Please start by telling us how you got into esports and what your first moves in that world looked like.
Most of my first contacts with the world of gaming came through Minecraft. In playing Minecraft, I gradually developed a real passion for it. I also tried out a lot of other games, including League of Legends. Early on (prior to Season 6) I didn't enjoy LoL all that much, though. It didn't really grab me until the Worlds 2015 (the 2015 League of Legends World Championship) was streamed. Then, my fascination with LoL just kept growing, with each new day of the tournament, and this has continued to the point where LoL is now really more than just a hobby for me.
What does an esports player need to have in order to achieve excellence?
Basically, the same kinds of things that you need in regular sports. To achieve excellence, esports athletes have to be willing to give their utmost every day. They also need to keep trying to improve – they need to stay motivated to improve, and to learn and apply new things. In sum, ambition and perseverance
are super important. Another thing, and it's one that is often overlooked, is that esports players need to stay physically fit. They have to be in good physical shape in order to withstand all the mental stress they face.
Esports players can't succeed unless they're 100% focused. Do you have any special techniques and/or tricks that help you always stay 100 percent focused?
Well, it's vitally important to exercise regularly, and to have regular breaks. Before I joined the EPF (the esports player foundation), I basically never took time out to exercise. As a result, I found it extremely difficult to keep up my concentration for prolonged periods. I was unable to play more than four games in a row. Now, thanks to regular exercise, regular breaks and more structure in my daily schedule, I can stay focused for eight to twelve games. That said, I really
have to go to the limit for that, and I'm completely exhausted afterwards.
What would you say are your strengths as a player and what things do you need to work on?
I am very ambitious, and I give my all for the team, both within and outside of games. In the past, these tendencies have led to both positive and negative experiences, since in an amateur-team context I often take games more seriously than other players do. In addition, it's important to keep analyzing different styles of play and different strategies. I love to keep learning.
In games, I've often been praised for being a good "weak-side" player. Prior to the offseason, I was already ok from a technical standpoint, but I do have to say that I've worked hard on that aspect of my game. Another thing, and it's one I'm working on at the moment, is that I often get overconfident when I've built up a big lead.
By and large, I haven't yet reached my full potential, however. In the coming months, I'll be working with Josef, my coach, on building my strengths and minimizing my weaknesses.
Why, in your opinion, do most people consider esports to be an all-male domain?
To answer that question, you just need to take a quick look at the past. It
seems to me that gaming has often been seen as something that's only for boys and men. But over the past five years, gaming has finally started being accepted as a gender-neutral pastime. Girls and women have always faced all kinds of clichés and prejudice with regard to the interests and pastimes that are suitable for them, and that's how all the sexism in the gaming world emerged. But I don't want to speculate at length about this, since it's quite a profound issue. In any case, I am sure that we are going to see more and more world-class female esports athletes in the future – also thanks to initiatives such as Equal eSports.