CLG Red are feeling confident about their chances of dominating the ESL Impact Finals

GooseBreeder: "I think outside of women's CS, I have very high goals, I wanna make ECL"

The CLG Red IGL had lots to say about the potential of her squad.

After a close win for CLG Red against Black Dragons fe,' Jeffrey "Mnmzzz" Moore was able to chat to Mounira "GooseBreeder" Dobie about Kelsie "uhKelsie" Click's importance to the team, returning to a big LAN post-COVID, the impact of ESL's #GGFORALL initiative, and being a role model to women who want to play CS:GO professionally, among other topics.

I'm here with GooseBreeder coming off of their close win against Black Dragons' female team. To start, that game really went the distance and CLG Red started the map down slightly, can you talk about the factors that led to you being able to comeback against Black Dragons?

Yeah, we've been focusing really hard on our mental, and just in general we've been working hard for a long time now. We work on our in-game a lot, we work on fundamentals, and we've also spent a lot of time working on our mental. I think our mental is usually what pulls us through in the >end because every team makes mistakes, but the team that can be strong mentally can, in the end, most likely win.

So, we've been focusing a lot on what matters, the round, what we're doing that round, having really clear focus, good comms, and usually, when we have that, we play really well. That was our main focus and yeah, we just know how to grind rounds and we just had to find what was working.

A lot of those rounds got really close but they would fall apart, someone would make a mistake, I whiffed a few times I'm sure, other people had similar mistakes and it just kind of costs you rounds that you probably should have won. I think this game was really useful for us just getting warmed up and in the groove again on LAN.

When we last talked at Fragadelphia 15, that was refinnej's last event with the team and she's since been replaced by Kelsie. I think Kelsie was an integral part of your win today despite being relatively new to this new level of competition, could you talk about what she provides for the team and how you guys have been training her up to be a CLG Red level player?

Yeah, when we first played with Kelsie, I immediately noticed the potential that she had. She has really good mechanics, she can find kills so easily, so I just trust that she's going to get kills which is a nice feeling, especially as an IGL. You just know that you have some turrets that will just hold it down or go find kills. I think she's a really good player, she had zero experience at all before joining our team but she was very open-minded, she took all the feedback we gave her. I think that is really important because if someone's not taking feedback very well, they're not going to grow at a good pace. She took a lot of good feedback, and she's very motivated.

I think what I was trying to do, to instill now, whilst working with Kelsie and with everyone, is to work on their strengths and I try to get the best out of that person and try to put them in positions to succeed. So I think that Kelsie is being put in good positions to succeed and she's also a really good, high-potential player that is going to do really well and will continue to do even better.

And like you mentioned at the start of the interview, this is CLG Red's first big LAN event coming off of the COVID-19 online era. Prior to that in 2019, CLG Red were considered to be the most dominant women's team in the space alongside Beşiktaş. Do you feel like a dominant women's team or are there any teams that you think you have parity with?

I mean, I think Nigma Galaxy is most likely going to be around our level. I do think we're one of the better teams - one of the more favorite teams - but I don't really think I'm so cocky to say that we're way better than everyone. I think we have to play a tournament or two before we can start to gauge where we stand amongst other teams.

I think based on our achievements and our online history, we are the most dominant team, I think we have the highest achievements. So, for that reason, I think that does make us the best team. But again, I think we need to prove ourselves on LAN again. It's been so long that I think it just needs to be proven again before you can say that we are the best.

Okay, so I believe this is the first event you've been able to attend with flashie since he was never able to make the trip over here for the small Fragadelphia LANs or Fragadelphia Locals. And, prior to that, the only other coach you had on LAN was vEz, how does flashie compare on a LAN environment compared to your previous coach?

Well, I think that flashie just has a lot of experience that he brings to the team. I think the experience alone is a big difference. I think he knows a lot from the previous teams that he can implement now and I think that vEz was helpful for the time but flashie is an upgrade. flashie spends a lot of time trying to make us better, he does a lot of strategy, we work together a lot on literally everything on the team, setting up our theory, setting up our practice schedule, bringing new strats together and fixing our mistakes.

Honestly, I could go on forever but I think he's just a really good role on our team because of all the strategy he can bring and all the experience. And he knows how to better the players and he understands when a good tac pause is needed and I think that helps as well.

One other topic we discussed back at Fragadelphia 15 was your frustration with how the tournament organizers and the overall community reacted to the decline of women's CS, and how it compared to Riot's efforts in VALORANT Game Changers. With the creation of the ESL Impact league, how do you rate the progress of making the scene more inclusive and more equitable to women's esports?

So I think first and foremost, the consistency is a really big factor that plays out here. In the past, we've had women's tournaments but the difference is consistency. ESL has created a consistent path so that players know what to expect throughout the year, they know they have leagues, they know they have specific tournaments that they can play in, I think it really encourages orgs to get involved which in turn will help keep players involved because they have the backing of these big organizations.

I think that's a really big factor, I think that it will help the women's scene grow a lot faster and in turn, hopefully, we can see more women who can play at higher levels and in the end, everyone wants to see women competing with men or against men, well I guess mixing more specifically. And I think that this is a crucial stepping stone that I think is very important because without women, how are you going to get the chance to have that? In general, I think it's great for esports to be encouraging this type of growth for business, for the industry getting bigger, and having everyone involved is good for everybody.

I think that young women having role models to look at, to have somebody to relate to, is really good in terms of getting people involved. I've had tons of women who have said they are inspired by me and they have been watching me for years. Even Kelsie was someone who watched me before joining the team and so, I think it's a really important stepping stone. I understand that there's a lot of backlash from it, but I think if people were more open-minded, they'd understand that in a realistic world, it's very crucial that this stepping stone is in place.

Okay, so continuing with the topic of how ESL is working to create a more equitable space for women to advance in esports. When we last talked, you sort of lamented the fact that Dignitas fe had made that transition to VALORANT and that you didn't really have a domestic rival to rapidly improve against. As someone who played in this league as one of the most veteran IGLs in the North American women's scene, have any players in the league outside of your team impressed you so far?

I think that within women's teams, we haven't had rivals but again we had a lot of rivals within our mix teams because we do play ESEA so we still had a lot of competition for that reason. But going into the women's scene, I think there are players who I see some potential in. I think madss is a player who shines for me because she's streaming so she's getting herself out there and if people don't see you play, they don't know how you comm, and it's hard to gauge the kind of player that person is.

So, I think players who are going above and beyond to get themselves out there is a really big factor. I think more women should be doing that, but going into your question, I think madss is really good, I think the PiggyKiki girl has good aim. There are a lot of players who have potential but those stand out to me. I think the Jesscas girl seems to have a pretty good work ethic, so I think that's pretty nice to see. I know there are a couple girls out there, but I think madss is the one who stood out the most to me.

And so with that, a lot of the younger players are improving at a very rapid rate however, unfortunately, a lot of the players that we have in the Impact league are players that have been around for an incredibly long time. I know I had the chance to talk to Senna who has been around since CS 1.5, do you think there's anything ESL can do better within this #GGFORALL framework to get younger players to try CS:GO leagues for the first time in the women's scene?

I think they're already doing that. If you look around, I've seen tons of new women in the NA scene alone. In fact, a lot of these girls in the ESL Impact league are players I'd never heard of. I think that alone, a lot of the girls I've seen are actually 20 and under. I think that Senna's just an anomaly, she's been playing so I assume she's just like, "Why not take this opportunity?" And I think that it's good that there are more experienced players that are teaching these younger players. I think again, consistency is really good for these younger players, giving them things to play in.

I think the online league is smart too because again - consistency - and it just gives them a rival, I guess. You can still get rivals but I think it's just a little different in these scenarios. So I think, it gives them people to compete at similar levels which can encourage competition. For example, when we play in ESL Impact League, nobody wants to watch our games, because they're just stomps, right? And so I think it's really nice that there are teams that can compete with each other.

Those games like Please Send Help, Hot Flash, Little Bocks, Slay, those teams are a lot more entertaining to watch because they're at each other's throats a lot. So I think it's really useful to have that and it'll encourage growth, a lot of competition, and of course, I do think I have seen some teams go into the mixed scene too. I think our team is trying to set an example for women as well, to not just play women's CS but to also play mixed since you're getting better practice anyway.

And one final question, there's no mixed North American teams here that were able to make it to the playoffs and I think we've seen relatively good viewership and also a good crowd presence, is it important for you to lift a trophy for North America amidst a European-dominant field and what would it mean for you to lift a trophy here at ESL Impact?

I think lifting the trophy would feel great for many reasons. I think outside of women's CS, I have very high goals, I wanna make Premier [ESL Challenger League], it's a goal that's been mine for ages and I think having that goal has really helped me within the women's scene because if you shoot for the sky, you can find yourself on a mountain or some random quote that sounds better than that.

But yeah, I think lifting the trophy would make me feel good because I've worked really hard coming into now, and I don't really talk about the efforts I've put in but I think it's really important to say because I think people have a certain impression of women within the scene and I want to start showcasing better what our team, myself specifically, actually does. I play almost my whole day, whether it's playing, watching demos, whether it's doing strategy and finding ways for our team to improve, I've been putting a lot of effort in for the last two years since COVID-19, I just decided to go crazy. So, lifting the trophy would just reward those efforts for me and make me feel like it was worth it, and it goes hand in hand with my other goals as well.

CLG Red topped their group yesterday and will be awaiting, FURIA fe, or Please Send Help in the semifinals tomorrow at 12:00PM.

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#1(With 0 replies)
June 4, 2022 04:17PM
Dust2 Birthday cake!
It's a weird dynamic with CLG red being so good but the rest of NA is doing a good job and I've seen massive improvements across the board which definitely makes me happy. Keep up the great work!
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