Mirage Scouts – originally Sailor Scouts – was founded in 2015 in Montreal. Co-founder Véronique Bouffard, who is now Director of Operations for Mirage Scouts, wanted to build an inclusive and supportive foundation for women in competitive gaming. That vision became a professional team that would go on to compete in a number of high-profile events.
To learn more about their outlook and experience on the professional circuit, we sat down to chat with Scouts players Justine “FaerieDragon” Chenard, Damien “Bleu” Dufresne, Santiagol “Haikyu” Leal, Alyson “Aly”, Natalie “Cavi” Michielli, Fia’Ave “Monstergurl” Gaoa, Alexis “Adkamii” Lalonde, Tabitha “Tabby” Scimio, Victoria “Airotciv” Taylor, and Cassandra “Cassi” Rowland.
When did you first get into esports? What motivated you to dive into the competitive side of gaming?
Aly: I’ve always been really competitive, in-game and in real life. I only started playing professionally when I joined Sailor Scouts, though.
Tabby: A few years ago. My friends wanted me to try something different other than ranked, and I agreed. I started on Xbox.
Airotciv: I first started out when I got an offer from a team after posting a clip of me clutching a round in Rainbow Six Siege. I almost said no because I didn’t think I would like competitive play, but my friends encouraged me to go through with the tryout, and the rest is history.
Monstergurl: I grew up playing a ton of competitive sports and have been playing video games ever since I was born. When I wasn’t able to play sports at a higher level of play, I was pretty upset. I found out at college that competitive esports was a thing, and having the competitive drive naturally had me interested in playing games at a higher level.
Haikyu: Overwatch is the first PC game I tried, it was an instant crush. For almost four years now my objective has been to reach a level to be able to compete against the best players. I remain optimistic that one day I will join the Overwatch League.
What is your biggest strength on the team?
Tabby: I would say my brain; the way I can read my teammates and the enemy.
Monstergurl: My biggest strength as a player is that I’m very flexible, especially considering I have experience in most roles. I can see gaps and adjustments needed to help the team, and I can usually adapt and fill those gaps and make those adjustments.
Airotciv: I think my biggest strength is my ability to listen to my teammates. As an IGL, my listening skills allow me to make the best calls throughout rounds.
Bleu: Communication and positivity.
Aly: I think I’m funny, and it helps lighten the mood in competitive settings.
What is the proudest moment in your professional career with the Scouts so far?
FaerieDragon: Hitting top 500 in solo queue.
Tabby: Winning our first Project Eris game under the new name.
Cassi: I am so proud of the improvements the team has made since I joined. I have never had such a great learning experience before, and I’m happy to be having it with such amazing girls.
Airotciv: My proudest moment with the Scouts so far is coming into Project Eris with a bang on our first game. We really showed the viewers that we are a solid team and the long hours of hard work that we put into this game are paying off.
The Scouts have accomplished a lot already, and are continuing to grow and climb. How far do you see yourself going with this team? What is your ultimate ambition in esports?
Aly: I don’t really have an ultimate goal right now. I just want to grow alongside my team, win, and most importantly: have fun.
Monstergurl: My goal is to show that women can play competitively and to hopefully encourage and inspire other females who are interested in competitive to take the step and try it out.
FaerieDragon: My current goal is to win the next Lan ETS.
Airotciv: I see myself going all the way to CL with this team. I think if we stick together for a long time, we will become an amazing team with the potential to come out on top in CL qualifiers.
What advice would you give to women looking to get into esports?
Tabby: Don’t worry about what other people think. Focus on your own improvements.
ADKAMII: A lot of people will underestimate you for being a girl, and that doesn’t matter. You can beat anybody by putting in the time and work. Don’t listen to nasty comments, and show them they’re wrong.
Monstergurl: Just go for it, you never know if you’ll like it until you try it. Remember to have fun, and if it’s something you’re truly passionate about then give it your all!
FaerieDragon: Believe in yourself and ignore dumb comments.
Cassi: Just go for it. I thought I wasn’t good enough to compete at this level until I started to. I realized my potential and I intend to go as far as possible with it.
Airotciv: Just do it. The worst that anyone can say to you is no. There are so many teams out there looking for players. Post a looking-for-team post on Twitter, post a clip of you fragging out. Someone will see you and they will give you a chance.
Besides Siege and Overwatch, what other games would you like to play professionally? Alternatively, if you could turn any non-esports game into an esport and play it professionally, what game would it be?
Aly: I wish I was better at League of Legends. I’d probably play that professionally instead of Overwatch if I was.
Monstergurl: Valorant or COD. I think Valorant would be a lot of fun, and I have a lot of fun sniping in COD so I’d like to see how that would go.
Haikyu: Valorant. It has a similar universe and style, although the gameplay is very different, and this could be a problem.
FaerieDragon: I played Heroes of the Storm before it died, now after Overwatch I’ll be done with competitive.
Cavi: The Sims.
Airotciv: I don’t know if I would ever actually pursue it, but I think it would be really cool to be part of the CSGO competitive esports community. It is an extremely intimidating community because CSGO is just a raw aim game, and my aim needs more work for that! (laughs) If I could turn any non-esports game into an esport, I think it would be Slime Rancher. I have played Slime Rancher a million times and it almost never gets boring. I want to be a pro Slime Rancher!
Cassi: I honestly don’t think I will ever have the same passion for another game like I do for Rainbow Six Siege. The other game I play the most would be Osu.
You can keep up with Mirage Scouts on Twitter and Twitch. Stick around for more player highlights and updates.
This interview has been edited for clarity, style, and pacing.