CSGO: Interview with Shadowfax on creating a mixed team with Supa-Stellar
The esports scene has been very male dominated since its beginning and till this date it’s still very much is. However with the growing popularity of video-games and it’s competitive nature in general, we’ve seen the rise of female players and teams within our scene mostly in Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO).
Formed last year in partnership with Guinevere Capital and Supanova Comic Con, Supa-Stellar is one of the few all female teams competing within our scene. However last week, the team has decided to form a mixed team picking up male player Randy “KingbigTV” Le.
Randy Le has mentioned that “It feels like joining any other typical team, the idea of playing with these girls isn’t anything new.”
“I was planning on playing with some of the Supa-Stellar members next season in ESEA so they could improve and learn at a faster rate. I’m very excited for the future as this will be a huge opportunity for me and the girls.”
Mads “Shadowfax” Brown, the team captain for Supa-Stellar discussed with us about the reasoning of picking up a male player and the future of the team:
Why did you move to a mix team?
Our one and only goal is to improve as a team and as individual players. It got to a point where we were looking for a new team member and we were contemplating picking up players who weren’t suitable for the team just to keep up this image of being a ‘female’ team that we’ve never really felt attached to anyway. We want to do what’s best for the team and we want to pick up players who are the right fit for us regardless of their sex – so we did just that!
Was it difficult convincing your investor and sponsors to move away from being a strictly all female team?
I was nervous at first about approaching Guinevere Capital about this change. It was something that I had always wanted but there’s this idea in the scene that the only reason orgs would want to invest in or support female players is so they can say they have an all-female team. It’s one of the biggest criticisms and is constantly brought up when orgs pick up teams but provide them with no support. Guinevere Capital have always been really supportive of the team though, and when I brought it up and told them it was what we needed to progress as female players they were immediately on board. I was so thrilled that all these people, our sponsors, all valued our opinion and were willing to support us even though it’s not seen as traditionally “marketable”. It’s an amazing feeling getting the full support of your brand partners including Supanova to make the necessary changes to evolve and improve the team.
What’s so great about a mixed team?
Moving into being a mixed team is going to give us huge opportunities to improve as a team and for the female players to improve individually. There are so few female players playing competitively and none at a higher level in the OCE scene so as a strictly female team you can’t take advantage of learning from and playing with more experienced players. Adding diversity and different perspectives will always help grow and improve any culture. It also means that we’ve broadened our pool of people to play with to the whole community. The majority of people we play with outside of the team are boys, so it makes sense to play in a team with them!
What do you think about the female scene?
I think all-female teams are great – it worked for us for a long time, but I think when you start to sacrifice the strength of the team just to keep up this image then that’s where it goes wrong. Or when teams stop playing in open leagues and stop trying to integrate and become a part of the whole community then there’s a big problem. We should keep in mind why we play – to improve and have the satisfaction of achieving things as a team. I hope that one day people choose who they play with competitively based on skill, or how well they get along with someone. I hope it has nothing to do with gender for both boys and girls. Part of that is encouraging females to participate in the first place and another part is making it the norm for women to be seen at all levels of competitive gaming playing with the boys. I know that some girls are in mixed teams or looking to join mixed teams who have similar goals as us and I hope orgs can see this as an opportunity to really support the development of female players and making it the norm that we all play together as a positive community.
Guinevere Capital, one of Supa-Stellar’s partners who is also an investor in Dire Wolves – an OPL team mentioned:
Guinevere Capital and our partners aim to develop esports talent and help build the broader industry. We support innovation and challenging the current norms and are behind this initiative as another step towards closing the existing gap between male and female players in open competition.
Here’s the new Supa-Stellar line-up:
- Mads “Shadowfax” Brown
- Jessica “Queenbig” Pham
- Yara “Quix0ticz” Yangot
- Kelly “KelLostTheGame” Playle
- Randy “KingbigTV” Le (New Player)
- Rachel “Rachelele” Gadd (Sub)
You can follow Supa-Stellar on Twitter for the latest updates and news from the team.