By: Matthew Rondina
World Gaming Network was able to catch up with Stephanie Harvey aka missharvey professional CS GO player. She is best known for her success with Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) as a five time world champion.
She shared her thoughts on the competitive scene and how things have changed rapidly since she began her career.
You’ve been involved with the pro gaming scene since 2003. How do you find things have evolved with esports?
I started Counter Strike in 2003, before that I was playing games like The Sims, really casual games. I was 17 years old and I fell in love with the esports community and it was just a hobby before, but it quickly became more serious. We played online a lot, had a few events, we went to LAN centres, but it wasn’t like it is today.
Now it’s a whole new level, where people can do it for living, not only being pro gamers but every other job that’s around from coaching, being an agent to managers or media.
That’s how it has changed the most, and it’s so big that it’s impossible for me to do another job while doing this. I have to commit all my time to esports, and like I said earlier with companies that support what I do they send a great message to the community about diversity in pro gaming. For example, I’m Omen’s first female esports sponsored player. I feel they chose a female to showcase in order to promote a more inclusive gaming scene for everyone.
What advice can you give to those looking to break into the pro CS:GO scene?
CS:GO is actually one of the toughest scenes to break into because it’s so old, and players are very advanced. The scene is really stable, so even if you start today and you want to invest a year, or two into becoming a pro, at the end the the game won’t have disappeared.
So that’s what’s really cool about CS:GO, if you invest a year now the game’s still going to be popular in two years because it has been popular for 15. It’s not going to disappear, while if you start in other games that are newer, you don’t know how the scene is going to evolve. CS: GO has its own ecosystem, it’s not dependent on a game company, that’s what’s really great about it.
So if you want to jump in, it’s an accessible dream, which is really rare. One of my teammates, who’s 17 years old, began playing not even a year ago and she was in Call of Duty.
She made the switch to CS:GO and she’s now one of the best female players in the world.
If you invest a lot of time, put in a lot of effort, it’s accessible to anyone. Whether you’re 15 or 25. I would say just give it a shot and see if you’re actually talented.
What’s your training regimen like for CS GO? Do you have any pro tips?
I think it’s really important to not just play, play, play.
It’s important to have quality play. Let’s say a game of CS go is an hour, if I need to warm up before, not waste my hour, I need to make sure that I watch demos of my opponents or my spots in watching people do things that are successful. Implementing it in the game is way more efficient than just playing and finding something that eventually is going work.
I think quality time is more important than a lot of time. That being said, what you should do to have quality time – copy pros, make sure that you work on your mechanical skills, not just play, play, play, learn the meta of the game.
It’s like learning every single detail there is to learn about a map. And you don’t do that usually in game. You do the outside of the game in the map, working on your utility, working on positioning. Working with a teammate on how you’re going to handle a situation if this happens or this happens. These kinds of details actually make a huge difference once you’re in the live game.
So after maybe an hour or two of doing that, when you do three or four games afterwards, these three or four games really matter because you apply everything you just learned and talked about instead of just playing.
That’s super huge, even pro teams today don’t all practice like this, but it’s important. Many people don’t necessarily see the point, or are just not aware that efficiency is better than playing, playing, playing.
So where can everyone catch you on the socials and streaming?
I’m actually extremely active on socials. I always reply to my fans if they ask questions, but I love Instagram stories, you can follow me @stephharvey or @missharvey on twitter.
I want to thank Omen because the interactions that I’ve had with them over the course of the last six months is making a difference at every level from the community and my life.
I think that more companies need to be involved at the amateur level and at the community level. It’s really easy to support winners and the best players in the world, but it’s a lot harder to invest your time and energy in the community.
I think Omen is one of the first companies that really wants to tackle it, at the grassroots and make a difference for the kids of tomorrow.
About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and join in on the fun!