Swedish-Korean Challenger player Maya “Caltys” Henckel has joined Croatian team Valiance in the Esports Balkan League, becoming the third woman in League of Legends history to play at an ERL level or higher in Europe. The team announced the news on Twitter on Jan. 17.
It's super exciting to be playing in a ERL1 for the first time. I'm very grateful for this opportunity & 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 https://t.co/I5HzDEMG1s
— Caltys (@Caltyss) January 16, 2022
The move is a testament to Caltys’ progression, as she competed in Division 2 tournaments and regional tournaments in the Nordics as an AD carry; and female-only League of Legends tournaments in various roles from 2019 to 2021.
In signing her, Valiance inches closer to its EU Masters qualification dream. If the team qualifies, Caltys would be the first to make the event at any given stage.
Caltys is the third-ever woman to compete at European Regional League level following on the footsteps of former pro player Adina “Shafu” Himer, who also competed in the EBL in 2019. Similarly to Shafu’s signing at the time, Caltys is set to bring firepower to a team that would need it, at a crucial position at that.
The other player, Komil&Friends’ general manager Julia “PIRANHA” Starorta, temporarily joined the 2021 Ultraliga Season 5 lineup in inconsequential games.
Caltys’ signing to the lineup carries significance on the same level as that of Maria “Remilia” Creveling in the North American Challenger scene in 2015. Remilia eventually qualified to the LCS with Renegades in 2016, becoming the first woman to play League of Legends professionally at a high level.