One clearly established fact about the Oceanic Esports League is that its participants are the most talented Dota 2 players in the Australia-New Zealand region.
One clearly established fact about the Oceanic Esports League is that its participants are the most talented Dota 2 players in the Australia-New Zealand region. It’s a cast filled with established, experienced, and promising competitors—three types of players that signify a healthy and thriving competitive scene.
Among the prospects all brimming with potential, however, there’s a candidate that dared to brave the male-dominated grassroots-level league: Rangsey “Magic” Mou, a female competitive Dota 2 player playing support for Spags and Sons.
Magic discovered the wonders of Dota about nine years ago by accident. She was just squabbling around Battle.net until she suddenly joined a lobby of the Warcraft III: Frozen Throne custom map. Since then, however, she never stopped playing.
“Honestly I’m pretty certain that I didn’t even last hit creeps until my 3rd or 4th year in. I joined over from Dota 1 to Dota 2 quite late and it wasn’t until the first ranking system came out that I wanted to try to improve. I have quite a competitive nature and the main thing that pushed me the most was meeting better players and being able to learn and get advice from them. One of the best ways to improve at any skill is to have someone teach you,” Magic said, as she recalled her early days of playing the game.
The moment Magic realized that she can pair her innate competitiveness with determination, perseverance, and raw talent was when she decided to play on a higher level. She debuted her professional career at the first division of the Australian Esports Federation and was able to place third with Skatemasters for two seasons in a row. At that point, she was already a 6K MMR goddess, comfortably playing both support and core roles.
Just like in any professional career, Magic’s journey in competitive Dota 2 wasn’t all glorious. Despite her traits and attitude towards the game, playing in tournaments with higher stakes requires a different approach when compared to raking MMR points and being considered as a top player. Building up the necessary confidence to play at such levels later proved to be the main challenge that she needed to overcome and she did so by strengthening her mental prowess.
“It was just a matter of taking a leap and going for it anyway. I think the more faith you have in yourself and your own abilities, the better you will play naturally. When coming up against players who I know are good and are more distinguished in the scene, I still tend to get nervous but it’s important to have confidence in yourself and your teammates because if you go into the game thinking you’re going to lose, then yeah you’re more likely to lose. Try going into every game with the confidence of winning no matter the odds,” Magic explained.
With this in mind, Magic managed to build a reputation for herself. Every time she appears in a tournament stood as a representation to the outnumbered yet rapidly rising members of the female Dota 2 community. The opportunity presented to her was brought to its full fruition as her competitive stint in the ANZ region got her a chance to play in Singapore for an all-girl esports organization, Asterisk*.
“My best memory so far would be last year when I competed in the FSL Dota 2 league in Singapore with my team Asterisk. It was my first time playing at an international LAN tournament and we were able to come 2nd. Having the opportunity to fly out and meet my teammates and getting to play together at a LAN event was a really awesome experience for me,” Magic reminisced about her most unforgettable memory as a competitive player.
Amid the popularity and mainstream recognition of esports, however, competitive female players is still largely unrepresented. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t female players in multiple esports titles. Magic stated that the main reason is simply the overwhelming ratio of male to female players. Not to mention as well the number of female gamers who are yet to aspire and play at a competitive level.
For the latter, Magic has offered a few words of motivation:
“Don’t give up. It may sound cliché but I think that’s the best advice anyone could follow. It takes 10 times as long to get yourself back up as it does to fall down. Focus on improving, set yourself realistic goals, and keep trying your hardest to reach these goals. Even if it’s just a milestone to reach a certain MMR, to join your very first competitive team, or to win a big tournament. However in saying that, remember to also focus on your own happiness and wellbeing as well. Keep up a positive mental attitude and just try your best,” Magic said.
After all, as Magic noted, “If you don’t believe in yourself then who will?”