A good day for the underrepresented players of CS:GO. Finally the esports scene is taking steps in the right direction to bring the women players of Counter Strike: Global Offensive to the mainstream.
The ESL Impact League is a league launched by ESL in 2022 as part of their #GGFORALL campaign to promote female Counter-Strike. The league features two seasons per year, with divisions in Europe, North America, and South America, as well as wildcard region qualifiers, all culminating to LAN finals at select DreamHack festivals.
The inaugural ESL Impact Season 1 is over and finally we can take a look at the best professional women players that Counter Strike has to offer.
Overview of the teams
Nigma Galaxy won the ESL Impact League Season 1 Finals in Dallas, Texas, after defeating FURIA fe in a three-map series that resulted in the European team taking home the $50,000 lion's share of the prize pool over their Brazilian opponents to cap off three days of LAN action.
Nigma Galaxy began their playoff run with a 2-1 series victory against BIG EQUIPA before reaching the grand final. The Russian-majority team fell down 0-1, dropping Ancient to the Iberian team before taking it in two one-sided maps, Inferno and Overpass.
Whilst FURIA fe got off to a bad start at first, losing away their Vertigo pick 3-16 and falling down 10-14 on Mirage, the Brazilians recovered and won the game in overtime to force a third map, Dust2. Karina "kaah" Takahashi and her teammates thrashed the North American CLG Red 15-0 on the attack and won their way into the Grand Finals of ESL Impact.
ESL Impact Season 1 Finals
The tournament's final match took place on Mirage, FURIA fe's choice, where they showed to be the stronger attacking side by winning the first half 9-6. Nigma Galaxy, on the other hand, didn't give up and turned the tables, leading 12-10.
Moving into the latter phases of the map until the Brazilians, led by Mariana "mari" Preste and Olga "Olga" Rodrigues, turned things around in the 30th round.
Ksenia "vilga" Kluenkova, an experienced pro, then blitzed the T side of Vertigo with 20 kills before the team transition happened, putting her team up 11-4. On the CT side, Nigma Galaxy gained command and dominated the game, winning 16-5 to send the series to a deciding map.
Overpass, the map that the two teams played in their group stage match, decided the series in an overtime close finish for the Europeans. On the CT side, Nigma Galaxy were quick to assert their dominance and go on a run to end the half 14-1.
FURIA fe began to re-enter the map after winning a pistol round, but were cut short by Alexandra "twenty3". Nigma Galaxy won the event in Dallas and hoisted the trophy when Timonina led her side to match point, which they turned into a 16-7 score and wiping FURIA fe off the map.
Nigma Galaxy not only won the ESL Impact but also became the first winner of the #GGFORALL initiative. With the rise of esports, they didn’t just raise the trophy but also lit a beacon for all women esports enthusiasts.
Many of the teams who played in Dallas, along with the four playoff teams, will travel to ESL Impact Valencia, the high profile DreamHack festival in Spain, where they will compete in an eight-team women's tournament with a prize pool of $100,000 at stake.
The ESL Impact League Season 1 Finals standings are:
1. Nigma Galaxy - $50,000
2. FURIA fe - $25,000
3-4. CLG Red - $13,000
3-4. BIG EQUIPA - $13,000
5-6. Please Send Help - $7,000
5-6. Black Dragons fe - $7,000
7-8. ATK fe - $4,000
7-8. Mindfreak - $4,000
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