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Interview with DIG CS:GO Fe player, rain

ghazz

ghazz

Mon 24th Jun 2019 - 7:34pm

Amanda "rain" Smith is preparing with the squad for DreamHack Showdown in Valencia while playing their last ESEA matches. Due to overlapping schedules, they won’t be able to play the ESEA playoffs, all while still playing with a stand-in. We touched on these topics in our latest interview.

Hi Amanda. You started ESEA on a very strong fashion, but ultimately losing a few more matches than you were expecting. You’re now 9-6 in Main, with 3 matches remaining in the regular season. What are your thoughts in the current placement and situation?

rain: Going into this season, we had high hopes of making playoffs and getting a good record, but it always a bit shaky when you're starting with a new player/stand-in. So the first few weeks were all about getting adjusted to one another and having a new player on the team, switching some positions around, just getting used to everything. Yeah, we did definitely choke a few of those matches that we should have won, but ultimately I'm feeling good because those games that we did lose, at least we are learning and taking something out of them.

But now there's the problem that you're going to be in Spain, so you won't be able to play in the playoffs due to overlapping schedules. Being that climbing up in the ESEA divisions is one of the main goals of the squad, do you regret accepting the invitation to DreamHack Valencia?

rain: I definitely don't regret taking the invitation to Spain over making playoffs. I do take ESEA very seriously, but at the end of the day, I've been playing on ESEA for 5 or more years now and there's always the next season. It's unfortunate, since we made playoffs this season, but that's ok. We have high hopes for the next and at least we got some good practice in this one.

Despite playing the entire season, you're still one player short. How have the practices been going with the stand-in?

rain: Yeah, the practices have been going really well. Obviously early on, it's hard to adjust with having a new player. Like I said before, switching positions and roles around, understanding where the players we have are suited best and see what works and what not. Can be a lot of work at first, having to go over all our maps and strategies again, but it's been getting a lot better, our chemistry is picking up a lot more, and we're just playing a lot more!

Even with a stand-in, you’re also preparing for your next LAN challenge – DreamHack Showdown in Valencia. What are the expectations?

rain: We've been practicing a lot for Valencia, and we have a bootcamp coming up next week, so we're expecting to put up a good fight at least. We're obviously hoping to win. That's my mindset at all times when going into a tournament, even when I'm not playing with my full team. So, we're hoping to win but at the same time, we're just going to go there, lay everything down on the table. I don't want to have any regrets, even if we lose. I'm going with a positive mindset and I’ll just try to beat everyone.

Nevertheless, even without the full line-up, you’re coming in as the favorite to take first place. Do you still feel the same way with the player change and trying to adapt new strategies and positions?

rain: Yeah, definitely! Our stand-in does not have a lot of international experience, but she has a lot of LAN experience, more locally, and playing with and against male players. It might be a bit nerve-wracking at first, but I'm still expecting us to place well or win, because the core four of us know that we can handle anything, even with a stand-in.

There have been a few issues with the Open Qualifiers for the tournament, namely bracket changes to avoid having the best teams eliminating each other. How do you feel about these situations?

rain: Yeah, I kind of heard about what happened and I definitely agree with what happened. Even though it kind of sucks they had to make those changes at the last minute, it is the admins’ fault at the end of the day. They should know these teams and know not to put them up against each other in the first round. They made the right choice changing it, but that shouldn't have even happened from the beginning.

It is kind of controversial, it does not make a lot of sense. I understand what they were trying to do, but it's a bad situation for the teams to find themselves in...

rain: Yeah, it definitely sucks for the teams involved. But at the end of the day, it was only two teams that got changed around.

Another issue in the qualifiers were the low number of teams participating. Do you think the main reason for that was lack of publicity on them or are the number of all-female teams still low to make these open qualifiers worthy?

rain: I don't know what advertising they did for this; I honestly didn't see too much. The NA qualifiers never had that many teams, I think it was like 8, or something around that amount - a really low number. Usually when there are qualifiers for these specific tournaments it's always like 6 to 8 teams, and 4 of them just very recently come together only to try and qualify for it, but I didn't really expect any more than that. There's 2 more teams kind of staying together more, all year round, which is good, but hopefully we can see that number pick up, especially now that we have a few more tournaments a year, trying to spread the message... I'm hoping it catches people's attention so we can have the female community grow up.

So, you would say that is kind of a mentality problem - people only getting together for a tournament and if it doesn't work, they just split up...

rain: For North America, for sure, but in Europe there's a lot of more all-female teams that stick around all year. I don't really know how their practice situations are. Like I said, I know that there are a lot of teams, but they just can't make these tournaments, and we usually get the same teams qualifying every time.

Do you have any words to your fans that are anxiously waiting for news on the new line-up of the team?

rain: Sure! I know that everyone's been waiting for an announcement, I've been getting a lot of DM's and questions every time I stream, but you will find out soon and hopefully we can have a good showing in Valencia! If anyone is there, come up to me, say hello, let's take a picture together and thank you so much for all your support!

I want to thank Amanda for the interview and wish her good luck for DreamHack Showdown! Don’t forget to check her on social media:

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