flashie on changes: "We want to be the best in the world"
CLG Red recently underwent a massive shakeup of their established lineup, which saw Diane "di^" Tran, Emma "Emy" Choe, and Juliana "Juli" Tosic depart from the squad after lengthy tenures. In their places, CLG Red looked abroad to secure Vivienne "BiBiAhn" Quach and Coline "Kaoday" Le Floc'h, rounding out the roster with domestic talent Marissa "madss" Dasta.
CLG Red's coach, Viktor "flashie" Tamás Bea, sat down with Dust2.us' Samuel "Draik04" Popkes to discuss what led to CLG Red's overhaul, flashie's thoughts on the squad's three new additions, and what the plans are for the squad for the remainder of the year.
What inspired these big changes to the roster?
So these changes were outside of our control, basically because before Dallas we got information about two players wanting to switch to VALORANT. That led us to overthink the whole roster and try to start a rebuilding process.
You guys didn't initiate the roster changes, but how much control did CLG give you in the roster-building process?
CLG gave me permission to start scouting players, and that's what I did. I set up a whole scouting process where I checked out different players, watched their demos, made notes about them, and made a Google Sheet of all the names I was interested in. I didn't really go forward from that point before Dallas, because I had to focus on the event itself. Even though two players were leaving, we felt like we had a good chance of winning the tournament, so I didn't want to overlook that, be lazy, and not do my job as a coach, so that was my first priority.
After Impact Dallas happened, I went more deeply into scouting for one or two weeks when others took their breaks after the tournament. I went into a scouting mode and spent all my time with that because it was necessary to find good replacements for our players. What ended up happening is that we put out an open tryout process on Twitter, which got a lot of engagements. Lots of amazing players signed up for the tryouts - more than fifty. I went through each and every application where I watched their demos, analyzed their plays, and collected all the data I could from them. After that, we made the decision of who we wanted to go for.
So you had some players in mind prior to those open tryouts?
Was there a particular reason that you decided to look toward international players to fill the roster?
We want to be the best in the world and we felt like we had to go around the world to find the best talent available to complete our roster. Seeing all the talents in NA - there is a lot of talent in NA - it is why we took madss. After madss, we looked more and found BiBiAhn and Kaoday who were by far the best choices we got.
Let's talk now about the players. You played against BiBiAhn at ESL Impact Valencia and ESL Impact Dallas when she was playing on Mindfreak. Is this where you noticed her or had she been on your radar before these two events?
We actually only played her in Dallas as she was in the other group in Valencia. After Dallas, I was checking the statistics of the event and realized that she had really good numbers. I went into the demos, looked at her gameplay, and I instantly saw that there is huge potential there.
Do you think BiBiAhn brings extra value having played on mixed-gender teams in Australia?
Yeah, I think it does give us some extra help because she's really confident in what she's doing. She has also played the game on a higher level before, so that means she's less nervous in different situations. Her strong suit is her aim and her movement, and it's really crazy to see how good mechanics she has. All in all, the answer is yes.
Next up is Kaoday; CLG Red hadn't played an event against her previously, she's mostly been playing ESL Impact Cash Cups in Europe. So how did she come to your attention as a player?
She actually applied for the process in the Twitter open tryouts, and that's where I started to talk with her. I already liked her attitude from the get-go and I felt like she has a really strong personality. We need an extra voice in the team as well; we have GooseBreeder, who is an awesome leader, but we prefer to have a secondary voice in the team. We felt like Kaoday could give us that from the beginning. Once I started to talk to her, I went to see her gameplay in the demos, and I watched like ten or twelve of her demos, and I was actually impressed with how she was playing.
She was actually not AWPing in those demos, but she was picking it up as a secondary. We actually needed an AWP as di^ was leaving, and we didn't have an AWP until that point. I asked her how she would feel picking up the AWP because I felt like she has the potential and she has good movement, aim, and is quick. I was like, she probably could pick it up, and she was like "Yeah, I'm down to try it". When we trialed her, she used the AWP with 110 ping on NA servers and she still impressed us, so it was a no-brainer to be honest.
You mention the 110 ping, as she's playing in France right now. On Twitter, you mentioned that CLG was going to be looking to secure North American accommodations for Kauday and BiBiAhn. What does the timeline look for those two players coming to NA?
BiBiAhn is already in North America. We are waiting on some papers for Kaoday, and she will be joining BiBiAhn as soon as she can.
I know you're in Hungary, but do you have plans to join the team in North America as well?
I'm living in Budapest, and working remotely, so I'm working in my nighttime basically. Not for now, because I don't need to have low ping, and I am feeling comfortable at this moment. I won't close out the opportunity for later, but right now I will stay in Hungary and work like this. It would be somewhat better to live on a normal human schedule, but I got used to it, and I can handle it. I can do my job properly from here. This way I can also stay close to my family and still do the work for CLG.
Talking about the last player madss; considering the fact you were willing to pursue international talent, what made madss stand out as a domestic talent?
When I was watching her streams, I saw a lot of things in her that I see in GooseBreeder. She's really motivated, and disciplined, and she's someone you can rely on in terms of communication. She just felt like a complete player from the get-go, even though she didn't really have much experience before. That's why she was a standout player for me; she had good aim, she seemed like a really smart player at the same time, she was humble, and all these things combined make for a really good teammate, so that's why we started to get in talks with her.
Throughout this year, and for a long time, CLG Red has been at the top of the North American women's scene. You guys have had a harder time internationally, getting beat by MIBR fe at Valencia, and FURIA fe at Valencia and Dallas. With these changes to CLG Red, where do you think the team stands now among international competition?
Right at this moment, I don't think we are anywhere near before, but I feel like we have a much higher ceiling, and we're going to work hard to prove it at the next event, which will be DreamHack Winter in a few months. My main goal is to prove there that this rebuild was successful, and that we can actually fight with the best female teams in the world on the biggest stage.
DreamHack Winter is a few months away, but Fragadelphia is a little closer. Last year we saw CLG Red come to Fragadelphia 15; is there any possibility that we could see CLG Red at Fragadelphia 17, or really any other domestic events this year?
Because we just completed our lineup, we are waiting for everyone to arrive in NA, and we will probably have to skip this event and focus only on ESEA, the Cash Cups, and every online qualifier that comes up, and then DreamHack Winter LAN.
flashie and the rest of CLG Red will now be waiting for the start of their campaign in ESEA Main Season 42. Their first match is set to begin Wednesday, August 16th against Bad News Bearsboys.