CSGO player GooseBreeder on CLG’s shutdown: “Everyone was heartbroken”

Luís Mira

Former CLG Red player Mounira ‘GooseBreeder’ Dobie spoke to Dexerto about the end of the organization and what the future might hold for her CS:GO team.

As someone who spent the last five years — an eternity in esports terms — playing under CLG, GooseBreeder has a better perspective than most to talk about the impact of the organization’s shutdown.

The 27-year-old Canadian was by far the longest-standing member of CLG Red, the organization’s women’s division, which included a team in CS:GO and one in Valorant. Recruited from Dignitas in 2018, she became the cornerstone of the CS:GO project as it went through multiple rebuilds over the years and her initial teammates, one by one, either left the team or retired from the game.

CLG’s players and staff were informed on Tuesday, April 4, in a company-wide meeting that they were being let go, with the acquisition by NRG being confirmed two days later. The only ones who kept their jobs were those working in the League of Legends department, who will transition to NRG.

The news came as a shock to many, both within the company and outside of it. Unlike other esports organizations, CLG had not been reducing focus, streamlining their operations or downsizing their esports section.

“I think everyone was heartbroken, on our team and in the rest of CLG” she says. “I wasn’t necessarily suspecting this, but with the current economy in esports, I wasn’t too surprised, either.

“In terms of CLG, I thought we were on the up and creating something really powerful. I think [Head of CLG] Greg was doing a great job alongside all the staff and players. It’s a bit of a surprise from that perspective.”

When it became clear that CLG would eventually cease to exist after the acquisition (Riot Games still has to formally approve the rebranding to NRG in the LCS), many took to Twitter and Reddit to lament the loss of an iconic organization that had been a staple of North American esports for over a decade.

But CLG’s shutdown is about much more than a historical competitive brand vanishing into thin air. Tournament success was not, after all, the only metric by which CLG wanted to be judged.

In recent years, the organization had taken significant steps towards building a community that connected fans across multiple esports titles. CLG FGC, the organization’s Fighting Game Community division, ran a unique weekly tournament series called ‘CLG Run It Thursdays’ with East and West Coast brackets. CLG was also committed to empowering women in the gaming and esports industry through its CLG Red division and initiatives like the CLG Red Carpet Mixer.

“I always liked CLG and felt that we understood each other,” GooseBreeder says. “CLG was always an org that stood for something and wanted to be more than just an esports org.

“They were always trying to do things for the greater good, help the community, be there for the players, etc. CLG wasn’t just taking care of its own but cared about others outside of the org as well. Being in the esports industry, I think having what we had can be rare so I definitely cherished it. The org had its highs and lows in terms of performance but I think we were definitely on the up.”

The future of CLG Red’s CS:GO team

CLG’s shutdown leaves GooseBreeder’s team, of the best women’s sides in the world, on the market. The Valorant squad, meanwhile, has been picked up by Moist Esports to represent the Moist Moguls brand in the VCT Game Changers North America Series 1.

GooseBreeder is confident that her team will be able to find a new home. “I think it’s very realistic,” she says, adding that there have been talks with a number of organizations already.

But that appears to be far from a sure thing. Shortly after CLG’s fate became clear, Vivienne ‘BiBiAhn’ Quach, who, like GooseBreeder and Coline ‘Kaoday’ Le Floc’h, is in the United States on a visa, said that she’s open to playing in Europe and is prioritizing co-ed offers.

“Of course, everyone is a free agent and open to doing what they like, but that [sticking together] is our main goal,” GooseBreeder notes.

Interest in women’s CS:GO esports has never been higher, with organizations like Guild Esports, G2 Esports and Team Spirit having all recently signed teams. Part of that is because of ESL’s Impact circuit, which offers regular online competition to teams from Europe, North America and South America, in addition to LAN events with big prizes. At the same time, many organizations see all-female teams as a way to attract brands and connect with a significant segment of the gaming community.

GooseBreeder’s team, which has started playing under the name ‘Red Ded Redemption’, is in line to attend the ESL Impact League Season 3 event in Dallas, in June. CLG may be gone, but the spirit of CLG Red lives on in those who helped the brand to become a success — and the community that the organization spent so many years building is rallying behind GooseBreeder and her team in every match.

“I think we accomplished a lot throughout the history of CLG,” GooseBreeder says. “The only times CLG were not at the top were during different rebuild phases. Now we’re in a rebuilding phase but we’re on the up.

“As someone who has been a champion many times, I know what it takes and what it looks like to be the best. I think we can look back and be happy about our accomplishments. We would all like to go to Dallas together and make our stand.”

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