(FOX 9) - This week, a group of five women in Minnesota have an opportunity to make history in the esports world.
"We're still super close to breaking the top 32 barrier, but our goal right now is to qualify," said Alexis Guarrasi with Version1's squad.
Twenty-two-year-old Mel Capone and 20-year-old Alexis Guarrasi are two of the five women competing in the game Valorant for Minnesota esports company Version1.
Beginning Tuesday, the team is scheduled to compete in what's called the Last Chance qualifier in the Valorant North American Challengers League. If things break their way, they would become the first all-female team to represent the North American region.
"Unheard of in all of esports," said Capone. "That is something that has never been done. So if we were to be that team, it would mean so much to us."
The sports world is currently dominated by men and at times that can prove to be challenging. But Alexis and Mel say Valorant has opened the door for not just more female gamers, but the ability to build a community of players that command respect from their male counterparts.
"Feel like they're the only game, or at least recently, the only game that has a women's only league," explained Guarrasi. "And so it inspires more women to play because they can play in this league to avoid all of that harassment from playing the random games with men. And so being able to have their own space to compete and get better without having to worry about all the exterior factors is really important."
Version1 is out to accomplish something truly unprecedented.
"Pretty much, what we're trying to do is if you had a girl on a football team and she was like the best quarterback of all time," said Capone. "That's kind of what our goal is and how hard it is to achieve that. If I was to put it in traditional sports terms, it's something that's genuinely never been done before."
The tournament field is compiled of 256 teams, but if Version1 can grab one of the two remaining regional spots. They would break barriers that could pave the way for the next generation of female gamers.
"After one person does it," said Capone. "It becomes so much easier to attain for the rest of whatever the population is. Right? And so for us, that would mean it's inspiring, like millions of women and girls around the world to do the same thing and like one day equalize the playing field in Eagan."