Interview with DIG CS:GO Fe captain, EMUHLEET
Sat 9th Mar 2019 - 5:17pm
Dignitas Fe just renewed their World Champion title at Intel Challenge Katowice 2019, defining themselves as the number one female team in the world. We had the chance to talk with the captain of the squad, Emmalee "EMUHLEET" Garrido about their tournament run, what’s next for the team, as well as comparing the current female level to other top teams.
Intel Challenge Katowice just came to an end, with you ending as World Champions for the second year in a row. How does it feel right now?
EMUHLEET: Obviously it feels really good, I was really overwhelmed with emotions as you could probably tell by my post-interview (after the win) and I come home, and I still can’t stop smiling. I’m really happy and I just feel that I’m surrounded by so much love from everyone: from Dignitas, my family, the Sixers... and I just feel really good about the win.
Could you share your thoughts about the tournament and the current state of the team?
EMUHLEET: The tournament was run pretty well, I feel that every year keeps getting bigger and better, and I was actually surprised by how many people were in the crowd. It was really good to see that, and it means that more people are supporting the scene. Regarding the team, we can’t take a break to celebrate our win because we have ESEA matches to finish this week and hopefully we win the last four, so we can make Playoffs this season.
You won the first match of the group with a comfortable lead of 16-8, but ended up losing the Winner’s match against Assassins, with an 11-16 scoreline. Did that defeat get you worried about the decider match and eventually reaching playoffs as the second seed?
EMUHLEET: At first, I was pretty disappointed that we lost, we obviously should have won because it was a relatively newer team. Xp3, our coach, really picked us up from that loss, said it was a “good kick in the butt” to wake us up a little bit, and that’s exactly what we did – we woke up for our last Bo3 against PaiN Gaming.
Despite a close first and second match in the semifinal, you had a pretty convincing run in the last map of the series and the grand-final. What are your thoughts regarding that playoffs run?
EMUHLEET: In semi-finals, we knew we were facing one of the few structured teams from the European side that made it to the playoffs, we knew that we had to be on our best game, we needed to have good communication, we couldn’t be slacking or anything. But then, anything that could have gone our way went our way, so everything kind of went out like we planned. In the grand finals, again, we just went with full confidence, nothing was going to get in our way of winning that day and everyone was on point with their grenade usage, our communication was just perfect, everybody was peeking together and Xp3 was just whispering words of confidence in our ears during every pause to boost our egos and just make us play better – it was a really good match from us, I think.
In your opinion, was the competition harder than last year? Do you see the level of female teams improving over the years?
EMUHLEET: Yes, I think that all the teams that went to IEM this year are getting better, so the competition is definitely getting good.
Intel Challenge Katowice used the GSL system in the group stage without Bo3 in the Winner’s bracket, meaning a team could reach semi-final with only two maps played. What is your opinion on this matter and why do you think better formats weren’t adopted yet by the most important female tournament in the world?
EMUHLEET: I think the format’s ok, the mixed main tournament uses the same one, so I think it’s fine. The only thing with Bo1 is that anything can happen, obviously, you don’t have any room for mistakes, so there is a little bit of pressure there, but I’m ok with the format personally.
You had a bootcamp prior to the event in the 76ers Training Facility. How much did that help you coming up to Katowice? Any rough edges that you felt were improved there?
EMUHLEET: I think the training at the Sixers facility before we left kind of just gave us a little of that “extra boost” that we needed, we really got to know and hang around with Michael Prindiville (Dignitas' CEO), get to know his personality and how much he cares for us and loves everyone on Dignitas, so it was really good getting to know him on that level. He was so supportive of us and I don’t know any other organization that has such a supportive CEO, so it just feels good to be loved, I guess. We also got to meet with Scott O’Neil who gave us an extra confidence boost because he gave a speech about performance and winning the event, and of course, meeting with the sports health team - everyone just gave us that little bit of extra boost that we needed going into the event.
Any final words regarding Intel Challenge Katowice 2019?
EMUHLEET: We’re feeling really good as a team, kind of sucks a little bit that we can’t take time off to celebrate the win, we still have matches to play but, you know... just another day in the office. We’re feeling really happy and I hope we made everyone proud of us too.
As the captain of the team, what are your priorities right now for the squad?
EMUHLEET: Keep going where we left off, obviously everything that we’re doing right now is working, our practice schedule, our time with our coach, our individual time… keep going, not changing anything because our results are showing.
What are your thoughts about the current level of the team, comparing to other professional top teams (not only female, but male as well)?
EMUHLEET: Well, I think it’s relatively easy to compare the level of my team because we do play in ESEA League, so we are a tier 3-4 team, so we are slowly working our way up the totem pole. We’re nowhere near being in ESL Pro League yet, it’s one step at a time and ultimately that’s our goal, but we know it takes time, and we just have to be better.
What's next for you and the squad? Any LAN events you're looking forward to?
EMUHLEET: Possibly our next event will be Copenhagen Games, we’re just waiting to see if we’re going. Last few times we went they had a little bit of inconsistency in the rules, so if they can confirm those will stay the same, then we’ll most likely attend the event, and we’re really looking forward to the next Girlgamer Festival too, hopefully it’s in Portugal again.
You've been getting more and more new fans following up your good results. Is there anything you would like to say to them?
EMUHLEET: I want to say thank you to our loyal fans who are stuck with us for the last five years, welcome to the new ones that supported us during our win at IEM, and we’ll continue to work hard everyday to hopefully make everybody proud!
I’d like to give my congratulations to Emmalee and the squad for their win, as well as thank her for the interview. Keep up with her on social media: