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Q&A: missharvey talks CLG Red, Montreal esports and women’s Counter-Strike

Over the weekend, Slingshot’s Blake Bottrill was able to catch up with CLG Red’s Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey at DreamHack Montreal. A long weekend of playing 1-v-1s at the ASUS Republic of Gamers booth left her tired but did not put a damper on the event or her enthusiasm for gaming and esports in Montreal.

Blake Bottrill: Obviously you’re here as part of a sponsor obligation, but this is fun for you because this is home. How awesome is it to see an event like this come to Montreal?

Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey: It’s pretty awesome. Not only is it home, but in the last couple of years, esports has developed so much in Montreal. It went from, “We don’t know what esports is, we just develop games” to, “Oh my god, we love it as much we love developing games.” It is pretty awesome. The last two events that were in Montreal, LAN ETS and DreamHack, are just wonderful.

BB: How does this compare to LAN ETS?

SH: I think the production value is obviously way better because DreamHack is here. The stages are beautiful. It is really comparable. There is only one pro tournament here, which is StarCraft 2. Everything else is pretty much amateur, so it really is extremely similar to LAN ETS.

BB: You are in LA a lot more now. I know you’re still working in Montreal. Is it getting hard to balance all that? Are you able to work remotely at all?

SH: It is really really hard to balance everything. That is why I’m on sabbatical from the Ubisoft Montreal office. I’m focusing 100 percent of the time on esports, but I still travel every week, I still need to compete and practice with my team. It’s getting really hard to balance, but it’s easier because I’m getting better at it. I refuse more stuff and I accept only the ones that benefit me and my career and my fans.

BB: You’ve been a part of CLG now for just over a year. What is your favourite part of the CLG family so far?

SH: I think that’s just it. My favorite part is the family. We are super close between the players. I don’t know if it is the same for every org because I have only been in three or four orgs in my life but we all watch each other’s games and we all attend each other’s events, so when we were in Katowice last year, the League of Legends team was out and they watched every single one of matches even though it lasted hours and hours and hours in the stadium. I go watch Counter-Strike leagues, LCS games from the League team a lot. I went to EVO and I supported the Smash players. We all do that. I really think the CLG family is big and that is pretty unique.

Photo by Jeroen Weimar/ESL,
Photo by Jeroen Weimar/ESL,


BB: You played with the CLG “Purple” squad two weeks ago at Esports Arena. How was that?

SH: It was really fun! Koosta was calling so it allowed us to let go and be loose and have fun with it. I think because we were three girls and only two guys, it wasn’t like “Oh, the guys are gonna carry the girls.” It had to be a team effort still for us to win, which we did and even playing with Kenny and Cutler for one tournament we learned a lot. It was fun. I liked it?

BB: How did your weekend of 1-v-1s go?

SH: I won 57 and I lost 3. It was really long and really hard. I came into this weekend knowing I wasn’t going to win them all because playing four hours of 1-v-1s, no matter how good you are, there is some player that is going to catch you off guard and you’re going to have to make the comeback, and you won’t be able to come back. I had to make a comeback like 15 times each day, but because I am playing so much, it is difficult to always be focused for four hours and at some point you’re gonna screw it up. And I screwed it up a few times.

BB: Obviously with rise of the female gamer and the all the Team Secret ladies did really well at the 1-v-1 tournament that PGL put on earlier this year. Is there a reason that we don’t see mixed teams at the highest level? Is the sisterhood that comes with a female team too strong?

SH: There is tons of mixed teams! You don’t hear about them. You only hear about the top female teams because they are females. I know a lot of women that play on men’s teams and that’s just how it is. I personally know that me and all four of my teammates would not be on this team if it wasn’t for each other, meaning that I would be on a male team too if it wasn’t that I have been playing with these girls for over 10 years. They are my best friends. I’m playing with my best friends, I’m not playing with four other girls, it just turns out that we are five females.

BB: The zombie apocalypse starts tomorrow and you have to pick one teammate that is going to help you survive the longest. Who is it?

SH: Damn, I can’t pick Benita. She’s so clumsy, we’d be dead right away. I’m wondering between Diane and Christine. I kinda want to say Christine because she’s so tall and stuff but I think it might be Diane. I think Diane can…

BB: Be feisty?

SH: Yeah I think she’s feisty that’s it! I’m gonna pick Diane!

Cover photo by Kirill Bashkirov/ESL,