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IEM

Dignitas wins Intel Challenge Katowice 2018 — here's all the results and placings

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After just two maps the North American squad Team Dignitas Female was able to bring home the title of Intel Challenge Katowice 2018 over Squared Prospect. Here's how their journey to the grand final went down.
The community saw an easy win coming for the reigning champions in RES Gaming in Katowice, Poland, this weekend but a brand new team stopped them on their way to even top the group.

They ended up in third place, tightly followed by Brazilian Keyd Stars Female. In the grand final, we saw the European squad in Squared Prospect take on Team Dignitas Female, where the latter were crowned champions.

Group Stage

Team Dignitas Female came out on top of their group. Source: ESL
Team Dignitas Female came out on top of their group. Source: ESL

Group A


Expectations
When ESL first announced which teams would play against each other in the first group Dignitas were favorites to top the group. The remaining teams were unsure as the scene had not seen much of them before. Team Unknown, that renamed to Singularity Female during the event, had individually strong players in their team which made the community root for them to take the second place in the group.

Reality
Just as expected the North American ladies were incredibly strong when they moved past their opponents in Singularity and Keyd Stars. The Chinese side, Team Gohome, fell in both of their matches, placing them in last place. In pursuit of the group's second playoff spot Pamella "pan" Shibuya and her teammates moved past Signularity.


Group B


Expectations
The other group looked more interesting with last year's winners in RES Gaming and the Copenhagen Games 2017 finalists in Alpha Republic of Esport Female. These two invited teams were clear favorites to top the group and beforehand seemed to sail past the qualified sides.

Reality
The group started off with RES, who debuted with Christine "potter" Chi, won over the Russian team with 16-14, which was a tight match to start off the group. Squared Prospect then simply sailed past Counter Logic Gaming Red on Mirage. The shock came in the game after, where Squared moved past the worlds best female team to secure a playoff spot. CLG Red fell against ARES in the lower bracket, and then fell against RES in the decider.

Semi-finals

The North American Dignitas-squad managed to take down the reigning champions. Sorce: ESL
The North American Dignitas-squad managed to take down the reigning champions. Sorce: ESL

Team Dignitas Female vs. RES Gaming

DIG: rain, EMUHLEET, GooseBreeder, artStar, milk
RES: potter, vilga, juliano, zAAz, Ant1ka


The first semifinal began on Inferno, where Team Dignitas won the first pistol. However, the luck was not long-lasting as Ksenia "vilga" Kluenkova clutched 1vs2 in the second round to bring RES Gaming into the match. The ruling champions took the lead, but four frags from Amanda "rain" Smith in the 11th round kept Dignitas in the match. RES kept the lead at 8-7 when it was time to switch sides. To start off the second half Zainab "zAAz" Turkie got three frags and Christine "potter" Chi got two to secure a continued lead. After that, it was straightforward for RES that would close out the map with 16-11.

On Nuke Dignitas once again took the first pistol round, but Turkie clutched 1vs2 to bring home the second one. After that, the North American side took over the control and ended the half with 11-4, much thanks to a 1vs2-clutch from Smith. The Canadian player continued to show off for her team in the second half and they could close out the map with dominating 16-5.

Train became the deciding map where Dignitas won three of the first four rounds. Julia "juliano" Kiran tried to secure a second round for her team when she was left alone with three players, but she only got down two before Smith killed the Swedish player. One again, Dignitas closed out the half with 11-4. The second pistol round went RES way after Turkie won a 1vs2-situation, but it was not enough as their opponents turned out to be too strong. Dignitas advanced to the final with 16-6.


Squared Prospect vs. Keyd Stars Female

SQP: zon1Q, wondervicky, bullet girl, HellRose, Nessa
KSF: cAmyy, pan, GaBi, showliana, bizinha


In the second semifinal Squared Prospect was pinned against Brazilian Keyd Stars Female. The series started off on Cobblestone where Ivelina "HellRose" Danova and her teammates took the first pistol round. Keyd answered by winning the second round, before the rounds started to go back and forth. In the fifth round Kristina "zon1Q" Stevanović clutched 1vs3, giving her team the chance to collect themselves. Bruna "bizinha" Marvila got two frags in the last round of the half to keep her team in the game, but it was not enough as they were down 5-10. In the second pistol round Keyd made a quick push at B-site, which succeeded and it was the beginning of the rounds once again going back and forth between the teams. In the end it was the European team that came out on top at 16-11.

Despite the fact that the swede Vanessa "Nessa" Ahlström got two of her opponents in the first pistol round at Mirage, Marvila was able to win the round for Keyd. The Brazilian side took the lead at 3-0 before Squared got the chance to get into the match. After all, they couldn't build anything on the win as Gabriela "GaBi" Maldonado and Juliana "showliana" Maransaldi each got two frags to secure a continued lead for their team. The Brazilians switched sides with 10 rounds in the bag. Two quick frags from Vicky "vic" Dose won the second pistol and Squared made a comeback to close out the map at 16-14. The best player of the map was Danova with a total of 31 frags, closely followed by Keyds Maransaldi at 30.

Third-place match

RES Gaming placed third in their debut with Christine
RES Gaming placed third in their debut with Christine "potter" Chi. Source: ESL

The last day of the Intel Challenge Katowice 2018 began with a third-place match between RES Gaming and Keyd Stars Female, who started off on Mirage. The Brazilian side won not only the first pistol, but also a 1vs2 situation by Gabriela "GaBi" Maldonado to give them the lead in the next round. The rounds started to go back and forth between the teams, but Keyd stayed on top at all times. At halftime, however, RES had succeeded in turning the tides as they closed it out with narrow 8-7. They continued their lead on the other half and in the twenty-first round Christine "potter" Chi showed off her skills by clutching 1vs2. Three frags with an AK-47 by Julia "juliano" Kiran placed her team at match point and they could close out the map with 16-7.

The second map was Train, which was the Brazilians map. Camila "cAmyy" Natale and her teammates took a dominant lead before RES broke into the game. In the tenth round Maldonado was close to winning a 1vs5 situation by killing four of her opponents, but Kiran got the final blow after they were left alone. Chi and her teammates took charge and closed out the half with 8-7. RES brought the momentum into the second half by winning the first four rounds, including three frags with a AWP by Chi at A. Soon, RES could reach match point, but Keyd refused to give up and tried to push the map to overtime. However, it was not enough as RES closed out the map with 16-14 to secure a third-place in the tournament.

Grand final

Squared Prospect, the ladies that got together just days before the European qualifier, secured second place. Source: ESL
Squared Prospect, the ladies that got together just days before the European qualifier, secured second place. Source: ESL

In the final, we got to see Team Dignitas Female face off versus the European newcomers in Squared Prospect. The series started off on Squared's map, Inferno, where Dignitas easily won the first pistol round. The North American team picked up round after round, with Amanda "rain" Smith on top of the scoreboard, to get a lead with 12-0. Kristina "zon1Q" Stevanović and Ivelina "HellRose" Danova managed to get down two opponents each to secure their teams first round, but it was not enough as Dignitas finished the half with 13 rounds to 2. In the second half the European side didn't stand a chance and Dignitas closed out the map with a dominant score of 16-2.

The next map was Train, where Dignitas not only won the first pistol but could once again take a massive lead. In the tenth round Carolyn "artStar" Noquez won a 1vs2 situation by not releasing the bomb during the final duel with Vanessa "Nessa" Ahlström. In the round after that Kiara "milk" Makua got three frags, including a 1vs1 clutch against Stevanović, to give her team a firther lead. Squared could still get the final rounds of the half in the bag and closed the half 3-12. The second half pistol went to the European side, but Smith clutched 1vs2 with a Famas in the second round to expand Dignitas' lead. They could soon close out the map with 16 rounds to 4 and thus secure the Intel Challenge Katowice title.

Final placings



Head image: Team Dignitas

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