The ESL Impact League Season 3 Finals have not just been the final proving ground for players looking to become the absolute best in women's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The event has also allowed fans to watch their favorite players at a closer level.
Furthermore, it can provide a special opportunity for those who helped significantly cultivate certain players' careers, such as Joe Dasta, the father of FlyQuest RED's Marissa "madss" Dasta.
Since the Season 1 Finals, where madss appeared as a member of the North American Please Send Help team, Joe has been one of the single biggest supporters of his daughter throughout her CS career. Such exuberant passion was displayed again in the Season 3 Finals, where he and the rest of the Dasta family wore matching red shirts that don her name.
Before FlyQuest RED's opening match against 9 Pandas Fearless in the Season 3 Finals group stage, BLIX talked to Joe Dasta for an interview about what it's like to support his daughter from the stands in Dallas.
Pedro Romero, BLIX: I saw you cheering for madss since she is a member of FlyQuest. How are you taking in this event right now as a father of one of the players?
Joe Dasta: Honestly, I'm a trainwreck. I'm extremely nervous and excited. Madss is very passionate about this. She loves it. She basically started her career here last year, and it has been a whirlwind. Her team got dropped by CLG Red in just two months, so it's been stressful, but they're so excited to be picked up by FlyQuest. It's a new chapter, so ready to go.
BLIX: I'm interested to know how you have supported her from the start of her career up until now. Before we get to the present, I want to cover the past, so what was she like as a kid when it came to playing FPS games and CS:GO?
Joe Dasta: We could see the passion in her. I didn't know the game. I questioned it, but once she started taking it seriously by making a career and getting contracts, I realized that it was a big deal. We came here last June for our first experience in a DreamHack event, and I became a believer. I went from [being] not so sure what was going on to [being] all about it. I'm just as passionate as she is about it.
BLIX: So you only watch the Impact League and not the men's CS scene?
Joe Dasta: My son, madss' brother, likes the men's side. He watches it all the time, so I'm learning, but I have to admit that I'm so focused on her during the year that I haven't had a chance to watch the men's side much. It's definitely rockstar stuff [though], and I've learned about it.
BLIX: In seeing parents support their children in esports and other disciplines, what has been the biggest value you have taught your daughter when it comes to being a player?
Joe Dasta: I tried to tell her to just have fun and don't take it too seriously because you never know how long it is going to last. Enjoy the moment because one day you'll miss it. That's the biggest thing: enjoy the moment, have fun, and become a winner.
BLIX: What's your job outside of being a fan of madss?
Joe Dasta: I'm an attorney. I love sports, so I understand the passion she has for [CS]. That's what I do for a living.
BLIX: What teams do you support?
Joe Dasta: I went to college in South Carolina, so I'm a Gamecocks fan, but I'm a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan in football because my parents are from Pittsburgh.
BLIX: Has it been easy for you to translate that fandom to CS?
Joe Dasta: How I act here is how I act in a Steelers game. I'm very loud, I'm very passionate, and I'm all about it.
BLIX: In seeing your daughter strive to be the best in this competition and the rest of women's CS, what are your expectations for her regarding this event for the Season 3 Finals?
Joe Dasta: She seems to strive under the lights. I've noticed she's a great player, but she seems to pick up her game on LAN, so I expect her to play cool and calm but effective.
madss and FlyQuest RED would go on to claim a 3-4 place finish at the event after falling to NAVI Javelins in the semi-finals.