Carnage Esports talisman and pioneer of the women’s game in the Oceanic region Connie “konii” Ko is stepping down from the Counter-Strike team’s female roster.
Konii steps down from Carnage as one of the titans of the Oceanic scene and arguably the most important female esports player to enter the Australian scene.
Her career has spanned nearly four years in the competitive scene, and more than seven years playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in total. Her journey in Valve’s FPS title has taken her all over the world.
Konii made her last stop at Carnage, having come from Kings Gaming Club with Jessica “ARTeMis” Majrouh to form what became the core four with Hope “epoh” Kure and Vivienne “BiBiAhn” Quach.
While at Carnage, Konii played all over the world at the pinnacle of female CSGO events. From Katowice to Chongqing to Dubai, if there was an international final to be played, it seemed konii was there to represent the best AUCS had to offer.
MFW when anybody says they’re doing anything other than gaming all weekend. pic.twitter.com/EtrVHwh3Q3— CARNAGE 💀 (@CarnageOCE) March 6, 2020
These events, in addition to the Instafrag Female league win, and the years at the forefront of domestic competition are doubtlessly the high points of her play.
Having konii on your team was a cheat code for success in the women’s game. She delivered overwhelming, crushing domestic success for her teams. But there’s so much more to konii than wins and titles in the server.
It wasn’t just at the pointy end of a tournament, or on the world stage that konii would blaze a trail through the scene. As important to those that will follow in her wake, if not more, is the less glamourous matches. The ones you’ll find at the rough end of Gfinity’s season 1 ladder.
Konii came into Gfinity as a female player mixing it up with the largely male competition. The impressive thing about konii in Gfinity was the way she approached her games for the Brisbane Deceptors without expectation or fanfare. Konii was no different to any other player – another part of her team.
Without intent or desire to be elevated as a role model, konii was so nonetheless. A part of a trail blazing group for not just female players, but all players despite what history would otherwise define as an unsuccessful season for the Deceptors.
James “jimNeso” Cowan was a commentator in that tournament. He reflected that not just her performance, but her character and work ethic set her apart. It showed that both as a player, and as a person in the scene, konii had become that role model for how one should handle their business as a competitive and professional player.
“Konii stepped into the team and didn’t want any fuss made about her… she went about slotting into the team and playing an important role in denying the Perth Ground Zero a finals berth. [She] was rock solid and helped elevate the Deceptors to their only win that season,” jimNeso said of the retiring Carnage star.
Cowan also raised a point that those who have seen konii play may also have encountered. When trying to frame her career through highlights of her best individual plays, it is difficult to find examples that come to mind. But it became obvious that this was not the right way to reflect on her career.
This may end up sounding like a backhanded compliment, but the remarkable thing about konii’s career is just how unspectacular it was. There’s no signature play, no blaze of glory that elevates her peak above her peers to set her apart.
There’s something about that in which true excellence is defined.
Konii as a player was simply very, very good. For a very, very long time. To reflect on konii’s career is to see dogged devotion to competence and performance that is the pinnacle of reliability. Konii is the prototype, the textbook you would draw upon as an example for rising CSGO players to show them that work ethic pays off.
Kevin “KaRath” Zhu, longtime AUCS analyst and commentator shared similar observations on konii’s career: “If it was just skill, I would argue that there would be less legacy and people talking about her in the future.”
“It’s a combination of factors and storylines – from grinding for years for no gain yet not complaining, to taking all the chances given with both hands and making it into something special every single time, her lasting legacy to me is her determination and commitment over years to make the dream work,” Zhu continued.
We’ve all seen players in esports and traditional sports come and go in a moment, burning bright like a star gone nova and then flare out. And that genius is appreciated for its brilliance while we still get to see it.
But there’s another type of genius we tend not to notice nearly as much. It’s the accumulator, the person who puts their head down and works for their shot, grabs it with both hands, and makes it their own until their brilliance doesn’t shine brightly. It just becomes obvious and accepted as fact.
This is the kind of player that is hard to notice in the moment, and often is hard to notice until it’s gone, and you kind of realize the part they had to play is never going to be played quite like it was ever again.
I expect we’ll all come to realize this about Connie “konii” Ko, one way or another.
Keep up to date with konii on Twitter.