The inaugural Fortnite World Cup, which wrapped at the end of July, saw some of the world’s best players get together in New York to battle it out, with a prize pool of $30m (£24m) on offer, but none of the 100 solo finalists were female. Now, the world’s first all-female professional Fortnite team has just been formed. Esports organisation Gen. G has teamed up with dating app Bumble to create “Team Bumble” – a group of five female Fortnite pro players.
As reported by Engadget, the newly-formed team’s lineup includes Fortnite players Kristen “KittyPlays” Valnicek, Tina “Tinaraes” Perez, Madison “maddiesuun” Mann, Hannah “Hannah” Reyes, and Carlee “Carlee” Gress, who will get to use a dedicated room to stream from at Gen. G’s Los Angeles-based training base, courtesy of the partnership with Bumble. The dating app told Engadget that team recruitment was done, but that players could be brought on board in the future if required.
Valnicek, who has an impressive following of over one million on Twitch and is in charge of Gen G’s new gaming initiatives, said in a statement, “Bumble is in the unique position of providing value to an entire generation of gamers, encouraging them to strive for their goals and facilitating ways to connect them IRL. The future is bright and I can’t wait to see the impact we make together!”
Gen. G says on its official Twitter channel that it’s “proud to welcome Bumble as a partner! Together we are empowering and connecting gamers around the world, starting with the Team Bumble Fortnite roster.” In a statement, the company’s CEO Chris Park says “we take seriously our opportunity and responsibility to support emerging segments of the esports community, especially by creating and strengthening platforms for women.”
Perhaps Team Bumble will mark the first step towards seeing more women represented at the pro level of Fortnite competition going forward.