Co-ed teams are the future as organizations push to bridge the diversity gap in professional esports. ReedPop and Metro Esports are doing the same with the creation of their own 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. The co-ed team will be based at Metro’s facility, just outside of Philadelphia. According to the press release, more information about sign ups will be released in the coming months.

“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,” said Shaon Berry, CEO of Metro Esports & Entertainment. “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.”

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Luke Thompson, Head of Esports at ReedPop, added: “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.”

After a final round of competition, the team will officially be announce on stage at PAX West 2021, taking place in Seattle September 3-6.

Valorant has recently been the primary title to showcase co-ed squads. Back in January, Evil Geniuses announced a dedicated co-ed team comprised of three men and two women. With diversity and inclusion falling under the spotlight, it’ll be interesting to see what other organizations choose to develop co-ed teams versus all-men and all-women rosters.