ReedPop and Metro Esports announced today that they are working together to bridge the diversity gap in the world of professional esports with the creation of the first diverse, co-ed professional Valorant team, The Metro Squad. With support from ReedPop and PAX esports events, Metro will host a nationwide tour to find the best diverse talent to join the Metro Squad, starting with Riot Games’ Valorant for 2021. After a final round of competition, the team will officially be announced on stage at PAX West 2021, taking place in Seattle from Sept. 3-6. The Metro Squad Team will be based at Metro’s facility, just outside of Philadelphia. More details about the selection tour and how to sign up will be available within the coming months.
Shaon Berry, CEO of Metro Sports & Entertainment, has a track record of creating and producing high-profile, high-volume nationally televised sporting events watched on the ESPN, NFL, and ESPN television networks. Early in their athletic careers, Shaon was able to shine the TV spotlight on future NFL superstars like Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, and Deforest Buckner.
“I come from the traditional sports world, where getting a college scholarship or making it to the pros is the ultimate goal for millions of aspiring young athletes and families. While those are awesome goals, the likelihood of reaching them without being born some kind of genetic specimen is almost non-existent for most of the general populous. The incredible thing about esports as an industry is that you can be a superstar in so many different categories from pro gamer to programmer, game designer, engineer, streamer, organizer, team owner, and so much more.
With women and avid gamers of color so disproportionately underrepresented in the esports competition space, we are excited to partner with PAX in going out and specifically identifying and selecting some of the nation’s best gaming talent and signing them to professional contracts to play for The Metro Squad. We believe this to be a Jackie Robinson-type moment within esports as we continue to look for effective ways to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the market,” said Shaon Berry, CEO of Metro Sports & Entertainment.
“PAX is a celebration of all things gaming, and we’re proud to partner with Metro Esports and help foster the next generation of esports pros and make competitive gaming a more diverse and inclusive space,” said Luke Thompson, Head of Esports, ReedPop. “We look forward to honoring the new team and welcoming them to our community at PAX West 2021.”