Content creator. Streamer. Pro player. Trailblazer.
These roles and characteristics can be used to describe GuhRL, a force in Apex Legends and esports. Her journey has taken her from streamer to pro player and back around again. She’s hit impactful milestones for the industry along the way, such as becoming the first female Apex pro-leaguer in North America.
Hailing from Canada, Laurice “GuhRL” Habibi started streaming simply to make friends and forge new connections across gaming. Her occasional hobby turned into a deep passion as she found Apex Legends, evolved her streaming experience, and eventually became a Twitch streaming partner, with thousands of followers and fans across Twitch, YouTube, and Twitter.
Today, GuhRL is one of Apex Legends’ top streamers and players, offering insight, skills, and commentary that she delivers with her unique, exciting edge and joyful personality.
We had a chance to ask GuhRL some questions regarding her journey, thoughts on Apex Legends meta, and her stance on some key discussion points about the esports industry.
Check out the interview below.
Welcome, GuhRL! Your Twitch bio states that you started streaming in 2018. Can you tell us a bit about your journey? Specifically:
What first got you into streaming?
After graduating college, I was reminiscing about my old gaming buddies from RuneScape and Call of Duty. I decided to start streaming because I had missed them. I figured that if I made new friends online, they’d always know where I was no matter how much time goes by.
How has your streaming evolved from when you started to now?
My understanding of the platform, the community, the difficulties, and the pleasures have evolved. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into as I didn’t watch any other streamers when I first started.
What role has Apex had in that journey?
When Apex Legends first came out, a friend suggested it. I fell in love with the game after playing it once. A successful YouTube streamer and friend of mine suggested that I choose a different game to main because there were thousands of people playing and streaming, so the chances of people finding me were slim. But it never was my goal to get famous or create a full-time job out of this. I played it because it was fun and for no other reason. I think that’s really come across in my streams and how Apex has helped me become a full-time streamer.
You mentioned you’d like to see “Control” or other Apex modes being spotlighted or available more often. What benefits do you imagine this would have for the community at large?
Control or other game modes would be more beneficial to those that want to have fun. A lot of the community has played Apex for more than three years. So, for the unranked matches, looting and finding people can get extremely boring because it’s not as fast-paced as it used to be, and there’s no reward for winning. And, even if you haven’t played for long, it’s still nice to have fun game modes.
I hear a lot of people complain that unranked matches are still too hard, so we need modes for them to be practising things like aim more so than the battle royale aspect of Apex.
While the Season 13 meta is still shaking out, it seems like Gibraltar and Valkyrie will again be heavily represented. Is having staple characters like this healthy for the game, or would you rather see a more diverse meta?
I can’t speak on what’s healthy for a game because I’ve never looked at it from a developers point of view. But, as a player, I can completely understand the value of each legend and their frustrations. When you play, it’s easier to react and calculate what you’re up against if it’s the same meta. But as a viewer, it’s so much more fun to watch different regions compete with one another because there’s more of a surprise factor.
How important do you think roles are to a team? Should every squad have a designated IGL, support, and entry—or can roles be less defined?
Roles are very important in Apex. IGL, especially, because they make split-second calls during fights and endgame. You can have a separate IGL to predict end zones and figure out the best rotation path to take. Support players are important because they’re constantly watching your back and making sure the team stays alive with revives or abilities. Each player carries a lot of weight for the team because one mistake could cost the whole game.
As a competitive player, you grinded your way through lower-tier online tournaments and the Challenger Circuit before making Pro League earlier this year without any organizational support. Do you have any advice for players in a similar situation who want to make it to the ALGS through open qualifiers?
To make ALGS qualifiers, I have one piece of advice: be versatile. If a drop spot doesn’t work out, change it or perfect it. And if a playstyle doesn’t work out—for example, going endzone and playing for the win—you might have to play for kills on edge. Your games in the lower-tier tournaments won’t play out as ALGS does, and you have to expect the unexpected.
It’s a known fact that the gaming community still has a ways to go regarding how it treats women—especially professional streamers and players. What do you think the community itself and those who run things can do differently, or better, in order to make the community more inclusive?
Change starts from within and how we think.
When a woman kills us in a game, what are our immediate thoughts? Are they different thoughts compared to when a man kills you? Do you feel embarrassed?
Another example of women in gaming is that some men don’t play video games with women. It shouldn’t be that way. If you’re respecting each other's boundaries, what stops you from playing with a woman? To be clear: I don’t mean that everyone has to be friends with everyone. I’m saying that if the reason for not playing together is “because she’s a woman” rather than “our personalities don’t match, we don’t vibe, we don’t play well together, etc.”—then it’s an issue.
Any exciting news coming up that you’d like to share with the Apex community?
I’ll be doing an ALGS Championship watch party at home, most likely, since I haven’t decided to go in person.
Bonus Question: What are your impressions of season 13 so far?
I love the ranked system because it finally feels rewarding to win again. But, I would like more casual, fun, and fast-paced modes as I mentioned earlier. Ranked should definitely be challenging. But no game will succeed when there’s no fun.
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