WEBWIRE – Thursday, March 9, 2023
Guild launches team into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive arena for the first time.
Experienced all-female CS:GO team to compete in ESL Impact Circuit.
Jasmine Skee, CEO Guild Esports, highlights commitment to providing high-level opportunities for women in the esports space.
Guild Esports, a global teams organisation and lifestyle brand, is pleased to announce the launch of an all-female team to compete in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), the leading team-based first-person shooter, representing Guilds first entry into the esport.
Launched in 2012, Counter-Strike has gained massive popularity as an esport, with professional teams and players competing in major tournaments around the world, with audience numbers continuing to climb. Guilds venture into CS:GO promises to usher in a wave of exhilarating content and talent opportunities, captivating a dynamic and passionate new audience and inspiring gamers worldwide.
The announcement comes on International Womens Day and demonstrates the organisations commitment to encouraging greater female participation in esports amid growing interest from brands, fans and players. Women in Gaming is a business priority for Guild in 2023 and the organisation is working closely with main partner Sky Broadband to deliver on this area as part of the partnership priorities.
Jasmine Skee, CEO of Guild Esports, commented: This International Womens Day, were delighted to launch a high-flying, all-female team to spearhead our entry into the CS:GO arena. With female participation rapidly growing in many other competitive sports such as football and rugby, we feel this is the right time for us to recruit top talent for CS:GO. It will enable Guild to grow its audience, reach new demographics and continue to provide high-level opportunities for women in the esports space. The team members have experience competing together at the highest levels of competitive CS:GO and will be further inspired by the success of VALORANT Guild X. Were looking forward to working with them and celebrating their competitive success.
This is Guilds second all-female team, complementing a similar roster for VALORANT launched in 2021. The VALORANT Guild X team has been a competitive success for the Company since launching, notably winning the VCT Game Changer EMEA Series 3 in October 2022.
The new CS:GO team will compete under the name Guild. The all-women team comprises Team Captain Kaia KiKi Holmen (NO), Marita Minnie Srensen (NO), Thea Pullox Evensen (NO), Linnea Nea Claesson (SE) and Anna Ann4 Laurinoviča (LV). The five players are an existing team and have extensive experience competing together. KiKi, Minnie and Pullox will continue to compete for Norways national CS:GO team in international tournaments.
Guilds CS:GO team captain KiKi added: We intend to compete at the highest levels of Counter-Strike and Guild is the perfect place to achieve this. With leading facilities, high-quality coaching staff and a state-of-the-art headquarters, Guild gives us the opportunity to learn and grow as a team in a supportive environment. Its not just the facilities and coaching Guilds long-term commitment to supporting women in esports reassures us that we will be a close cultural fit. Were excited to bring Guild into CS:GO for the first time and hope to make the whole company proud.
All five players have signed one-year contracts with the option of extending for an additional year. The team is currently in London at the Sky Guild Gaming Centre, Guilds state-of-the-art Shoreditch HQ, where they will compete in tournaments together. Over the next two weeks, the team will be fully immersed in the Guild culture while training, competing and enjoying all that London has to offer.
The team will kick off their Guild careers by competing in the ESL Impact Circuit (ESL Impact), a women-only CS:GO League with a combined annual prize pool of US$500,000 (414,000), run by esports organiser and production company ESL. The tournament was created to provide a competitive environment for the top womens CS:GO teams as part of ESLs #GGFORALL inclusion and female empowerment campaign. Guild will additionally compete in the ESEA Open, hosted by third-party matchmaker and anti-cheat software developer ESEA. The team is targeting promotion from ESEAs Open Division to the Intermediate Division by the end of the year. The teams first match in Guild colours will be on Thursday 9 March at 6:30pm (GMT).
The launch campaign around the new team kicked off with an exciting media day in London, in which Guild collaborated with renowned photographer Will Cornelius, known for his exceptional work with top brands such as Adidas, Nike, Pepsi and The FA, to create striking visuals that showcase the teams unique style and spirit.