Unlike the male tournament, where to the delight of local fans, Danish side Singularity snatched the title from under the noses of the more prominent teams, the big favourites from Team Secret came first in the ladies’ division.
Team Secret have been a dominant force in the female CS:GO scene since their formation in March 2016 and alongside winning the Copenhagen Games crown, coming out on top against 27 other participants also saw them awarded a €7,500 prize.
The girls from Team Secret did so without losing a single map in the whole tournament, highlighting their prowess throughout the competition.
Breezing through the Group Stage and Playoffs
Team Secret were drawn in a three-team Group F alongside ALSEN Female and Main Street Esport Female. This meant that only one win would be enough to progress and ALSEN Female provided little opposition as a comfortable 16-3 victory saw Secret qualify for the Playoffs.
In the best-of-three round-of-16, Secret expectedly dominated the first game 16-2 on Cobblestone against MASY but their opponents gave them a run for their money in the second game on Train. However, it was not quite enough and Secret won 16-11 to clinch the series with a 2-0 sweep.
The quarterfinals saw them up against Team expert.fe, who had dominated their group and lost only two rounds in the two matches of the Group Stage. Cache was quite a heavily contested map, but in the end Secret prevailed with a hard-fought 16-13 win. This seemingly broke expert.fe’s spirit and Secret took Mirage rather easily with a 16-3 score.
Team Secret were completely in control in the semifinals against Red Reserve.fe and despite the latter fighting hard in the first half of Game One on Train (which ended 9-6 in favour of Secret), Team Secret did not allow any further slip-ups and won seven consecutive rounds to finish with a 16-6 score. Inferno was even worse for Reserve.fe as a 16-3 loss meant Secret secured their place in the Finals with another 2-0 series sweep.
In the title-clinching clash, Secret faced off against surprise side London Conspiracy, unleashing their full might on Nuke by only conceding a single round to their opponents in the opening game.
The second game was a lot more evenly contested as a more determined London Conspiracy side managed to turn a 4-11 disadvantage to 13-11 in their favour on Inferno with a nine-round winning streak on their CT side. Stung by the prospect of losing the map, Team Secret pulled themselves together and worked their way back to 15-13 ahead. The next round went to London Conspiracy, but with both teams having solid budgets in the following round, Team Secret did not want to resolve the dispute with a tie-break and got the win they needed to end the series 16-14, claiming the Copenhagen Games title as they did.
An unstoppable force
Team Secret were clearly a level beyond their counterparts throughout the tournament and apart from the occasional missteps due to complacency, the team never really looked as if they would go home with anything but the trophy in the bag. Their individual skill level was always better than their opponents’, they worked well as a unit, and demonstrated a sounder strategical understanding than any of the other teams.
The player that stood out in the Finals was definitely Anna ‘Ant1ka’ Ananikova, who topped the charts with her great shooting. The latest addition to the squad had arguably been overshadowed by her teammates in some of the previous games, but in the Finals she really stepped up and demonstrated why she was chosen to become part of one of the strongest female CS:GO teams in the world.
The rest of the core put in strong performances too and every player had their moments of brilliance. Julia ‘juliano’ Kiran was the one who performed strongest in the semis, while the wins versus expert.fe and MASY were largely down to Zainab ‘zAAz’ Turkie and Ksenia ‘vilga’ Kluenkova respectively. As a consequence, the team was very well-balanced and can look forward to the rest of the year with some confidence.