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New squad in EMEA: Interview with EQUINOX’S IGL, CECILE

New squad in EMEA: Interview with EQUINOX’S IGL, CECILE

Lynne "drDelta" Dumeny


The first EMEA Game Changers series of 2022 has just wrapped up. As the scene in EMEA is still rather fresh, rosters are still continuing to form with the goal of becoming a team that organizations want to sign. Equinox is one of the newer free-agent teams that recently competed in Game Changers. We spoke with Cecile from Equinox to hear her insights on the formation of her team, their goals for the future, and her experience with being a free-agent team in EMEA.

Interview with Cecile

drDelta (D): Hello everyone, I’m Lynne, AKA drDelta from Run It Back, and joining me today is Cecile from the team Equinox. Thank you so much for joining me. 

Cecile (C): Hey, that’s me!

D: So Equinox has a relatively new roster that is competing in the EMEA Game Changers tournaments so welcome!

C: Thank you for having me as well!

D: So for the people out there who don’t know your team, do you mind introducing first yourself and then introducing the players that you work with?

C: Right so my name is Cecile. I am the duelist, OP-er, IGL for Equinox. Other team members include our new pick up Summer, who is on controller duty, Amy, Greta, and Abbie. So the roster move we made for this is very recent so we are still figuring stuff out because we had to move roles around. We are basically now figuring out how this iteration of the team plays.

New Equinox Roster – Image Credit @EquinoxValorant

D: I see. And what prompted you all to start this roster in the first place?

C: So I was playing on a different Game Changers team before called Daycare and Wonder, our coach, he was honestly looking around at the scene for different teams and players. I was interested in working with him from the get-go and me and him pretty much instantly clicked. He already had a roster before and had some players he already knows because he has a lot of connections and so we thought we can try and build a team here. So that is essentially what we end up doing.

D: You wanted to work with Wonder, is he a well-known person within the community?

C: I mean honestly it’s not about being “well-known” because I’m not very well-known at all. I really didn’t know anyone in the VALORANT community either. I just looked at his way of thinking and his way of approaching things. This is really good and this is what any team needs.

D: So just the qualities of a good coach? That’s what you are looking for?

C: For sure! He has great insights, he’s very direct and I personally love that since I personally am also very direct.

D: Sounds like a good match! So you mentioned that you are the duelist and the IGL for the team?

C: Yes, both of the previous team and this team, the leadership role just kind of naturally fell onto me and I have a very simple approach to stuff. I don’t overthink everything and I don’t try to counter-strat on the fly. I’m just like “we have this info” and from that, we can tell they are doing this and do this. I keep it simple and it seems to be working decently well.

D: The combination of the two roles is so interesting. I don’t know too many players doing both, other than Shahzam. How do you find synergy in that role, being a duelist and an IGL?

C: I think it actually makes a lot of sense to have this role because not only do I have to do a lot of proactive things in the server and call plays around myself. But also even if I die on the entry or something, I can then, if needed, I can make calls from a spectator perspective. So I think it makes a lot of sense to have a duelist be the IGL as well.

From their recent games in Game Changers, you can see that Cecile still has an impact in the round as the IGL even after her demise.

D: So for becoming an IGL, did you have prior experiences competing in other esports to help give you IGL experience?

C: In 2015-2016, I picked up CS:GO. I got pretty decent and ended up in an ESEA team. Unfortunately, in 2018 I got so sick of just how women were treated in CS:GO at the time. It is not the most friendly place for someone like me to compete at that time. So I stopped playing CS:GO competitively for a while and started to play some other games. Then VALORANT came along and with my already extensive playtime in CS:GO, I was like okay! Then Riot also started investing in a female scene, and so I was like, “I can work with this!”. On CS:GO teams, I’ve IGL’d and I’ve done a lot of different roles so that is where that sort of experience comes from.

D: Interesting! I know that for a lot of players in the Game Changers scene, VALORANT is the first game for them, but for you, you seem to have plenty of experience with tactical shooters. Is there anything else that got you into VALORANT other than them being just incredibly welcoming and inclusive?

C: I just really love the feel of the game, I guess. It’s kind of the same thing it was some other games but I love just the directness of my inputs. I guess it sounds kind of weird if I put it into words honestly. But it just feels good to play, I think that’s the main thing.

D: As a team that isn’t signed to an organization, what is your team having to juggle in addition to trying to be a winning roster?

C: Yes! So personally I stream, that’s like my side thing aside from the team. But a lot of others in the team have other responsibilities and it can be tough to schedule things sometimes. For example, we had a situation where we needed to know dates for tournaments and stuff way ahead of time so people can call out of work or schedule around their work. There’s also another teammate who gets her internet cut by her parents even though she is old enough to make her own decisions. Stuff like that we still juggle. So we want a team that has and this and that would be great, but yeah there’s definitely stuff being juggled.

D: Right… It sounds like a lot of real stuff to work around to overcome to be competitive. 

C: For sure.

D: Do you take any inspiration from any team? Do you like watching any particular region or team?

C: I mean I take inspiration literally anywhere I can get it. It doesn’t even matter if it’s in this field or not. Any inspiration I can take, I’ll take it. But the teams that we kind of gravitate towards more in terms of our own playstyle, we don’t have the most set plays or the most strict protocols and we flow with things and see where that gets us. Sorta like Sentinels, not exactly, but we are trying to be a bit looser in the way we approach the game. Which gives people a lot of freedom to make their own reads. I’m not the kind of IGL to be like “no one else can give input”. No, everyone is welcome to give input and if someone has ever read, I’ll let them call a round based on that instead of me doing a call. It’s a bit loose and flowing in that sense.

D: So your style is loose and being open to receiving ideas from your teammates. With your teammates from multiple different countries, what is that like? Are there any cultural or language differences that you have to work around as a multinational team?

C: We all speak great English, there are no problems that it brings into the team. We have banter in different languages and we all joke around with each other, it’s all in good fun. 

D: So you are still able to build synergy regardless?

C: Yeah, in some cases it can help us since we banter a lot. 

D: Is there a community for players in the Game Changers scene or is there any opportunity for support for the players in Europe?  

C: Yeah, there are definitely some resources. I’m not personally familiar with everything yet. There was a North American brand coming into Europe and looking into esports, for example. There’s a lot of interest in the scene so far but it seems hesitant. People are still scared to invest time and resources into a scene that’s still so new. So you can see people and organizations wanting to support it, but people being hesitant to sign teams. But also like brands [asking] do we want to get involved with this? 

D: I see, is there anything you think that Europe or EMEA needs to do to grow the scene even more? Any support or something specific you think will help the scene grow more? 

C: Oh there are so many things! There is a distinct lack of coaches. People are still being roster-locked at times. The scene is still very raw and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what one thing to change because there are so many things to still sort out. 

D: Everything is still new? 

C: Yeah, everything is still settling and being developed. 

Although Equinox did not make it out of the group stages for Series 1, they show promise to continue to grow as a team before the next series.

D: For your team, do you have any particular goals for 2022? 

C: Yes, we want to be at the Game Changers LAN, that is a goal we set for ourselves. I think honestly there are some adjustments we need to make but honestly, I think we have a pretty good shot at it. 

D: Awesome that’s great to hear. So what are you all doing until the next Game Changers series? 

C: For now, we are just building the fundamentals of a team first and foremost. We are breaking down bad habits and forcing good habits, building protocols, and that sort of thing both in and outside of the game. Refocusing on doing little small tournaments here and there to [help] the newer players get the nerves out from doing tournament-style stuff so we aren’t as nervous heading into officials. 

D: Is there anything else that you like to say or any plugs you’d like to make?

C: I want to shout out to my coach. I wouldn’t have a place in the team without him and so I am super thankful. All my teammates, they’re all absolutely lovely. I mean our manager also deserves some time in the spotlight because he always takes care of scrims and communication with any party that is interested in our team. He deserves more praise, so Alex this one’s for you.  

D: Thank you again for your time and very informative to learn more about you, the team as well, and the region in general.

C: Of course!

D: And stay tuned with Run It Back for more interviews like this and stay tuned to see Equinox in the next Game Changers event. 

C: Absolutely! 

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity and length.