Astralis’ all-women CS:GO team to debut in ESL Impact
Danish esports organization Astralis has announced its new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive all-women team. The announcement came just a day ahead of the 2022 ESL Impact League Season 2: European Division, an all-women GO tournament. Astralis Female will debut in the tournament on September 8.
The new team comprises captain and support Kaszandra “kezziwow” Hejja, lurker Aurora “Aurora” Lyngdal, entry fragger Rachel ”RacheLL” Kujawa, lurker Selin “spike” Alak, and AWP Yoana ”Joanana” Vlaykova. Spain’s Rafael “FeldmaN” Rodriquez serves as their coach.
Four members of Astralis Female, namely Joanana, spike, kezziwow, and RacheLL (then SUL), were all core players of Ambush Female. The team’s most recent feat was winning this year’s ESL Impact Spring Cash Cup 1 Europe in March. Meanwhile, Aurora was a member of the Swedish-based GODSENT Female.
“We have assembled a team that will be able to compete at the very top of all tournaments, with players who all want to be the best in the world,” Aurora said.
“As a woman in Counter-Strike, you fight both for results and for respect, and with the Astralis star on our chest and the organization behind us, we believe we can make a change and win both battles.”
Growing number of all-women esports teams
Astralis CEO Anders Horsholt said the organization had been looking to create an all-women team, especially in CS:GO.
“We have long worked with the idea of a women’s team in Counter-Strike, and we have been in dialogue with ESL from the very beginning to support the creation of the best possible international women’s league,” Horsholt in a statement.
“It is only natural for Astralis to be an active part of this development, which we want to push even further with our new team. Our values are grounded in performing at our best and always developing, but also in embracing gaming at all levels, regardless of traditional distinctions.”
In a male-dominated esports world, Horsholt said the formation of Astralis Female was made in the hope of a “healthier ecosystem” that can benefit everyone.
“This, in itself will create an even healthier ecosystem, which ultimately benefits everyone,” he said. “Through our investment in the team and messaging, we can help make a positive difference.
“Together with the new league and other organizations, we can make women’s CS even more interesting for both fans and brands, and thus also make it a good business.”
Astralis is joining other all-women teams in GO, such as BIG EQUIPA, NIP Female, NAVI Javelins, Nigma Galaxy Female, MostValuablePlayers, Entropiq Queens, and NOFEAR5. Recently, G2 Esports also announced its new all-women League of Legends team.
ESL Impact Season 2: Groupings, schedule
In ESL Impact Season 2, Astralis Female has been placed in Group B alongside Season 1 runner-up BIG EQUIPA, NAVI Javelins, and MostValuablePlayers. Meanwhile, Season 1 winner Nigma Galaxy Female will compete in Group A against three other teams.
ESL Impact Season 2 Week 1 schedule is as follows:
Group A: Nigma Galaxy Female Vs. NIP Female, NOFEAR5 Vs. Entropiq Queens
Group B: Astralis Female Vs. BIG EQUIPA, NAVI Javelins Vs. MostValuablePlayers