Oceanic-based Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Renegades have finished runners-up at DreamHack Leipzig, going down in the final to hometown squad BIG 2-0 (5-16, 12-16). In the former Grayhound Gaming core’s first international LAN invite and debut event with new fifth Jordan ‘Hatz’ Bajic, Renegades defeated an in-form Cloud9 and surprise packet MAD Lions on their way to an inaugural final outside of the Asia-Pacific region.
Hatz (137-145, 18 opening kills, 1 ace, 6 clutches [1st at event], 0.97 rating) was a crucial role-player for the Renegades while Simon ‘Sico’ Williams (146-135, 85 AWP kills [1st], 1.07) once again starred with the sniper rifle. But talk during and following Leipzig will be around Christopher ‘dexter’ Nong (177-159, 46 multikill rounds, 36 opening kills [1st], 1.18) who had his best overseas performance yet.
Despite technical issues plaguing Renegades in their opening match, a 16-10 win over new American-South African squad Cloud9 set up a preview of the event final against BIG, who would take the best-of-one on Nuke 16-8 despite the best efforts of malta (20-15, 90 ADR, 1.16). With Cloud9 eliminating Virtus Pro in the eliminator, Renegades rematched the American-based team in the group decider.
Both teams strung together extended round streaks in a tightly-contested opening half with Renegades holding off Cloud9 8-7 before an eight-round lockout on the T side saw the Aussies into a 1-0 series lead 16-7. C9 began well on Renegades’ Dust2 pick with the pistol round win but onwards they struggled as Renegades picked up their T side in a co-ordinated effort. Dexter (23-17, 98 ADR, 1.39) & INS (20-15, 83 ADR, 1.32) were the standout performers in a 12-3 half featuring a 8-0 run. Cloud9 managed a small comeback but ultimately RNG proved too good, progressing to the semi-finals with a 16-12, 2-0 win.
There they met Danish side MAD Lions, who topped Group B with wins over fellow Danish teams Heroic & North. MAD Lions started well on Renegades’ Dust2 with an early 7-2 lead before dexter (23-11, 120 ADR, 1.57) kicked into gear and broke into the Danes economy and with support from Sico (24-14, 17 AWP kills, 1.43) through multiple clutches, led Renegades back to 7-8, then put on eight straight to take the opener 16-11.
The Danes would strike back on Train as acoR (27-15, 98 ADR, 1.55) took control with the AWP, leading MAD Lions to a strong 8-7 half and eventually a mirrored 16-11 win of their own despite efforts from INS (21-17, 84 ADR, 1.13 rating) and Hatz (21-23, 88 ADR, 0.99), but on Nuke their run would end to a lights-out dexter (23-11, 6 opening kills, 1.72) & Renegades lineup stringing together a monstrous 12-3 half - eventually taking the series 16-6, 2-0.
BIG came out firing hard in the grand final opener on Mirage. A 4-1 lead to Renegades was quickly dismantled with a very quick tempo that the Australian squad struggled to keep up with. Turkish star İsmailcan ‘XANTARES’ Dörtkardeş & in-game leader Nils ‘k1to’ Gruhne were unstoppable on both a 10-round T side and a lockout 6-0 CT defence as RNG were halted early on 16-6.
It was a carbon copy map two as Renegades looked strong at 3-1 but BIG’s tempo adjustment combined with smart fragging once again from captain k1to had BIG rolling in the rounds; eight straight for the German squad, followed by an immediate follow-up break saw BIG lead by seven at the change. Seven straight T rounds from Renegades gave fans hope but multiple breaks widened the gap once more, with a XANTARES spraydown ending all hopes of a comeback 16-12, 2-0.
This result nets Renegades 40 points for the ESL Pro Tour, vital in securing future invites to ESL/DreamHack events and now aim to shape up for IEM World Championships in Katowice, Poland later in February - the $500,000 USD event features sixteen teams including compatriots 100 Thieves.
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