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April 22, 2021
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]

ROCK HILL, South Carolina (February 23, 2021) – A women’s gaming organization based out of the Carolinas pushes for inclusion in the esports industry by producing an event with several organizations and businesses. The all-female team of The Athena Alliance CLT is partnering with their sponsor Virtual Reload and brands such as Black Nerd Swag, Black Gamer League, Melanin Gamers, Brown Girl Gamer Code, The Hip-Hop/Anime/Gaming Entertainment Group, and Aqualix Esports.

The event, which will feature Call of Duty: Modern Warfare across all platforms, will be taking place starting February 27th, 2021 1:45PM EST for the qualifiers with the finals taking place March 6th, 2021 1:45PM EST with the top two teams from each org and ending with interviews with the team captains and the winning team. Teams competing are: Athena’s Warfare, Athena’s Vengeance, Black Gamer League, MG Royals, Aqualix Esports, Digital Fatales, and H.A.G. Hornets. CDL restrictions will be in place and it will be casted on the Athena Alliance CLT Twitch.

“In order to see more women participating in e-sports events, women have to be at the forefront of creating safe spaces for women to both compete and network with other like-minded women,” Athena Alliance CLT Founder Emi Vener stated.

After hosting an event in partnership with Hitmarker and nonprofit Women in Games earlier this month, “Making Your Mark in Esports” she has set out to do just that.

A conversation between her and the owner of Black Nerd Swag, Lauren Hazel, was sparked due to the lack of coverage and recognition given to the APEX Legends Netflix invitational held in 2020 which was led by team captain Ninjayla. Striving to have others be involved, both women set out to create an event where women would be recognized and praised for in-game prowess.

Launching a series back in October 2020, The Athena Alliance CLT presented The Athena Arena: an all-women’s tournament that has garnered attention online and overseas due to its aim to increase women’s visibility in esports and fundraising of local charities that benefit women and others in the community. In September, they gathered groups and organizations with the idea to create new Call of Duty women teams with participation of Women in Games Ambassador, Emilia Rose.

The teams have been practicing 2-3 times per week in preparation. As Shizelle from the Black Gamer League, founded by Chris Davis, said, “Feeling good about this tournament, we’re really about to turn it all the way up!”

It was important to the organizer for women to take the lead in the planning, so owners Annabel Ashalley-Anthony (Melanin Gamers) Brandii JaVia (Brown Girl Gamer Code) and April Bowler (H.A.G Entertainment) were reached out to as well for inclusion in their communities of women.


The Athena Alliance is an initiative built and implemented by women in the Charlotte and surrounding areas. Their mission is to support and celebrate women in the gaming industry and beyond by hosting tournaments, special events, and charity drives.

For more information about The Athena Alliance CLT, visit