Zainab “zAAz” Turkie is one of the most experienced and talented female players of all time. During her long career she has been representing such teams as fnatic, Meet Your Makers and Team ALTERNATE. Turkie came back to active playing a few days ago and I had a pleasure to interview her.
Bartek “a.wake” Lorenc: Hello Zainab. Tell us, how did you start off your career? Was it difficult at the beginning?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: Hello! I started when I was 11 years old by my brothers. They used to play a lot and from the beginning and I was just watching them for months. One day, my brother asked me to try the game and I did and got stuck. It was difficult when I started playing seriously, because I felt a lot of pressure and I was pretty young compared to the other girls I was playing with. I wanted to become the best player as soon as possible, so I put a lot of work and time in to the game.
You have been on the scene for a long time with short breaks. One of them was right after the Copenhagen Games last year. Why did you decide to take a break and then come back again?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: I decided to take a break because I had a lot of personal stuff in real life I needed to solve. I couldn’t play and focus at the same time. That’s why I decided to take a break and then come back when I was ready again. I decided to come back mostly, because I love esport. I love gaming, I was born to do this and it’s hard to just leave it. I always miss it.
You are one of the most experienced female players – what do you think about current state of the female scene? Is it better or worse than few years ago?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: I think it was much more fun before, maybe because I’m an oldschool player (laugh). I don’t know, but the female scene has grown. Back in my days, it was not that big as it is today. So I would say it’s better now.
What is your opinion about female-only tournaments? Many sponsors do not want to invest in such tourneys. We have seen many mixed tournaments where female teams could not take the fight. However, LGB and Team Orbit are taking part in CEVO ladders. Is it a step in the right direction?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: Well, I really , because it should not be any difference between male and female, but today it actually is. The reason for that is maybe because CS is a more interesting game for guys than girls.
What are the main differences between male and female players?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: What I have seen, a lot of girls have the aim but not the movements and smartness.
Do you think there is a female player who has enough potential to become another superstar and icon of CS?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: Right now, I don’t actually know.
You, Juliano and vilga won the Intel Challenge Katowice 2015 where you lost only one map. Do you think you are able to defend the title? Which team seems to be your strongest opponent?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: Absolutely! That’s the only goal by going to Katowice – to defend our title again. I think the strongest team is CLG Red.
What do you think about the CS:GO community? Most of male players make jokes about female players and disrespect them. Is our environment sexist? Have it always been like that?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: Well, I don’t know what you are talking about (laugh). I have won a lot of guys out there especially on 1on1 shootouts. But yeah, it has always been like that and of course it’s not okey, because even if it is an animal, guy, female or whatever, we still have feelings and there are a lot of girls out there that can’t take all of that shit males are writing. Since I have been in the scene for so long I learned how to ignore them and how to control them by not even reading their comments. I know who I am and what kind of a player I am. And I am pretty sure I would win against a lot of guys out there and I have proved it. So stay strong girls and keep on fighting.
Almost 6 years ago MYM organised a beauty contest for female players. What is your opinion about this kind of competitions? Is it funny or offensive?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: I don’t remember it actually (laugh).
What are your plans for the near future?
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: To always be the best and to maybe one day have CS as a full time job.
Time for some quick questions:
– Fnatic or Ninjas in Pyjamas?
– ESL One Katowice or ESL One Cologne?
ESL One Katowice
– M4A1-S or M4A4?
– Money or fame?
– GuardiaN or JW?
Thanks for your time! I hope you will defend the title in Katowice. You can say a few words to your fans now.
Zainab “zAAz” Turkie: Thank you very much. And for my fans, I love you and I love Poland! <3
a.wake writes about female and NA CS:GO for izakTV. Follow him on Twitter.