After dominating the Counter-Strike national scene in 2017, Vivo Keyd saw an unexpected end during the first half of 2018. Camila Natale "cAmyy" left the team unexpectedly and, soon after, the organization dismissed the players after a series of controversial statements.
In July, the players announced that they would reconvene and in September, they were hired by OpTic Brazil. For Juliana "showliana" Maransaldi, the team captain, the period away from the competition helped.
"I'm sure it was a time of great reflection for all of us and if today we are back, it is because within each one was a longing for what we had -- the feeling of winning," said the veteran in an interview with ESPN Esports Brazil.
"During the time in which we were separated, it was good for seeing things more clearly and better understand everything that happened. Today we see that the separation was essential to open the [minds] of everyone -- nowadays, we have a much more professional stance and our tune as a team is a thousand times better," she added.
Showliana said that the events of the past had even become a joke among the players.
"We even had jokes about those months that we got separated because we decided to take it as something positive and as light as possible, and I think that in the end it could not have been better. It may not seem like it, but it was something necessary, which served as a lesson and only strengthened us," she said.
Problems of the past
Showliana was categorical when asked if the problems of the past still "haunt" OpTic. "I'm pretty sure that our problems were left behind along with the controversy, and like I said, after all, our separation was very positive."
"Of course we talked about it. It was a very peaceful conversation, after all, we all wanted this lineup back, nothing more and nothing less. That's why we're together again nowadays, and we do not have the habit of remembering that time as a bad thing -- we treat it very naturally," she continued.
The veteran ensured that the team is at its best currently.
"I would say we are in our top form," she said. "The position of champion is not limited only to the game; [it] goes much beyond that. Nowadays we have a mood much lighter within the team, which makes all the difference in our lives and reflects within our game. I feel that for the first time we are all on the same page and with the same goals."
Plans with Optic
After teaming up as "Gorgeous Time" in July, the team was hired by OpTic Gaming in September. During that time, there was no speculation, not even a record of the players' trip to the United States, where they signed the deal.
"[The negotiations] took around two months. Yes, it was all very secretive," she said. "It was a little torturous to go there and not be able to post anything, but in the end it turned out to be cool because nobody expected us to be signed with such a big organization."
After enjoying "a team structure [has yet to be] found in Brazil" at the OpTic office in Dallas, showliana said that the organization has no plans to maintain a headquarters in Brazil, but there will be content creation.
"The gaming house is out of plans, but we'll have a film crew accompanying us at the championships and also an editor watching our highlights. So yes, we will have enough content in the next championships," she said.
Brazil Game Cup and GameCon
After winning GameXP, the players have two other commitments in the coming weeks: Gamecon Challenge and the Brazil Game Cup finals. Showliana said the players are working hard to fulfill expectations.
"We're training hard. Our focus is to win a World Cup and for that we need to be at the top here, and we feel very comfortable playing here in Brazil. We never counted on victory, but we were always prepared to win. I have total confidence in my team and I hope I can bring those two titles to our organization," she said.
Despite their thirst for victory, the team did not choose to play the current edition of the Women's League of Gamers Club. Asked about that, showliana said that the decision was made strategically.
"It is important to first emphasize that we value every possible support for the women's scene and whenever possible we will play the women's league and all the possible championships," she said. "But we also have to organize our agenda in the best possible way. At that moment, we decided to prioritize some of the most important championships that will happen and also the training. We understand our position as a team to be beat in Brazil and we have decided to jump at least now the Women's League to avoid so much in-game exposure. This would make easier for other teams to study our way of playing."