Cloud9 breaks barriers with all-women Valorant team

Cloud9 is making history and taking its team to the next level with the first all-women esports team.

Gaming has come a long way, both in how the game is played and who has played it. Concurrently, more female players have been entering the scene — and smashing gender stereotypes. A legendary name in the esports community, Cloud9 has excelled at many video game titles across esports but is now being recognized for their first all-women team, Cloud9 White, who are quickly becoming pioneers of the industry.

New to the scene, Pros behind the screen

Cloud9 White is an all-women roster breaking new ground, playing and competing against top teams. The players of Cloud9 White like Melanie “meL” Capone are constantly looking for ways to get the competitive edge, from trying new strategies to incorporating the latest technology. “Using Microsoft’s VRT has helped made our VOD review a lot more efficient, especially on those really long scrim days, prepping for a tournament where we’re going 8-10 hours a day,” says meL Capone. This approach has paid off as Cloud9 White won VCT 2021: Game Changers North America Series 1 without dropping a single map.

And in a world long dominated by men, these women are shining through with their top-level skills. They recently won a coveted Valorant Ignition Series, breaking the standards of the esports industry and moving another step closer to achieving their dreams.

Meet the players of Cloud9 White

Annie, Flex

“What sets Cloud9 White apart from the competition is we're bringing in new strategies and we have a lot more technology at our disposal to speed up our practice time, be more efficient, and just keep rising above the other teams.”

meL, In Game Leader

"My vision for the team has always been to do something that's never been done before. Break the boundaries and make history by being the first female team to ever compete at such a high level.”

katsumi, Controller

"Being a good friend and being a good teammate are very different things; Learning how to be teammates has been something we’ve had to work on."

alexis, Support

“I hope there are girls who watch our games, and watch me play, and they’re like, ‘Wow, I can be as good as her.'”

Jazzyk1ns, Entry

"I was the youngest person in the advanced CS:GO bracket at the age of 14 which I think is pretty good. It’s like, right underneath semi-pro.”

Level up with Microsoft’s Video Review Tool

Over the years, Microsoft and Cloud9 have co-developed custom tools for players and coaches that help unlock their full potential. In combination with skills and dedication, technology plays an essential role in giving Cloud9 teams their competitive edge.

Learn more about the hack process for the VRT

With the Video Review Tool, the VRT, the technology allows the team to better review VODs so that they can more easily study their opponents and spend less time sifting through hours and hours of video. The VRT helps Cloud9 White be their best because it enables the team to focus on honing their skills rather than combing through hours of footage.

The speed of data insight really comes down to how you can translate data into actionable information before the other teams.

Halee Mason, Cloud9 Lead Data Scientist

Coaches and players for esports team Cloud9 White value the lessons of history, but searching through hours of previous gameplay video for teachable moments can be tedious and time-consuming. As a result, Cloud9 data scientists worked with Microsoft to develop an innovative video review tool, built on Azure that harnessed the power of Azure AI and machine learning to ingest, analyze, and distil hours of online video. Now, coaches and players can save time and work more quickly to build future winning strategies from new insights into their prior successes, failures, and the behavior of their opponents.

Powering up your play

Using Microsoft Azure infrastructure compute and storage services, Cloud9 can transform hours of footage into new winning strategies. Find out how Cloud9’s player-training solution builds, runs, and stores on Microsoft Azure.

A League’ of their own

A woman works on a laptop and a monitor.

For the win

Using the power of Microsoft Azure, Cloud9’s Game Insights Platform dynamically takes in information from a variety of sources—including the game’s own API and, more impressively, from actual video of matches. Using computer vision to create millions of data points, the system can track the movements of all 10 players throughout a match and draw critical insights that Cloud9 players and coaches can leverage during their match preparation.

Driving this new effort, Cloud9’s lead data scientist Halee Mason has been critical to the team’s success. A diamond-level League of Legends player herself, Halee and her colleague Danny Brady have paired an intimate understanding of the game with in-depth data analysis, helping Cloud9 with everything from champion selection to scrim feedback.

Preparing for matches

During each split, Cloud9 players and coaches craft their weekly schedule to prepare for the upcoming weekend matches. Every day includes a morning workout, scheduled scrims against other teams, and team meetings.

Throughout the week, the players and coaches consult the Cloud9 Power BI dashboard to review which champions their opponents are competing against and who they've historically drafted. Before implementing the dashboard, players and coaches used to search websites for hours to glean similar insights. Providing Cloud9 players and coaches with these trends and patterns allows the team to focus on preparing and applying these insights to anticipate their opponent’s next move.

Competing with collaboration

Communication is a vital component of esports. With players and coaches often based in different locations and teams having to travel around the world to compete in tournaments, staying connected and on the same page is important.

Whether it’s real-time comms during scrims or reviewing replays and stats in the days before and after matches, Cloud9 relies on Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps to stay connected and collaborative. "Teams quickly became the place where we work together, share files, and hold meetings," says Halee Mason. "Now I'm so organized with my data files broken out across different Teams channels.”

See the Cloud9 LCS House up close and personal

This 360 Tour gives fans the chance to explore and connect with their favorite Cloud9 LCS players like never before. Get an immersive look at the LCS House and explore the training resources that set Cloud9 LCS apart—from rigorous fitness regimens to nutritious meals to holistic development via sports psychology.