Dignitas Female are one of the longest standing rosters in the North American VALORANT Champions Tour Game Changers scene. While many of their competitors in the main event, like VersionX and CLG Red, have made significant roster changes, Dignitas has largely remained the same. Between that and their continuous tournament grind, they plan to show what a veteran squad can accomplish in the NA VCT Game Changers playoffs.
So far, they’ve been successful; on Friday Dignitas qualified into the main event’s lower bracket finals after defeating CLG Red in the lower bracket semifinals. Though they did drop from the upper bracket at the start of the tournament, the squad have shown that they should be able to put up a fight against the region’s other top two teams: Shopify Rebellion and Cloud9 White.
Dignitas Female won their way into the lower bracket finals by absolutely demolishing CLG Red on the third map of their match, Ascent, which they wrapped up 13-1. The victims of their lower bracket run include Dart Monkeys (2-1), Gen.G Black (2-0) and, of course, CLG Red (2-1). Dignitas’ success is in large part due to the sheer amount of experience they have. Beyond being one of the mainstays of NA Game Changers in terms of their roster, the Dignitas squad also play in tournaments every week and practice five to six days a week, according to AWPer Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido.
“I think we’ve worked too damn hard to not be on top, seriously,” EMUHLEET said. “So I just want to win.”
EMUHLEET, along with her teammates Amanda “rain” Smith and Melisa “theia” Mundorff, were the two-time Counter Strike: Global Offensive champions (still under the Dignitas Female banner) before they started competing in VALORANT. They’re used to putting in the kind of work it takes to achieve those titles. Now, that work is going towards becoming the absolute best they can be.
“Yes, of course, we want to be one of the best women’s teams in the world,” EMUHLEET said in a press conference. “But we just want to be one of the best teams in the world, regardless of gender. That is our ultimate goal and what we’re working so hard for.”
Their next opponents are Shopify Rebellion, the tournament’s second seed and the team largely seen as second-best in the region after Cloud9 White. Dignitas may seem like the underdog here, but they have a few tricks up their sleeves to have gotten this far. One is obviously their level of comfort and skill on Ascent, which they demonstrated pretty nastily against CLG Red.
“We’re very comfortable on Ascent,” theia said in the post-match interview. “I think we were just completely confident going into map three. We know we’re better than every single team we’re playing against and yeah, we were just very confident going into the map. And it ended 13-1, so we were right to be confident.”
Theia expressed that Dignitas are comfortable on every map, and that they only struggled against CLG on Haven because they weren’t quite meshing on comms. But beyond that absolute confidence in terms of their map performance, theia has also found an aggressive new playstyle with Chamber.
“I absolutely love Chamber,” she said in a press conference. “I think he completely changed my playstyle because I was on Cipher and Killjoy and was such a passive player, but with Chamber you can be a Sentinel and still be aggressive and get so many kills.”
Playing in this new style has helped theia increase her aggression across the other Sentinel agents she plays, which she said has helped her improve massively overall. All of that combined with the sheer amount of effort Dignitas have put in make them less of a dark horse than fans might expect. Shopify Rebellion will have to bring their A-game to have any hope of countering theia and Dignitas’ hard-won confidence in their lower bracket finals match on Saturday.