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GirlGamer Festival 2018: Preview and Predictions

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GirlGamer Esports Festival 2018 is about to begin and we've taken a closer look at the participating teams in the female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament.
Joshua "BurntSanctuary" Keller takes a look at the participating teams in the female event GirlGamer Esports Festival 2018. The tournament will feature some of the best female teams in the world and a prize-pool of $11,550, hosted by Grow up esports.

The tournament will be played out in a double-elimination bracket with best-of-one series. The final will be played as a best-of-three. The event is played from Casino Estoril in Lisbon, Portugal between the 20th and 22nd of July.

Recap

Getting into 2018 there was an undoubtedly number 1 in the scene, who has been dominating it for almost 2 years, winning every tournament since the Intel Challenge Katowice 2016.

Of course, I am talking about Beşiktaş Esports. It is hard to stay at the top for this long and while they always showed a bit of crumbling, they overcame every opponent they faced.

All this changed at the end of February. Team Dignitas Female was able to eliminate the former RES Gaming squad from the tournament in the semi-finals, who previously already gave up a group stage match against Squared Prospects.

In the end, Dignitas was able to crown themselves as the winner of the Intel Challenge Katowice 2018 by beating Squared Prospects dominantly in the finals.

Coming into Copenhagen Games 2018 Dignitas was looking to repeat what they did in Katowice, but the tournament showed us plenty of crazy results and one of those was Team Dignitas falling flat against their NA rival Counter Logic Gaming Red.

That came as a huge surprise, because not only has Dignitas dominated their previous event, CLG Red who was attending the exact same event finished in last place at it.

Singularity beat CLG Red in the semi-finals and with this ended their hopes of winning the tournament.
On the other side of the bracket, we saw Eparadise Angels being able to beat Alpha Republic of Esport Female for the first time on LAN ever, after being unable to get past them at previous events.

This wasn’t where it ended as Eparadise kept on rocking the first map of the second semi-final against none other than RES. In the end they weren’t able to close it out and we had our final between RES Gaming and Singularity.

Despite Singularity reaching the final, there still was doubt. CLG Red was the one beating Team Dignitas and then couldn’t show up against Singularity.

Singularity also had an unsuccessful group stage run and while they had individual strength in the roster, they were lacking a good bit of experience.

Thanks to a stellar performance of Alyona "Candy" Kuvaeva and a lot of discipline in the whole team, Singularity was able to deny another event victory for RES Gaming.

Petra "Petra" Stoker, who formed this team after being removed from RES, without playing any official game with them reached her aim to be in the best female team and showed that hard worked indeed pays off.

Eparadise Angels

There only has been one team without a roster change since Copenhagen Games 2018: Eparadise. This year’s event winners were both forced to make a change, while the dominating force of 2016 and 2017 added two new players to upgrade their roster.

Team Unknown

Let’s start with the roster, who did take the biggest hit out of all roster swaps.

While it has been only one player leaving the roster, it still leaves the leftover players with an empty spot which is seemingly impossible to fill.

Petra, the player who has been forming and leading the Copenhagen Games winners rejoined the girls from RES Gaming. The experienced replacement is going to be Ivelina "HellRose" Danova, who lead her old team Squared Prospects to a second place finish at the Intel Challenge this year.

Team Dignitas

Team Dignitas took another big hit as the potentially best and most consistent player in the scene decided to step down from the starting lineup.

While Mounira "GooseBreeder" Dobie was an important piece in the lineup, playing together with the core for more than two years, she hasn’t been the one leading the team and the player replacing her is a prominent member of the NA scene:Catherine "CAth" Leroux.

Beşiktaş Esports

The biggest change happened in Beşiktaş Esports. Ksenia "vilga" Kluenkova, Zainab "zAAz" Turkie and Julia "juliano" Kiran have been the core of the lineup for over two and a half years now but players around them have changed more often.

The first player who was announced to get replaced was Anna "Ant1ka" Ananikova. A seemingly good move for both sides as Ant1ka has proven her qualities at the WESG World Finals 2017 in the mix of Russian Forces, but barely ever could show those while playing under RES Gaming.

As mentioned earlier Petra took this spot over, but this wasn’t the only change they have been making. Due to Christine "potter" Chi and the rest of the team having problems with the distance, they decided to part ways with the veteran as well and replaced her by a completely new name, who hasn’t been seen in the scene before: Anastasia "kr4sylya" Khlobystina.

Thoughts and predictions

It’s hard to say who is the best team in the CS:GO female scene at the moment, but the upcoming event of Growup Esports should give us some clarity about the power ranking.

Looking at the rosters, Beşiktaş seems to be by far the strongest especially if their talent will have a successful debut.

In our eyes, Beşiktaş will be able to get back to the top and it will take time until the other teams will be able to challenge them again.

The only reason Beşiktaş could fail this tournament would be out of a lack of team chemistry.

This is something Eparadise could take advantage of playing against any team in this tournament. As long as they stick to their own game while adapting to the changes of the other teams, they should be able to secure a good spot at this tournament.

Team Dignitas lost a strong player, but with CAth they added a replacement who we can see filling the big shoes. That said CAth won’t take over the role of GooseBreeder and there will be a lot of structural changes in Dignitas, which might cause chaos in their games.

Talking about Team Unknown, Petra was the one who bound them together after the Intel Challenge and formed an actual working team out of the lineup. With HellRose there will be a lot of changes and while there absolutely is a possibility that she will make this work, we still think it will take time to restructure the whole team with the new leader.

Predictions:

1st - Beşiktaş Esports
2nd - Eparadise Angels
3rd - Team Dignitas
4th - Team Unknown

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