Loona began her competitive career fairly recently after transitioning to PC from console a year ago and playing the last season of Challenger League on InFact. Following this, she joined the Australian Pro League team of Avant Gaming just prior to the start of Season 9. Currently, after eight (of fourteen) maps played, the team sits in the fifth position with a 3-1-4 win-draw-loss record a whole six points off of a LAN qualification spot.
With Goddess currently playing on Elephant Gang in the Challenger League after being dropped from Team Reciprocity at the beginning of the season, this makes Loona the sole female player in R6, with her fellow Australians of Uyen “uyen” Pham (the Mindfreak coach), and Jessica “Jess” Bolden (the PENTA analyst) making up the remaining female Pro League members. As such, and since she was at the Six Invitational in support of her boyfriend, the Fnatic player of Jake "Virtue" Grannan, we caught up with her to ask about her experience in R6 and her opinions on the recently announced balancing changes:
What is your impression of the Six Invitational as an event?
It’s massive. I watched the last two just at home on the screen and it’s a completely different experience; like the effort, they put into every single thing here is crazy. It’s really nice to be here and I’m here to support Jake (Virtue), obviously, and the fact he did really well was like the most amazing thing, I was like crying every day. So, yeah, It’s amazing.
So how have you found the first half of the Pro League as a player?
Really good fun, I didn’t expect to play as confidently and as happily as I did, ‘cause I’m usually really bad under pressure, but after the first map I ever played -- which we won against the first seed from last season in Australia (0RGL3SS), which was the craziest thing ever -- I was just extremely hyped and excited for every game after that.
There’s obviously a lot of issues women face coming into playing games, have you ran into issues as a player either before or after becoming a pro?
Wanting to become a pro... I didn’t get any issues in teams, because people are usually really professional and like... not judgemental about it, so getting into teams and making friends was like, fine. Other than the ranked experience, but that doesn’t matter, that doesn’t count, but comp(etitive) was fine. But obviously, because people aren’t used to people seeing a girl playing at any frickin’ level at all, they’re gonna be suspicious and not really take it seriously. So, that’s annoying, but I’m also kinda more motivated by that to like prove them wrong because it’s really quite rude that people doubt me at all, so that’s kinda like my motivation, actually.
We’ve seen some quite remarkable clips from your games, so if you were to pit yourself against Virtue, who wins?
Ok, so we did actually face him in the first half (of the season), and it’s two best-of-ones. I was substituted out because I get too nervous and my team thought I might underperform as well, so they just subbed me out and I was like, “whatever don’t worry about it”. They put in Niko, who’s from the former VSDS roster, and he’s actually a really good player, and they actually tied the first map, which was awesome. I was just there in TeamSpeak, just muted and it was just crazy listening to it, and I’m like, “yeah, go my team, screw you, Jake!” But then my teammate Fishoguy’s internet just died and I had to play anyway for the last half of the second map and then we lost it, so, there you go. I guess we lose.
Kaid and Nomad are about to join the Pro League. What do you think about them, and will they be dominant?
Yes, especially Kaid, in my opinion, because you have those bomb sites that have like a primary hatch. Oregon, for example, you have that one in Lobby -- if you’re going for that push -- that’s the most important thing to open and it’s already the most annoying thing to open with a Mute player downstairs, and like shotguns and people just hugging the stairs… it’s annoying enough. To have a Kaid to be able to like trick and stop you from opening a hatch is really annoying, so I hope he doesn’t get any more powerful at any point. Then Nomad can stop any flank, it’s like the loudest utility I’ve ever heard so, yeah, they’re both gonna be used.
In terms of the balancing changes recently announced which ones really stand out to you?
My opinion on the Ash ACOG thing is I kinda think it’s kinda stupid because I don’t think It’s that’s what makes her strong at all. Because if you think about it, she’s an entry fragger so it’s her speed and her amazing gun -- her attachments don’t really make any difference. So many players who are amazing at Ash don’t even use the ACOG. So I don’t really see why… So I think that’s a little stupid, but the rest of them like the Glaz (change) was like a really good turn ‘cause he was an entry fragger and stuff -- he’s a sniper so that makes no sense. But the Ash ACOG change is stupid, but that’s just my opinion.
Other than Fnatic which teams stood out to you at this event?
So I don’t know if you’re aware, but Fnatic went to boot camp for two weeks this year -- it was one week last year but two weeks this time -- and they were just scrimming the top EU teams the whole time, no one else, so that was like Empire and G2 mostly, and just by watching (you could tell) Empire were crazy -- I’m like “they’re gonna win this tournament, if they are legit they’re gonna win this tournament”. So seeing them in the grand-finals in frickin’ overtime against G2 in the first map was like… So Empire, for me they’re like ‘OP’. Other than them, SSG has done really well against G2 and then NORAA-Rengo. I feel like I shouldn’t have said so many teams, but those three, and then obviously Fnatic.
So, I obviously like, extremely support APAC, but it’s not just because I’m from APAC, but I actually just think like these guys have the potential to go to the grand finals. It kinda sucks that they got 2-0-ed on their way out tho.
Do you have any messages to any fans for the support you’ve received up to this point?
I don’t think I have any fans yet. I mean, maybe. To people that root for us, thank you, we appreciate it, I especially need it because I need confidence boosts all the time, but that’s it. Thank you for having me!
Loona’s next game will be against Mindfreak on March 14th as they aim to secure their spot in Season 10 of the Pro League. Watch the action on the rainbow6anz Twitch account from 7 PM AEDT (GMT+11) onwards. You can check out our interview with her fellow ANZ player and boyfriend, Virtue, below, and be sure to keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for more interviews and Six Invitational content!