They think it's risky to put money in girls, says CaspeR: I want to pose a question. What comes to your mind when you hear Indian Valorant or South Asian Valorant? For the majority, it's Velocity Gaming, and Global Esports (and SKRossi of course). For some, it's Team Exploit, Enigma Gaming, and maybe Team XO. For a very few, it's Asteria, despite it being one of the best female lineups in the whole of South-East Asia.
Asteria has also qualified for the VCT GC FSL Elite, the biggest female tournament for women in SEA. Aryan 'Ba3a' Kumar of Gamzo sat down with Asteria's Neha 'CaspeR' Sottany to talk about her team, VCT Game Changers, and her future plans. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
Can you please introduce yourself to our new readers?
I am Neha Sottany aka CaspeR. I've been playing FPS games for a long time now. I started playing professionally with CSGO and now I have switched to Valorant. I play for Asteria, a female lineup.
Riot is trying to create new opportunities and exposure for women and other marginalized genders within VALORANT? How do you feel about it?
I did not know that there were so many girls playing Valorant, but due to this FSL tournament, I came to know that there are some 46 teams in the SEA region. I think this tournament is a great step in bringing up girls.
What is the difference between South Asian teams and other SEA teams for women?
In India or South Asia, people don't even support boys, plus there is huge discrimination. So, as we are girls, it makes it even difficult to get a bootcamp or org. Asteria is playing on its own. But the other SEA teams like GXR have everything. They are supported everywhere. We have very limited practice too. Parental support is also not there.
You are representing South Asia in VCT GC FSL Elite. Are you feeling that pressure? How does it feel?
Yes! We had already qualified in the Elite, we were in the top 8 of the circuit points leaderboard. But because of the roster change, now we are struggling through the wildcard qualifiers. This is our last chance and of course, there is a lot of pressure.
To top it up, some of my teammates are having parental issues too, they can't play games all day. It's kind of hard. We have got to prove ourselves.
Your confidence level on a scale of 0 to 10 going into the tournament?
I would rate it 9.
Whom are you most looking forward to playing against?
It's Mad Army, they are really good. They beat us once and now we are looking to set the record straight.
We have seen teams start doing much better when they come together in a bootcamp. Asteria has been doing pretty good already. Has any organisation shown interest yet?
Our goal right now is to get a place in Elite. If we reach over there, I hope, there will be orgs interested in us. As I said, my teammates have parental issues, so we need an org to show something to our families. So far, none of the organisations have shown interest. They probably think that it's risky to put money in girls.
From their point of view, they are not wrong because we haven't achieved something big. But if we qualify for the Elite, that would be huge. Then they can put their money and faith in us hopefully. Right now though, they feel it's dicey.
If you had superpowers, what is that one thing that you would change in Valorant esports or Indian esports in general?
I would remove toxicity, like legit from everywhere. There are people who always try to demotivate the streamers. I don't know why they do, but if something is wrong with my face, they will say 'abe ye dekh tere face pe kya laga hai', they won't watch my gameplay. Some people are really dumb.
Once someone told me on my stream, 'you don't have clothes or what, why are you repeating your clothes'. It's my choice what I want to wear, right? I am like, 'teri maa dilayegi kya kapde'. These people are really dumb.