During the 20-team grand finals of the HER Galaxy $100,000 Apex Legends Open, unsigned squad Team Cuties took the crown, beating out professional content creators and players like TSM’s Laurice “GuhRL” Habibi and Jane “ItzJaney” Newstead, LuLuLuvley, Claraatwork, Acie, Babynikki, and Avuhlie.
Gayming got the chance to chat with Team Cuties captain Kathleen about her history with gaming, esports and what it took to take home the win at the HER Galaxy Apex Legends Open.
How did you originally get into gaming?
I originally got into gaming because I have an older brother. He’s four years older than me. It was Christmas maybe 20 years ago now. I was 6, and he was 10. He got an Xbox for Christmas. We don’t have any other siblings, so I was the one to play with him. We started playing from there. Project Gotham Racing was the first game that I ever played. We played Fuzion Frenzy, and then we moved into all the Halos. From there, Call of Duty. I really attribute it to my brother. We just started playing together ever since, and I never stopped.
How did you get into esports/competitive gaming?
I always knew of MLG and these LANs. We would do mini-LANs ourselves at my parent’s house when we were younger. But in terms of actually getting into competitive, I had wanted to compete in GLL in Apex, but nobody would take me on their team. So I was like, ‘That kind of sucks.’ So I started playing in the HisAndHers in JukaBowl, which was the very early stages of HisAndHers tournaments. I started competitive there, and from there the women’s league kind of evolved maybe months later and I started playing Apex competitively through the women’s league.
Did you have any tournament experience prior to this one?
Yes. I’ve played in the women’s league since it came out, and I’ve also played other tournaments along the way. I definitely shoot my shot when there are tournaments out there. I’m going to say, hey, if you need someone I’ll play. I’m always open to playing in a tournament, whether it’s the women’s league, whether it’s GLL, E Series, anything. I was always there to play – scrims, anything. I definitely had prior tournament experience, and so did my teammates.
Why did you choose to compete in Apex Legends specifically?
For me, there wasn’t anything else. That was my main game for years now. I didn’t really play Call of Duty the same way that I used to when I was younger. It was Apex or bust for me. That was my game.
How did you prepare for the HER Galaxy tournament?
Aside from just mechanically practicing and playing any day that I could, it was really a mental preparation for me. Not getting burnt out. I took a week off from the game. I know that sounds counterproductive, but I took a week off. I went and visited my parents, relaxed, went by the water by the beach. It was more of a mental preparation. I journaled and did what I needed to do on that end. From the beginning of the tournament, I kept a giant spreadsheet with all the teams competing, who they were, what character they played, where they landed. That spreadsheet evolved into scrim placements. That really gave us the top teams to look out for and who was our competition. I’m going to say it was a pretty accurate spreadsheet. I think that I had the top-five down – putting us at first, of course.
How did it feel to be part of a squad that was able to beat professional players?
It was really great to be a part of a team that supported each other. We all knew what we were there to do. We were dedicated to practicing. We were dedicated to winning. At the end of the day, professionalism is really important, especially when it comes to following through on your commitments, and I think we all did that really well. Not to say that there weren’t bumps in the road, of course. It’s a team of three. You want to make sure you’re all on the same page. And I think that we were able to work through anything that came our way, which is what made us such a great team.