Kelsaroony gets backing from eFuse as first woman in Call of Duty Elite
The first woman to qualify for the Elite, United Kingdom CoD player Kelsie “Kelsaroony” Grieg is heading to the CoD League Major 2.
eFuse have backed Kelsie "Kels" "Kelsaroony" Grieg and her entire squad, now called Team eFuse, heading into Stage 1 of the Challengers Elite series in EU. In connection with Call of Duty League Major 2, the team has received support for the event and the upcoming Open in Boston.
Kels is the first-ever woman to qualify for a Call of Duty Challengers Elite stage. That statistic applies across both regions, as neither North American nor Europe have featured a female player, until now.
Kels is also a content creator Team WaR. Photo via Team WaR.
Those unfamiliar with Kels' style of play should be aware that she is a fast player who focuses mostly on the SMG Vaznev. Last season, she would have called herself a "slide cancel merchant" but after showing after showing remarkable personal and collective improvement throughout the Vanguard season she has proved that not to be the case.
Now, she has gone one step further than she ever had before by qualifying for the Challengers Elite series.
Kels at a Gfinity event in 2019. Photo via Gfinity.
It is just one more notch on the journey of one Scottish woman who is, whether she realizes it or not, paving the way for women and people of all minorities in a notoriously toxic community. Kels is inadvertently starting conversations about how there has been limited opportunity for women in the scene, and how there needs to be more support.
Whether she likes it or not, she will go down as a legend of European competitive Call of Duty. That legend will probably even stretch worldwide given the current trajectory she is on.
"It would be good to rubbish the stereotypes"
"The support and encouragement I’ve received has been truly incredible," Kels told esports.gg. "I truly hope that encourages other females to get involved - it would be good to rubbish the stereotypes that people have, especially in such a male-dominated scene."
"There’s always been some sort of stereotypes around women competing in esports," she said. "and whilst I’ve experienced some of that in CoD, for the most part the community has always been welcoming."
In regards to her role in promoting Call of Duty to a female audience, she said "I would encourage any women thinking about getting involved in Call of Duty to peruse it. I’m hopeful that qualifying for the elite is just the beginning for me, and I can continue to show I’m good enough to compete."
eFuse team to play in Challengers Elite and Boston Open:
- Kelsie "Kelsaroony" Grieg
- James "Genesis" Smith
- Conor "BBConor" Beale
- Ewen "Disarray" Harmer
Supporting Kelsaroony and her teams throughout the Elite and the Boston Open is the latest in a long run of investments that eFuse has made to back up-and-coming women's talent in esports.
"eFuse is absolutely invested in the development of women’s esports," eFuse Director of Content Halina Malik. "Kels’ accomplishments have been trailblazing and inspiring for women’s Call of Duty.
"We thought this was a great opportunity to put our money where our mouth is to support an incredible person and player. With our tournament series titled ‘Women of the eRena’ (WOTE for short), we pride ourselves in providing opportunities for women to be discovered through gaming. Helping to sponsor Kels’s trip to Boston for the Challengers event ties in perfectly with WOTE’s mission."
Kels also expressed how grateful she was for the opportunity that eFuse had given her and her teammates.
"They have truly been nothing but great to us," Kels added. "They have gone above and beyond, picking us up and helping us with our trip to Boston. We couldn’t be more thankful. Halina in particular has made us feel nothing but welcome in such a short amount of time. We hopefully do well under them for both the Elite and in Boston because that’s the least they deserve."
Kels and eFuse actually have history. Kels came out as a winner of the Sadie Hawkins Vanguard tournament that eFuse ran at the start of the Vanguard season. She teamed with World Champion Kenny "Kenny" Williams and took home a portion of the $40,000 prize.
The team around the star
No matter how talented anyone is, they still need a team around them. Kels has been lucky to have such a solid and developed unit around her in game.
Teammates Conor "BBConor" Beale and James "Genesis" Smith have been teammates of Kels' on and off since the Cold War season.
This team is the first time that they, as a unit, have teamed with Ewen "Disarray" Harmer but they look and sound like a properly cohesive team.
BBConor is one of the top amateur AR players in Europe. He has consistently shown an ability to hang at the highest level of competition. His career goes all the way back to Black Ops 4. He's teamed with current and former Call of Duty League players in his time. Tobias "CleanX" Jonsson and Harry "Harry" Payne are among them.
BBConor competing at last season's Toronto Open. Photo via Ant Stonelake.
Being able to learn from the best gives Conor a unique standing in this team. He's also competed in multiple Challengers Elite series, giving him the experience to pass on.
Genesis has also been around for what feels like forever. His experience is highly valued. He is another player with reps in Challengers Elite under his belt.
Often an easy target for jokes, James is consistently underrated for his ability and he, time and time again, defies those preconceptions; A running theme in the entire team.
Genesis competing at last season's Toronto Open. Photo via Ant Stonelake.
Disarray, like many, took the Vanguard season away from competing. The game's poor gameplay and inconsistency drove many top players away.
Since coming back, Harmer hasn't missed a step. He is already a vital cog in one of the most impressive teams in Europe. He, like the rest of the team, comes packed with a wealth of experience and skill that is hard to match in the region.
Elite Stage 1 opponents for Kelsaroony
Team eFuse will take on five teams in the pool play stage of Elite Stage 1. Those opponents include the current top seed in the European region, Aw0babobs.
The other teams that they will take on include winners of Challengers Cup #3, Team Notorious. They will also play against La Nave Del Misterio, a team including David "RenKoR" Isern.
Their matches will span two weeks. A placement in the top four of their group giving them a chance to play in the Championship bracket.
If they make it through to the bracket, they will retain their status as an Elite team for Stage 2. Stage 2 starts at the end of February.
Action starts at 7 p.m. GMT (2 p.m. EDT) in the Elite. Kelsaroony and her team will play their opening Call of Duty Elite match against the #1 seeded Aw0babobs.
Call of Duty are streaming matches on twitch.tv/callofdutybravo.
Contributor | Twitter @itsjustantnow
Doubling as a football (soccer) journalist following EFL League Two club Tranmere Rovers, Ant has a long-standing passion for gaming. That, combined with the drive to create content in the esports space led to the creation of The Rotation, a Call of Duty news platform.