Today we are here with the first guest of the GG Esports Media Interview Series. Today, our guest is 23 years-old Vanessa “Nessa” Ahlström, a retired Professional CS:GO player who has played in more than 10 CS:GO teams, and currently Professional player of the Swedish-based Esports organization GODSENT’s women VALORANT team GODSENT IRIS. We leave you alone with our interview with Nessa. Let’s start!
- Can you introduce yourself first?
My name is Vanessa Ahlström and i go under the nickname Nessa. I play professionally for GODSENT. I’m Swedish and I’ve been playing games for around 5 years now. I love to stream in my free time and also do a lot of fitness as my hobby outside of gaming. In general, I’d say that I’m a determined and focused person always wanting to win!
- How did you decide to become a professional Esports player, what difficulties did you face in your early years?
There was not really a point in my life where i decided to become pro, it was more a result of playing for way too many hours and putting a lot of time to improve. I had a make-it-or-break-it point after hand surgery and decided that gaming was really something i wanted to pursue!
- How does it feel to be a woman in the esports industry, does it have any difficulties, and if so, what are these difficulties?
As a woman in Esports, you have a bit more pressure than others, you will always have to perform and play on your A-game to not get bashed. It was hard in the beginning to try and understand that the gaming community had so few girls in it, but it’s become much better as of lately and i think it will only get better for girls. I think you just have to build a good support system and realize if someone is rude towards you, that firstly you should try to not be rude back but also that for every rude person there are 10 people that think you are awesome!
- While Esports organizations around the world don’t use the “male team” word at the end of the team’s name when they set up an Esports team consisting of men, what do you think about the “female team” word for the women’s team after the team name, do you think it’s right?
I hope this is a trend that will die out. It’s very tiring to see, often not even the organization itself but the tournament organizers and ranking sites always putting FE after the team names. I think organizations putting different names instead of FE behind their teams is doing a cool and nice change!
- What do you think about the fact that women’s tournaments are less than men’s tournaments in the esports industry?
I am of course quite a bias to this question, but i think most people can agree that the more esports tournaments there are, the better. Both scenes have a lot of things to add to each other and i hope that the number of female tournaments will increase so that the number of females playing esports, in general, will keep increasing.
- The esports industry has gradually moved from the gaming house system to the office system, which do you think is better for professional players, and which system are you currently working on?
I am yet to try out the gaming house or the office system since the pandemic has made even hosting bootcamps much harder. I hope to try both methods but from hearing other people’s experiences i think the office system, in the long run, is more sustainable for the players. To add to that, I do think that gaming houses can be efficient during shorter periods of time to increase skill and team bonding.
- You recently retired from CS:GO and switched to VALORANT, most Professional CS:GO players have been doing this lately, what do you think? What is the main reason to switch?
For me, the switch came naturally when i slowly but surely felt like the CS:GO female community wasn’t living up to my expectations and goals. I felt unhappy with the progress and understood that i needed to make a change. So far, I’m more than happy about changing, even though CS:GO will always be in my heart. I think many girls like myself see how competitive the VALORANT scene is and how hardworking the general VALORANT player is.
- Do you think the CS: GO Esports arena is coming to an end and is it because of the VALORANT?
I don’t think CS:GO will ever die out, not in the near future at least. Both of the games are great and i do believe that they can coexist and bring in more people to esports. There is a lot of hype around VALORANT and as seen in games like League of Legends, Riot is very good at creating a competitive and entertaining atmosphere around its games. I will say though that VALORANT is much easier for “non-gamers” to understand and enjoy because of the aesthetic of the game, which is why i think a lot of people enjoy it lately.
- Which is more fun for the Esports industry, VALORANT or CS:GO?
I love both games. CS:GO was my first ever competitive game it will always be a very special and fun game to me. VALORANT has so far been a fresh breeze of high competitiveness and it has really brought out the best of me and i hope it will keep doing that. So right now, I have to say VALORANT is way more fun!
- So, what are your goals in a Professional VALORANT career?
I hope to become a top 5 EU team this year and takeing maps and matches off the best teams in Europe. It’s been a hard transition period but I do think I’m finally starting to improve as much as I want to. In the Longterm I would like to of course become the best team in Europe, and also to win against good male teams.
- In the VALORANT Female teams, G2 Gozen is shown as the best female VALORANT squad, which has won the last tournaments, what do you think about them?
I think it’s really fun to see fellow CS:GO players perform so well in VALORANT! They have been performing really well lately and it’s going to be interesting to see how they would perform against other regions’ teams! Hoping it will be many LANs in the future! Its inspiring!
- How many days and hours do you practice per week on VALORANT?
I play VALORANT every day or work on improving my VALORANT gameplay every day in different ways! Usually, team practice is 5 times a week for multiple hours and on top of that, i play a lot of ranked and aim training, POV reviewing and watching pro games.
- Let’s learn some personal opinions, who do you think is the best male player in the CS:GO world & who is the best female player?
I think it’s fair to say s1mple is the best player right now in CS:GO. I think the best female player is Goosebreeder from CLG Red, but it’s been way too long since it’s been an international LAN, so I’m
- So, for you who is the best male & female player in VALORANT?
I hecking love tenZ! No, but on a serious note I’m not sure, it’s hard to compare VALORANT players because of the different agents having a very different jobs. I think roxi is the best female player!
- Is there any professional VALORANT player that you consider as an idol?
I don’t have any idols in VALORANT unfortunately.
- As we understand from your social media accounts, you do sports as much as you play VALORANT, isn’t sports really necessary for professional players sitting in front of the computer for hours, right?
I have always been a very active person! Before i played games, i did horseback riding and other sports, so when i started playing professionally i kept being very active. The gym and playing tennis are my favorite kind of fitness right now and i think it has helped me to play better.
- So what do you know about the Turkish professional CS:GO & VALORANT scene, any player, any team?
I think the Turkish team Eternal Fire was interesting to follow in CS:GO. I always liked to watch woxic AWP! The Turkish teams are always very though to play against in VALORANT, and they are really competitive. Lately, we played against SuperMassive Blaze and it was a really fun match! It’s also fun watching BBL Esports compete in VALORANT, they always put up a good game.
- What would you like to say to women who want to be professional Esports player despite all the difficulties in Turkey?
Keep fighting and learning! Don’t be discouraged by hardships and instead just keep playing and do your thing!
- What would you like to say to our followers who passionately follow Esports?
Thank you for supporting the Esports scene! It’s because of all supporters and passionate people supporting Esports the scene can grow!
- And finally, what can you say about us?
Firstly, I’d like to say thank you so much for this interview! And extra thank you for highlighting women in Esports! Your work is priceless!
As GG Esports Media, we sincerely thanks Vanessa “Nessa” Ahlström for accepting our interview offer and helping us with her sincere attitude during the interview process and wish her success in her career.
Also, thank you to all our followers who supported us!
Stay tuned for GG Esports Media Interview Series! Soon…