The Australian roster has had a lot of ups and downs through the years. The one word that used to describe them was mediocracy. They would qualify to big events like StarSeries, Dreamhack Masters and ESL Pro League, but for some reason, they’d never make it out of the groups. And if they did, that would be once in a blue moon. Yet, the latest Renegades roster shows a lot of promise. They are consistently making the play-offs. Not only that, but they are beating high caliber opponents. This can be easily seen with their success at IEM Katowice and the group stage of StarSeriess i-League Season 7. Renegades are ready to contend for the top.
The Last Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back
Renegades have a peculiar curse and a blessing. Because they’re from the Oceanic region, they get to play in the Asian minor. You have Tyloo, Vici, teams from SEA and the odd Australian team making the minor. Because this minor isn’t as stacked as EU or NA, Renegades always have a triumphant run to the final. Of course, Renegades haven’t always won 1st place. There were times when they came 2nd but that still grants you a slot to the major qualifier. The curse, however, was their inability to qualify to the major itself. Since 2016 they haven’t qualified for a single Major. The Renegades have missed out 7 CS:GO Major Championships. Their last failure was at the FACEIT Major. This couldn’t keep up for much longer. Changes had to be made. After the FACEIT Major, they removed Ustilo and Nifty for Gratisfaction and Liazz.
Not The Best Start For Renegades
The first couple of events for Renegades didn’t look that great. In StarSeries i-League Season 7 they did make it out of the groups. It was a bo1 swiss format, where they won against complexity, tyloo and imperial. Not the most formidable opponents and these victories, apart from complexity, where pretty tight (16-13, 16-12 and 16-9). Their ruin did end in the quarter-finals against Optic as they lost 2-0. IEM Chicago was a quick event for the Australians. In their opening match, they had a 10-5 lead against MiBR on Inferno and still lost 12-16. Renegades couldn’t win their lower bracket bo3 against LDLC and they went on to Toyota Master Bangkok 2018. There they beat a bunch of teams from the SEA region but fell short in the semi’s against Heroic.
Renegades Are Picking Up The Pace
Those first three events didn’t look great for Renegades. They struggled against opponents of a similar and lower caliber. Despite that, the Australians began turning their luck around. As they’ve done so many times before, the Renegades qualified for the ESL Pro League Finals. This time they could play in the event as in the past, it would always interfere with the Asian minor. It wasn’t a good start here since their first map ended in an abrupt loss to Hellraisers on Mirage 16-5. They quickly turned it around in their next lower bracket games. A decisive victory against the Chinese of Vici was a good start.
Later on, they even won bo3’s against G2 and BIG. These teams weren’t looking their best heading into the Pro League Finals, but they were still formidable opponents. The biggest surprise was against Mousesports in the quarter-finals. Yes, Renegades lost the series, but they dominated them on Cache 16-5 and almost won Mirage by the skin of their teeth. This was a sign of great things to come.
Great Minds Think Alike
After the Pro League finals, Renegades were once, considered a contender for the major. The question was, would they flop as they’ve done so many times before? In the Major qualifier, they had a fine showing. Beating both Avangar and NiP in bo1’s. But when Renegades played ENCE for a spot in the major, they showed some great Counter-Strike.
Interestingly, Renegades and Astralis were the only 2 teams to win a bo3 against ENCE. The Australians didn’t stop there. They continued the journey by beating FaZe and ENCE in bo1’s. However, the real challenge was the deciding game against Astralis. Against all odds, when Renegades were down 12-3 on Mirage, they miraculously pulled it back 17-19. Not many teams can do that, not to mention against the best team in the world. Another great foot-note was a bo3 win against Vitality and by doing so qualifying to the legends stage.
The Sky Is The Limit
This team has had a lot of history in Counter-Strike. When the roster was picked up by the Renegades organization in 2015, they were looking like a contender. They took a map off Fnatic, Nip and beat Team Liquid at Gfinity Spring Masters 2. Since then the team was on a bumpy road. They had to make roster changes to remain relevant in the scene. It was a grueling journey, but it’s nice to see the project finding a path to greatness.