Now in its second season for 2020, The Rainbow Six Siege LetsPlay.Live (LPL) Pro League kicked off last week. Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the profile of one of the team’s captains, Ashleigh “Minxy” Dougal, who plays for the New Zealand-based team, SHADOWNET.
Minxy is the captain of the Kiwi team and is coming towards the end of her second year of competitive play in Rainbow Six. She is notably the first woman to captain a team in the LPL Pro League, and like other players in the league, she’s qualified to play at the top level entirely on her own merit.
Disregarding female restricted leagues and European organisations fielding a team of 5 women for publicity, Minxy has not only made it to the top level but is quickly locking herself in as a force to be reckoned with.
One of the league’s commentators, Matt “Smite” Ross, said that Minxy is a player that has “all of the fundamentals nailed that teams look for in a player at the LPL Pro level”.
In addition, he mentioned that “when SHADOWNET plays, it’s obvious there’s a concrete game plan that they’re implementing. It’s natural to point the finger to Minxy as the key component behind their success.”
“Although they lost their first match versus Bizarre in round one, Minxy was able to establish herself as the in-game leader and top fragger, which are two qualities that can be hard to combine,” added Smite. “A lot of captains take a back seat from being on the front line in-game in order to call the plays, but Minxy seems to be able to bring the leadership the team needs while playing a pivotal role fragging out”.
As the first female captain in the LPL Pro League, Minxy’s unique position also comes with her unique journey to the big leagues. She launched into the competitive side of Rainbow 6 purely to improve her own skillset and play with friends, which quickly switched into a competitive drive and passion for the game.
Minxy is also a solo mother to a 6-year-old, which means playing competitively and looking after her daughter is a careful juggling act. But it’s no surprise to see the skills she’s learnt as a parent play a big part in her ability to captain a team, and Smite’s comments are a testament to that.
We spoke briefly to Minxy who agreed that being a mother “plays a part in her ability to lead the team” and her instincts to “make sure the players are sleeping, eating, and training right is a big factor in the team’s success”.
Moving on to discussing her journey to the LPL Pro League, she added that “unfortunately my gender has been a massive talking point and an obstacle to getting to the level I’m playing at. People often disregarded my efforts until I was able to make it to the elite level.”
She mentioned that early in her career, organisations “wouldn’t recruit women to play, due to the perceived ‘drama’ that would come with her playing in their teams. Although this isn’t an issue for me now, that barrier shouldn’t even exist.”
Minxy has competed in a women’s league before, and said “there’s plenty of capable women out there playing at the LPL Pro League level, but they hold themselves back by either not wanting to compete or being afraid of the same obstacles I faced.”
She added, “the women’s teams sometimes struggle to be competitive, mostly due to the lack of dedication from the players. With SHADOWNET, we’re practising or reviewing our game 6 days, sometimes even 7 days a week. In my women’s league team, players could rarely commit to more than two sessions per week.”
Minxy’s story and success should serve as a testament to the other women out there wanting to make their mark on the competitive scene, despite the obstacles they might face. Her story should also serve as a display that esports is a rare example of a sporting code where all players, regardless of gender, can play on an even playing field.
If you wish to stay connected with the progress of Minxy, be sure to connect with her on Twitter.