American esports organization XSET has signed the worlds best all-female CSGO squad, Europe’s Team Originem, as they look to become one of the best CSGO teams in the world, period.
XSET is continuing their global expansion. It started with Valorant and Fortnite, and now they’re taking the reigns in CS:GO, picking up the worlds-best female roster in Team Originem.
The roster is made up of veteran talent across CS:GO. The five members — Zainab ‘zAAz’ Turkie, Michaela ‘mimi’ Lintrup, Petra ‘Petra’ Stoker, Julia ‘juliano’ Kiran, and Anastasia ‘kr4sy’ Khlobystina — have been together since the start of 2020, and are looking to break barriers come 2021.
Bridging the gap between male and female players
Team Originem are one of the most decorated female CS:GO rosters of all time. In 2020, they have managed to take out pretty much every major all-female event, including the Ambush Invitational, the Galaxy Racer Invitational, and DreamHack Showdown Summer.
However, the team still hasn’t reached their ambitions and goals of competing right at the very top of Counter-Strike against the worlds best.
XSETmimi (pictured) joined the Originem roster at the start of 2020 after a stint on Copenhagen Flames FE.
“I’m not really satisfied yet because we have so much more to prove, and I feel like we will be able to do that together with XSET. We’re really looking forward to starting the journey,” zAAz told Dexerto.
“Us as female gamers, we have to prove a lot more. It’s even small things like practice games — decent teams don’t want to play against us because we’re females. We have to prove a lot more to get the respect from the other teams,” mimi added.
The support is coming through in the scene though. With more tournament organizers and teams jumping on board, the future is bright for the female esports scene, not just CS:GO.
“Compared to back in the day there is more support. DreamHack is coming in to support us with more tournaments. We also have ESL Katowice, so it’s growing,” zAAz said.
From best female squad, to one of the world’s best
However, that’s not the ultimate goal of this squad. They don’t want to be defined as the best all-female CS:GO team. They want their name in the hat alongside the world’s best. Full stop.
“One of the biggest steps everyone is dreaming of is competing against males in tournaments. We have to work really hard to get there though,” Petra said. “[At DreamHack Rotterdam], we went to compete against the male squads. We had some good games, but we didn’t win anything. If you play against the best, you’ll get better.”
Adela Sznajder for DreamHackzAAz (pictured), juliano, Petra, and kr4sy played at DreamHack Open Rotterdam 2019 together against top-level CS:GO squads.
“We were pretty excited with this lineup when Mimi came, so we have a lot more to prove. We are way stronger as a team now than we were. We hope to get more results in the male tournaments and to prove that we are a better team and that we can compete with the male teams — maybe not like Tier 1, but Tier 2 and 3,” kr4sy said.
The team is moving to North America to take advantage of more opportunities cropping up in the space. As to who they’ll want to topple down the line? There’s one name on their lips.
“Liquid,” zAAz said. “I want to beat Stewie. That would be amazing. Imagine,” mimi added.
Becoming role models in the esports scene
XSET’s journey to the top isn’t just a huge move for the five players. With their names being pushed further into the spotlight, they have the opportunity to become role models for the next generation of girls looking to step into the esports space.
“Zainab, Michaela, and Julia have been in the scene for so long. Sometimes we get some messages from girls who look up to us and want to be in our shoes and become a pro. It’s pretty great that we can have an influence on them,” Petra said.
Cloud9More orgs are picking up all-female rosters, like the Cloud9 White Valorant squad.
XSET are looking to build that brand for their players as well.
“We’ve been working on this for a long time behind the scenes. CS:GO is obviously still a Tier 1 esport and we were looking at getting into the space. We had a look at the team and realized these were very talented players that had been playing together for a long time. It was an opportunity to work with a top team that was all-female, and that really fit into what we’re all about,” XSET co-founder Marco Mereu said.
“The team is pretty well known in Europe, but in North America it’s not as widely known and understood, and there’s going to be some real opportunities to introduce the squad to North America.”
The XSET CS:GO roster is as follows.
Zainab ‘zAAz’ Turkie
Michaela ‘mimi’ Lintrup
Petra ‘Petra’ Stoker
Julia ‘juliano’ Kiran
Anastasia ‘kr4sy’ Khlobystina
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