CLG Red & Nigma Galaxy favored in ESL Impact League Dallas Finals
The first step towards a more diverse CS:GO ecosystem for women will be taken, as eight teams will line up to fight for a prize pool of USD 123,000, in Dallas from June 3, 2022. The ESL Impact League Season 1 is finally upon us.
We seem to have two distinct favorites coming into the tournament. Nigma Galaxy Fe and CLG Red absolutely dominated regional qualifiers and are considered big favorites to both make it into the final.
Long path to CS:GO glory
Teams had to go through nearly two months of league play and a robust filtration process to get here. The league featured three divisions – Europe, North America and South America – with two additional qualifiers for the grand finale being held for Asia-Oceania and South Africa.
Galaxy Racer topped the European division, losing all of a single map along the way. In the playoff game that would’ve decided their qualification for the LAN finals, they beat GODSENT in two straight maps to seal the deal.
Equipa sealed the second Europe spot, but not without being challenged along the way. They lost multiple series to Galaxy Racer but managed to overcome nerves to beat NAVI Javelins in a must-win to squeeze in as the second team, ahead of the Polish outfit. That the game was only decided in the third map told you how close it was.
The qualification in South America was hardly as intense as Europe, with FURIA and Black Dragons comfortably emerging winners. Such was their dominance that they didn’t even drop a seri4s between the group stage and the playoffs. Both secured multiple 16-0 wins in their group.
Much of the same played out in North America as CLG Red dominated from start to finish to top their group. The only pocket of resistance they faced was from Slay. Please Send Help secured the second qualifying spot.
South Africa and Oceania held open qualifiers to identify one spot apiece from the region for the finals. The Oceania qualifier, which only featured two teams, was topped by Mindfreak. In the slightly more filled South African qualifier, ATK won in a very close grand final, winning two maps in overtime.
Groups & Matchups
Below we have both groups and the opening matches in each group. Teams will play double-elimination groups with winners’ matches played best-of-one, and eliminations and decider matches as best-of-three.
The top two teams from each group will progress through to the Playoffs, where all matches are of single-elimination bracket and best-of-three. The winners will be awarded USD 50,000 and the second-placed team USD 25,000. Those finishing third and fourth will pocket USD 13,000 each.
- Group A: BIG, Black Dragons, CLG Red, Mindfreak
- Group B: Nigma Galaxy, FURIA, Please Send Help, ATK.gg
It’s hard to make any analysis or predictions for the event ahead of time. Granted Nigma Galaxy and CLG Red are considered favorites, but we may be in for a bit of a surprise come game day.
Next month, ESL Impact will build on this by going back to where it began. In 2019, DreamHack showdown, Valencia paved the way for women in esports and provided them a competitive platform to thrive in. Now, ESL Impact Valencia has been confirmed as an additional standalone event within the global circuit from July 1-3. Expect a joyride over the next two months.