My Thoughts/Takeaways from PGTV’s WPGI Tournament

With the PGTV WPGI tournament coming to an end a couple of minutes ago (from when I started this post), I feel like I learned quite a few things about the female scene in Australia.

There were a total of four teams competing at this event.

They were:

  • Athletico (shadowfaxx, queenbig, moonie, quic0ticz, kellostthegame)
  • Darksided (jsmai, jess, linhdt, thaoo, qui)
  • Immunity (sarina, bunny, raizy, maddy, cara)
  • Ravens (b0nni3, zs sonia, natarshaau, connie, mimi)
note the order in which the teams are listed do not reflect the rankings they were given by PGTV (I don’t know the rankings)

As someone who is unfamiliar with the female Counter Strike scene (particularly in Australia), I wanted to see what the teams had in store coming into the first female CS:GO competition.

These four teams brought some solid Counter Strike to the table. These teams looked like they did their homework thoroughly, they looked like they put the hours of practice in, the hours of smokes, flashes and so forth.

These teams looked really prepared to me.

Here’s what I learned from this event, and my thoughts overall:

Team Immunity Set The Benchmark:

The first match up of the tournament saw Team Immunity take on Athletico. Personally, I thought it would be a very close game, but I was wrong. Immunity managed to beat Athletico 16-2 on Dust II. Immunity put in a very, very strong display on their CT side. Although a few rounds were really close and could have gone in favor of Athletico, the players on Team Immunity seemed calm and collected throughout the match. Wherever something got tough they managed to pull through convincingly. Their site holds were incredibly strong and if they did lose the site to the T side, their retakes were on point. The players looked disciplined when retaking a site, like this, for example (32 mins 17 seconds). In that retake it was a 4v4, ended up being a 3v4 and to me it looked like Athletico were going to pull out their first round until some good shooting by Raizy weakened Athletico’s hold on the A site, until it was traded out and then it became a 3v2. Bunny made it a 2v2, Sarina hit a shot on the T player that was close at Long A to make it a 2v1, then was traded out by shadowfax to make it a 1v1 and then Bunny was able to sneak in the defuse. Another example (35mins 44 seconds) of Immunity’s strong CT side came in the 8th round, with a nice B hold by Bunny and Sarina to keep the T side at bay with minimal casualties. The utility usage (46 mins 30 seconds in) by Raizy to keep the T side at bay during the last round of the half to get away, make some space for herself and land a frag just shows us the disciplined utility use by the Immunity side, that they knew when to use their utility and that they were always in control of the game.

With this win over Athletico, Immunity were into the Grand Finals of the tournament where they would play Dark-Sided. Winning 16-2 and 16-9 on Dust II and Mirage respectively showed that Immunity were able to carry through their good form in the initial stages of the tournament.

The standout player for me was Raizy. A consistently good performer throughout the three maps that Immunity played. Finding form very early on against Athletico and carrying it through the competition. 24/2/6 on the scoreboard against Athletico in the first game. There was a 12 frag difference between her and the second frag.

Nevertheless, I feel like the entire Immunity squad turned up today to put in some outstanding site holds and site retakes. A very impressive and dominant performance throughout this tournament means, in my opinion, that Immunity are the strongest female team currently and set the bench mark for the other teams.

Athletico have potential to be great:

Scorelines don’t often reflect the effort put in by two teams. Sometimes in football you’ll see 50/50 possession, one team have 17 shots on goal with 15 on target and would have scored 0 goals. The other team would have had 5 or 6 shots on goal with 4 on target having scored 2. The same thing applies to the scoreline between Immunity/Athletico match. Although it wouldn’t have been too different and Immunity still would have won in a convincing style, there were a few occasions where Athletico were able to put themselves in good positions, but weren’t able to capitalise on those chances. This had happened a few times and unfortunately for Athletico they just weren’t able to get on it and finish it off, and the round would go Team Immunity’s way. Considering Athletico had a very slow start, there are a few things that need to be fixed, likely in terms of communication and they should be on their way. Considering they had close rounds against Team Immunity on multiple occasions, I won’t be surprised to see them do more damage to other teams in the near future.

From what I saw, despite the scoreline, once this team is able to find their feet and iron out their mistakes, I’m absolutely positive they’ll hit the ground running and bring out the potential that they have and apply it to their games.

Ravens and Dark-Sided are also headed in the right direction:

Ravens vs. Dark-Sided was the closest match up of the night. Dark-Sided managed to overcome the Ravens 16-12 and meet Team Immunity in the finals of the tournament.Collectively both teams played really well. It took great character for Dark-Sided to mount a comeback after being down 11-4 at half. Linhdt played phenomenally with the scout come Dark-Sided’s CT half, and Ravens played really well considering they had a substitute player. The competitive nature of this match up shows that these teams are headed in the right direction in terms of team and skill development, and will definitely aid in making the female scene a competitive one.

The benefit of having this tournament:

For the first time in Australian CS:GO, there was a competition for females only with a winner takes all prize pool. Considering there were only four teams participating this time around, it is a small tournament, but also a very successful one. In terms of production value, content quality and so forth the tournament was successful but it also brought to light the female talent that play the game competitively in Australia. I’ve heard of a few of the players participating in the tournament and I wasn’t really able to watch them play, nor was I able to find any readily available demos so I had no idea what these players were capable of going into this event.

Then this tournament came along and the participating talent was like “hey, surprise!”

The tournament allowed the teams to display their understanding of the game, their skill and general knowledge (think retakes, grenades etc etc.) of the game. Not only did it allow these players to showcase their individual skill, as well as their teamwork and team’s skill, but it served as a reminder that there are female players in Australia and that they’re here to play. The female scene is something that I feel like has been waiting to grow for a long time. There are competitive scenes in the United States, in Europe, but Australia seemed to have fallen behind in that regard.

This tournament allows for a competitive scene to be established, and by establishing it I’m assuming it’ll grow into something bigger down the road. An eventual bigger league/tournament with a bigger prize pool. Not now, but soon. It’ll be interesting when more female teams, particularly ones that missed out on invites, add to the competition.

For now, it was a well organised, highly competitive tournament that was entertaining and a stage for the female players to finally show off their skill. At the rate that they’re playing at now, these female teams are only going to grow, in game knowledge and skill.

This tournament is a stepping stone to building a competitive female scene in Australia that can flourish.

Not only this, but it also encourages other female gamers who haven’t had a go to try and have a go and see what comes of it. There was a statistic said on stream that 99% of salaried pro gamers are male(?).

If this is the case, tournament(s) like this will hopefully encourage more female gamers to get amongst the competitive scene and have a go.

Closing Thoughts:

All of the teams involved today played good Counter Strike and are well on their way to becoming better if they continue to practice and develop their skills. This tournament seems like it’s only the beginning, and with the Counter Strike I saw today, I hope it’s only the beginning because I’m itching to see these teams play again.

I like what PGTV are doing, or are trying to do with this and I hope it develops into something great, because it’s about time the female teams were able to participate in an official prize pool’d tournament.

The players involved in the women’s scene are highly skilled and are finally able to show this off, which will hopefully kill any negativity towards the female scene and ignite a competitive flame amongst other female teams.

Very good tournament by PGTV and congratulations to Team Immunity on the big W.

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