Experienced UK League of Legends top-laner Ashley ‘Rifty’ Mayes will be playing in the Esports Balkan League with Valiance for the Spring 2022 Season.
The Esports Balkan League is one of the League of Legends (LoL) European Regional Leagues (ERLs), with others including the French LFL, Spanish Superliga and more.
Rifty’s teammates include Bulgarian jungler Indecision and mid-laner Lmzs, Swedish ADC Caltys, Croatian sub ADC Paladin and Finnish support player Tiara. Valiance will be coached by Greek coach xDjiiNN.
Caltys is one of few women players in competitive League of Legends. At the ERL level, there’s also female ADC Sayna, who will play for Lundqvist Lightside in Division 2 of the Spring 2022 NLC.
Caltys said: “It’s super exciting to be playing in an ERL1 for the first time. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and won’t waste it. Looking forward to seeing how far we can come as a team! Thanks for all the support, it’s been overwhelming recently.”
There’s more info on Caltys in this video from May 2020.
UK coach Smeagol commented: “I built this roster for Valiance prior to me deciding to take a break from full-time [work]. Someone like Caltys was overlooked by so many teams and is more than deserving of a shot at EU Masters with some veterans from the Balkan region. Good luck to you all in your debut.”
Women in esports has been a much-talked about topic in the community in recent years, and in particular the past few weeks over the Christmas period following ESL’s announcement of a new CSGO Women’s Circuit.
British esports personality Thorin engaged in a Twitter rant over Christmas as the heated debate around ESL’s new CSGO Women’s Circuit continued.
Female UK League of Legends streamer Vicksy had also played in the UK/Ireland ESL Prem promotions tournament a few years ago, and has taken part in Twitch Rivals tournaments too. And Shafu, a female Romanian LoL support player, has played with the Newcastle Jaguars (now Clique Esports) in Forge of Champions and Team Nerotec in the Esports Balkan League a few years ago.
Taking that topic to one side, coach xDjiiNN commented on his team overall in this post on the Valiance website: “I am really hyped going into the upcoming split, there are a lot of teams that have potential with CZV being the strongest in my opinion. The goal should be getting first place and having a good performance at EU Masters.
“Compared to other rosters we’re gonna strive through team success, the willingness to improve and our huge champion pool. Mainly there are two big advantages amongst others: The experience of some players and passion for the game are two things that highlight in my team. Also I have to admit that we have a really strong work ethic. Having those three aspects, I am pretty confident we going to succeed.”
Rifty told Esports News UK: “I hope we win.”
The Esports Balkan League is a Non-Accredited ERL, meaning it is not required to have an offline event, and participating players do not need to be added to Riot’s Global Contract Database (GCD). For more information on this, see Riot’s changes it recently announced to LoL European Regional Leagues.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.