Hello again, and welcome back to our beloved series Team Tuesday! For this month’s article, I was lucky enough to get to chat with one of our beloved EU teams, Calluna. This eight-person roster is full of spunk, personality, and love for their teammates. Read on to learn about the origins of Team Calluna, their team goals and aspirations, as well as the players’ experiences playing on an all-female Death Blossoms Team.
Team Calluna has been playing together for over a year, and is currently made up of: Adaiah, the team captain and dps player; ButchVillain (Butch), the team co-captain and fellow dps player; Bijibun (BijI), main healer; Nantuui, main tank; Pickles, an off-healer; Puusku, the teams off-tank; and Sleepy, a flex player. At the time of our interview, Adaiah (who plays a mean Pharah) and Butch mentioned they are looking to trial an 8th member to allow flexibility in the schedule for these busy ladies. This trial turned out spectacularly and they have recently added Woestjin, a dps player, to their team roster. Work and university takes up much of their time, and it can be tough for them to all be available simultaneously. However, when all eight ladies are available, they have an efficient system in place where the extra two players rotates in the game with the the team, spectates their teammates, and gives feedback in the meantime!
The original team captain, Butch, had help from Adaiah early on and over time they swapped responsibilities and roles due to other obligations and from necessity. When their original coach and co-captain departed from Calluna in ~August 2018, Adaiah took on the role of captain officially. Butch ( the resident “meme” hero fan) has continued to assist in any way she can, and this proves to be an effective system for the ladies.
When asked how they decided on Calluna for the team name, Butch is quick to speak up.
“This is the ORIGINAL CONTROVERSY! Some members wanted to be named “Stink Lily” (like me) but it was downvoted. Adaiah came up with Calluna and it was adopted as the team name.”
Puusku (who loves playing Dva and Roadhog) was the creative genius behind the team logo. The beloved snail icon that all of Calluna proudly has in their name within our Death Blossoms Discord was voted upon and won (for good reason – look how cute!!). Biji says the snail emoji was a sign for her when she applied, saying: “It was meant to be! I’m so happy we have the snail (by our names).” The snail perhaps isn’t thought of as a fearsome emoji, but in action, Calluna is terrifying.
“A snail is the cutest thing you wouldn’t want to touch with your bare hands.”
The ladies of Calluna unanimously agree that solo queue just isn’t the life for them after being on this amazing team. They have all experienced the dark scene of solo competitive currently and do their best to track down a teammate or friend before entering the throes of ELO hell. This isn’t entirely a bad situation overall, though! Biji so beautifully explained:
“It’s not the same alone. Even if it’s a positive match, it doesn’t have that same feel. With Overwatch being a team game, it is not the same when playing alone or with random people.”
The discussion then moved to my favorite topic of these team interviews – the ladies favorite part about playing on a Death Blossoms team. These responses are what really helps me to learn about the relationships between the teammates and to better understand what our members are looking for when they advertise themselves for a team within our community. This is also the part of the interview where my “proud mom” persona comes out and I, more often than not, get teary eyed and happy that these teams have worked out so well for the players.
Adaiah shares that she has found a personal sense of accomplishment with Calluna by being able to practice and learn new heroes because her teammates have her best interests at heart. They provide her with positive feedback and a safe environment to learn at her own pace. Puusku shared that Calluna has been a positive social circle for her not only in Overwatch, but offline as well. After a difficult Christmas last year, she could turn to her friends within her team for the support she needed. Pickles, a Zenyatta and Moira fan, shared that while she is not a very social person and used to fear using voice comms being in Death Blossoms and then on Team Calluna has helped her to overcome this. She now confidently uses comms and speaks up more often.
Butch told me the story of when she moved from the states to Stockholm to live with her girlfriend. Moving was stressful, she had difficulties finding a job, and her younger brother passed away. She was understandably feeling depressed and she withdrew to a dark place. But her teammates have been an anchor to her, and she expressed sincere gratitude for all they’ve done.
“Yeah, it (meeting through the team) was about Overwatch, but even if I left Overwatch I know we would still be friends.”
This deep sense of trust and friendship is what I love to hear from our teams. Death Blossoms teams are meant to be an environment where our members can not only improve and grow as players, but as an opportunity to find new friends and a deep sense of belonging.
Our EU teams are spread all over, like our US rosters, and Calluna is no exception. They are made up of ladies from Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands. They find the time to make trips to see one another whenever possible. Butch told me that she is currently collecting selfies with her teammates as she’s able to meet up with them, treasured memories from rare time spent together not behind a monitor.
After speaking with Calluna and seeing firsthand how close they have all become, I asked if the ladies had any words of wisdom or tips they would offer players who are looking to join or form a new team. They had some great advice to share, and this doesn’t apply only to all-female teams! Players of any game, whether it be Overwatch or not, that requires a team dynamic should consider the points made by these ladies.
“I would say if you get the opportunity to be on a team, to group up, or take on responsibility… take it and run with it. Even if you want to make excuses about using comms or being nervous, just try it. The things that are scariest at first are the ones with the greatest reward.” – Adaiah
“I would offer words of caution. Personality really matters more than anything. Don’t fall into the trap of letting someone toxic play with you because they’re skilled at the game. We all want to win, but it’s just a video game at the end of the day. Get something good out of it instead of just SR.” – Butch
“If someone is afraid of using voice comms (because many people start out quiet or afraid of being social – it’s okay. DB doesn’t judge, so don’t be afraid!” – Pickles
As we prepared to part ways, Calluna was in high spirits. I was grateful for the opportunity to get to know this sweet team, and I asked one final question: ‘What are some of your favorite and memorable moments as a member of Team Calluna?’ The answers varied greatly, but they made me laugh all the same. Butch told me of a time early on when Pickles had her muted on Discord for two weeks and had no idea. “I was captain at the time and she wasn’t responding when I called out ults or strategies. I was getting frustrated and didn’t know what was going on! Turns out she thought I was just being quiet and didn’t realize she had muted me.” Pickles had a good explanation, though! “I had never used discord before joining DB and the team, so I just thought ‘oh, she muted herself, she doesn’t want to talk.’ Then I thought ‘Maybe they’re all in a different voice chat that I didn’t know about because I’m new??’” Nantuui shared, “I love some of the call outs from this team. Some of the names are just… funny.” They told me one of these names in particular and although it made me laugh, I won’t be including them in this post. But I won’t discourage you from reaching out to a Calluna member and asking for yourself! Adaiah quipped “We’ll start chanting MURDER and then we dive into the team… it usually works for us!” Can you imagine eight snails chanting for murder? Neither can I… it’s too scary to consider!
Team Calluna is a wonderful, diverse group of ladies… one I am glad I got to sit and talk with because I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on by not getting to know them better. Thank you, Calluna, for taking the time to talk with me and for sharing about yourselves with the Death Blossoms blog!
Check back next month for a new Team Tuesday feature, this time with one of our NA teams, Wisteria! Until then, heroes!