SA esports and gaming girls: We talk to the captain of Energy Esports’ all-female CS:GO team


Local multi-gaming organisation Energy Esports today announced the acquisition of a Counter Strike Global Offensive team comprised solely of women.

The team includes Danielle “eN.TrueF!re” Pienaar, Carmen “eN.Cjay” Mcleod, Jana “eN.SaltyMonkey” du Toit, Christin “eN.Christin” Meistre and captain Julia “eN.Bish” Robson. While pipping terrorists (or counter terrorists) is hard work we managed to get Robson away from the monitor to chat about the acquisition and esports at large.

“Energy eSports has always been a big name in the gaming scene. We are extremely proud and honoured to a part of a leading MGO that has a passion to grow the local esports community and support female competitors to get involved,” says Robson.

The captain started her esports career in 2010 when she joined an all-female Call of Duty team before moving to an all male team that competed at various events in 2013.

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“Ever since then, I’ve been involved in the competitive scene. At that time, I was looking up at big teams and players, hoping to get as good as they are one-day,” Robson tells us.

Local esports: pipe-dream or a pipe-bomb ready to explode?

Looking internationally, the esports scene has exploded in recent years with networks like ESPN and even our own Supersport taking notice.

Professional gaming is on the rise and that goes for South Africa as well.

“South African eSports is at such an awesome spot at the moment,” Robson tells us. “We say this every-year, reason being that our scene constantly improves by leaps each time.”

The captain is not mistaken, the esports scene is definitely getting more recognition. This year Telkom has increased the prize pool of the DGL Masters to R1.5 million. Kagiso Media and MTN recently teamed up to host a Dota 2 tournament with a prize pool of R50 000.

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That’s not even mentioning the myriad other tournaments and competitions that esports players can participate in.

Growing and changing

An all-female team in the esports scene is something of an oddity, considering the testosterone-laden state of the scene over the last few years.

“I don’t think gaming should be daunting for women because of that, I do however think that most women just aren’t exposed to the gaming scene as commonly as men are these days,” explains the captain.

Something we here at htxt.africa have always found odd is the lack of mixed gender teams in esports. This is something that Robson says she would like to see more of in the future.

“All the girls in my team have played competitively in a mixed gendered team and currently our team competes against male teams. There is no reason to not have a mixed gendered team,” says Robson.

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Starting out

Most of Energy Esports’ all-female CS:GO contingent started out playing Call of Duty 4 before moving to CS:GO, the next big competitive craze at the time.

Robson says that the move from CoD4 to CS:GO was largely driven by her experience in another game. A game which if you’ve ever attended a LAN you may have encountered, Counter Strike: Source.

But for Robson it’s not so much about which game she’s playing, it’s just about playing games and that’s why esports has such a far reaching appeal.

“Everybody loves a good video game and even more so, a game you can play versus your friends. I think it is a very relatable sport for viewers to interact with and the element of fun never dies down,” says Robson.

While South Africa’s internet connectivity woes do sometimes hamper Robson’s dream of seeing her name in lights, she’s confident that she’ll be in this scene for a long time.

“I will definitely be a part of the esports scene for life. I’ve met so many amazing people who has worked really hard to get eSports to where it is today and it has become a passion to see how the eSports scene grows.”

For those reading this that have aspirations of being the next big name in esports, Robson has some rather simple advice.

“Practice. Play. Have fun. There is not much more to it than just genuinely enjoying each minute of gaming and getting involved in the scene.”

[Main Image – Pixabay]

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