or three days a week practicing and playing to help them improve their ranks to win more matches.
In a typical game of VALORANT, there are a total of 25 rounds that can be played, with each round lasting 100 seconds. To win the game, the first team will need to reach 13 rounds to be crowned victorious. In total, the SDCSYs have won four of their matches so far with the potential to win many more. Currently, they are in the Group Stages of the Championship so the team need to get through the Playoffs to be able to go to Nottingham which is where the Grand Finals are held on 24th June 2023.
One of the matches was live streamed to YouTube. For some of the team this was their first experience playing ‘live’ but other team members have been streaming their individual games for a long time. One of the team members was ‘of service’ meaning they recorded highlights from each of the screens from the matches to feature on the live stream with members from another SDC Seagulls team helping with the commentary.
Before coming together as a team, they all played individually but have all found that they prefer playing as a team. They didn’t know each other before the team formed as they all did different courses from Esports to Art and Design, Animal Management, and Computer Science. Since coming together and playing VALORANT regularly, they have all become really good, close friends.
To other girls who play and are not sure if they want to join a team, the SDC Seagulls Yellow said:
“It is all about finding the right environment to play in and as long as you find nice people to play with especially if you have a female-led team, it is the perfect environment for you to play. The team have found the right location for them in the college.”
“There are some VALORANT servers which are specifically for girls which can be a good opportunity to get started on as other servers can be quite male dominated.”
Keep up to date with how the team are performing on the @SDCSeagulls Twitter account!