Gen.G signed the first competitive female Fortnite duo Madison "maddiesunn" Mann and Tina "TINARAES" Perez last year, with Carlee Gress and Hannah Reyes joining the organisation this February and April respectively. This team is now set to play under the 'Team Bumble' name and seek to represent female gamers in the esports space.
Kristen "KittyPlays" Michaela, Head of New Gaming Initiatives at Gen.G, will not be playing but is also part of the new team.
While Bumble is primarily a dating app, Bumble BFF is a means of finding friends. The app has added a 'gaming' tag and hopes that it encourages people to find others to play with. One focus of the partnership is the idea of 'bringing gamers together', especially female gamers who often have negative experiences in the space.
Many questions have been raised about women in esports and why so few make it to professional teams or get signed to organisations. Toxicity is often seen as a barrier, as well as feeling unable to commit to pursuing a career with so many obstacles to consider.
As the Fortnite World Cup showed over one hundred people trying to win a share of the $30million prize pool, media outlets were asking why there were no women. In the vast majority of esports with bigger scenes and more opportunities, there are rarely any women at or near the top. In CS:GO, there are separate female leagues and multiple active teams and players. The quality of play is often criticised and it is not without its issues, but it provides a space and professional career for female players.
While Team Bumble intends to compete in whichever tournaments they can, a future with female Fortnite being within the space while having its own space could be key to development and encouraging female gamers.