Successful South African MGO, Bravado Gaming, just announced their newly acquired Academy CS:GO team earlier this week. The former Energy Finesse team will continue competing in the all-female Mettlestate ASUS ROG Valkyrie League as Bravado Finesse. They are currently sitting at the top of the leaderboard, having won all three of their matches so far. In game leader and Desert Eagle aficionado Christin “2SSB” Meistre managed to tear herself away from CS:GO long enough to to talk to me about the team.
axtremes: Signing with Bravado is certainly some very exciting news! However, I’m going to make a slight detour first. You’ve changed your in game name to 2SSB from just using Christin. What does it mean?
2SSB: It was the first gaming tag I had when I started in the competitive scene. I only changed from ‘2SSB’ due to people’s frustration when trying to say it. This name has an incredible amount of meaning behind it to me. 2SSB directly stands for 2 Special Services Battalion. This is the military group which my father served in when he was in the army.
axtremes: Originally the team left Energy eSports with the intention of being independent. What did joining with Bravado offer you that you wouldn’t have had as an independent team?
2SSB: We received humbling amounts of offers, with a number of people and organisations approaching us after we became an independent team. I am honestly still astonished that esports in South Africa has grown as much as it has. That so many people are interested in us as a team and female gaming as a whole. In our discussions with anyone we always had one request only. Support. Bravado is able to give us the support we need to grow from strength to strength. They have many years of experience and knowledge to pass on and the desire to push us to the point where we give our best.
axtremes: How much interaction and support will there be for Finesse from the USA-based Bravado team? Will you be working on strategies together etc?
2SSB: The boys are being extremely generous with their time and knowledge and are always willing to help us grow. We will be receiving a lot of support from the boys who definitely have a lot to teach us. Hopefully, we can teach them a thing or two (haha).
axtremes: Do you feel Bravado Finesse are the favourites in Valkyrie? Who are your closest competitors for the title?
2SSB: The public has many speculations of who the victorious team will be, with many people being die-hard fans of certain teams. Hopefully we are able to do not only ourselves proud but many of the people who have supported us since day one. The difference in girl gaming from the last year to this year speaks multitudes of the positive impact that Mettlestate have had. It is nearly impossible to play a matchmaking game nowadays without having a girl on the server. To me that means the absolute world. With that said, there are some amazing players and teams coming out of the woodworks, with so much potential and dedication. In my opinion the league is anyone’s game that is willing to step up and swing. We will definitely be throwing fastballs!
axtremes: One of your stated goals as Bravado Finesse is to qualify to Masters division in VS. How close are you to reaching this goal? Is it a long-term vision or something that’s still possible in 2018?
2SSB: Our goal for Masters, as hard as it may seem to achieve, is definitely not impossible. We are currently the first all girls team to make it out of ladder. Although we have to climb our way up, I truly believe that with the drive and support that my team has, it is more than obtainable. This goal is set for this year of 2018. With that time restraint upon us, we will have to put our heads down and continue to give it our all.
axtremes: Kayhla “KayC” Calder was originally the team’s substitute player, but has since replaced Danielle “Truefire” Pienaar. How is she integrating into the team?
2SSB: Truefire leaving and chasing her heart and dreams elsewhere has given KayC the opportunity to step up and take the role of a core player within our team. When we recruited KayC, the thought of having her as a sub quickly changed when I saw the absolute drive, thirst and passion she had to constantly improve herself and those around her. KayC in my mind would have never stayed sub for long, just because she is so deserving of the position she now fills. She fits in perfectly into our team dynamics and personality. KayC brings out a new team synergy that I hadn’t even believed existed. She plays her heart out and challenges her teammates to constantly give their best.
axtremes: Any shout outs or people you’d like to acknowledge?
2SSB: I’d really like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been there for us since the beginning. Thanks for the love and respect that the community has shown towards us, even at our worst moments. Also the biggest thank you to Andreas “Cent” Hadjipaschali for believing in us. Also thanks of course to all our sponsors: Alienware, Intel, Vertagear and Sergio Tacchini for making our dreams a reality.