Interview: UK CSGO player Camilla "Parmaviolet" Hart on joining Team Unikrn and competing with the boys

We sit down with the sole English representative in the new Team Unikrn all-female CSGO team – Camilla “Parmaviolet” Hart – to discuss her ambitions and women in eSports.
Can you tell us how you started out playing and how you got into eSports?
I started playing console games when I watched my bigger brother playing games like Call of Duty etc.  A year and a half ago, a friend of mine introduced me to PC gaming and Counter-Strike Global Offensive was the first game that I picked up.
I fell in love with this tactical first person shooter because it was different from the other games. I started to stream a year ago and I mostly play competitive CSGO and H1Z1 with my community.
What do you think about the rise of all-female esports teams, like CLG Red, LGB, Epsilon esports and Team Property?
eSports gets more and more appealing because so many new opportunities are being created right now. It is a relatively new concept to have all-female teams. It used to just be for promotional purposes but this has changed.
It is good that big organizations are starting to pay attention to the female scene and start offering the right kind of financial support. CLG Red is doing an amazing job, they are role models and their work is benefitting the eSports landscape.
 

“I think it would be awesome to see more UK players and teams competing at a high level. I would like to see more sponsored tournaments hosted in the UK as I believe this would really encourage and boost the scene.”

 
 
How important is it to further highlight women in eSports and how is it impacting on the scene?
Gaming is the one of the few sports genres in the world where men and women can and should compete on the same field. The more women start playing competitively, the more talent can be found.
Ultimately, I would love to see a mixed team rise to the top, so it is important that we create role models for girls who have just started playing.
Do you think other competitive games can learn from CSGO and encourage more women to play in their tournaments?
Short answer: Yes. I think that CSGO offers such a diversity in players, leagues and tournaments that other eSport titles can learn from it.
On the other hand, no matter which game we are talking about, women who play games will always draw more attention, so you have to start learning how to deal with the not so positive reactions we get from time to time.
Overall, CSGO is a great game, heavily focusing on the strategy and team aspect, so I would love to see more girls taking part in it.
 
team-unikrn-female-csgoTeam Unikrn’s CSGO ladies (from left to right): Julia “Julie” Strunkowski (Germany), Melania “Gina” Mylioti (Greece), Sophia “Kim” Benfakir (France), Camilla “Parmaviolet” Hart (UK) and Perrine “Lalità” Allesiardo (France)
 
As an English player, what do you think of the UK eSports scene?
I’m unsure why, but there seems to be a lack of presence in the UK. I think it would be awesome to see more UK players and teams competing at a high level.
Gaming has become more and more popular for girls over the last few years – and I’m sure there is some unfound talent out there!
What kind of CSGO player are you? What’s your weapon of choice?
My role is called ‘Support’. This means that I try to help my teammates  shine.
I create opportunities for my teammates to get an entry frag or I help my team get control of certain map areas by flashing or  smoking certain strategic choke points.
Of course, I also have to frag opponents! In the end, if you don’t hit your shots, you are not helping your team!
What are your aims and ambitions on Team Unikrn?
I strive to improve my game each and every day. We want to be able to compete with the boys, but this is still a very long journey for us. I enjoy playing CSGO and that is the reason why I put so much time and work into it.
My personal goal is to earn respect from the community for the dedication and passion we put into it, and hopefully we will get some great results in 2016 that we can show for!

Have you had to deal with any gender discrimination? Team Property told us there’s less discrimination nowadays than there was a few years ago. Do you agree?
When I started gaming many years back, guys would be shocked to hear my voice in-game after realising I was a girl.
It’s more common for girls to game nowadays and so it’s less shocking, but we still have a stigma as a whole for being ‘incapable,’ so I wouldn’t necessarily agree that there is less discrimination.
Either way, I just try to take the positive that it’s often given me the drive to compete and win.
What can we do to encourage more girls into eSports and those within the UK to help grow the scene here?  
Whilst eSports is more appealing for women than it’s ever been, with careers being paved and opportunities presented, there is still a way to go.
I would like to see more sponsored tournaments hosted in the UK as I believe this would really encourage and boost the scene.
 

“We want to be able to compete with the boys, but this is still a very long journey for us.”

 
 
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank Unikrn for giving me this opportunity, and of course Luxbet who have been very supportive.
Last but not least, I want to thank my four amazing team mates who make playing CSGO so much more enjoyable for me.
Thanks and good luck on the team.
Follow Camilla and the girls here:

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WOOOOOOOOO GO PARMA AND UNIKRN!!! parmaLove parmaNugget