Try as they could, ORDER were unable to halt the veritable juggernaut that has been Renegades CS:GO, who claimed their ninth national title (eleven if you include qualifiers) of 2020 with their 3-1 (0-1, 16-10, 16-8, 16-7) victory at DreamHack Masters Winter Oceania.
Together with wins at the Oceanic qualifiers for the Asia Minor and IEM Katowice earlier in the year, Renegades have won every single event they attended in their home region, establishing a dominance unlike anything seen before in OCE CS:GO.
Josh ‘INS’ Potter (1.36 rating, 11 maps, +68 Kill Differential) stood head and shoulders above the rest, as he has for the majority of 2020 - the Renegades rifler has topped the HLTV ratings charts in five events this year, this the third in a row.
Teammates Chris ‘dexter’ Nong (1.18 rating, +33 K/Diff) & Jordan ‘Hatz’ Bajic (1.15 rating, +21 K/Diff) followed suit while ORDER’s Alistair ‘aliStair’ Johnston (1.13 rating, +22 K/Diff) led the way for the runner-up squad.
While they were further down on the leaderboard, The Chiefs’ Maclane ‘gump’ Cross (0.80 rating, -20 K/Diff) and AVANT Gaming’s Andy ‘Noobster’ Zhang (0.92 rating, -12 K/Diff) performed admirably given the limited practice they’ve had with their respective line-ups.
It was clear early on that the recent additions to The Chiefs & AVANT meant a slower start to the four-team event, with both sides dropping their opening series. Renegades made quick work of the Chiefs 2-0 (16-5, 16-9), while once again ORDER and AVANT traded map picks — the eventual grand finalists survived a comeback from AVANT to win 2-1 (16-10, 10-16, 19-16).
In the winner’s match Renegades opened their account with a 16-4 win on Nuke, in what was seemingly another day at the office for the DreamHack Summer & Spring champions. But ORDER bounced back on the CT side of Inferno, before taking six of the opening seven rounds on T side to turn the map on its head.
Led by captain Jireh ‘J1rah’ Youakim (1.20 rating, 23-19) ORDER held off a fast-finishing Renegades 16-13, before putting them to the sword on Nuke in one of their most clinical performances of the year. Veterans Karlo ‘USTILO’ Pivac (1.69 rating, 21-12) & Ricardo ‘Rickeh’ Mulholland (1.49 rating, 19-9) were scintillating as they led ORDER to their first series win over Renegades since June, taking the decider 16-6.
The Chiefs gave AVANT a scare in the lower bracket opener, claiming Nuke 16-12, but struggled on the T side on Overpass and Dust 2. AVANT’s Euan ‘sterling’ Moore (1.39 rating, 69-39 [3 maps]) came alive, putting on an AWP masterclass and together with Mike ‘ap0c’ Aliferis (1.16 rating, 60-38 [3 maps]) eliminated The Chiefs 2-1 (12-16, 16-12, 16-8).
The lower bracket final began similarly for Renegades; against ORDER they took the opening map with minimal difficulty, and in the elimination best-of-three against AVANT they began strongly with a 16-7 shut out on Dust 2.
At 9-4 on Inferno, it appeared that Renegades would secure the ORDER rematch in the grand final, but AVANT fought back via a fantastic T side, led by ap0c (1.43 rating, 26-18).
AVANT would win nine of the final ten rounds of the map to win 16-12 and force a decider on Overpass, and immediately AVANT could taste blood in the water. An all but perfect CT half from the challengers saw AVANT lead 12-3 at the half — a monstrous lead, and with Jared ‘HaZR’ O’Bree (1.54 rating, 38-25) in explosive form, it seemed all but certain AVANT would secure the upset.
Enter dexter (1.39 rating, 35-26), who began the second half with an uncharacteristic seven kills. The Renegades captain led his side out of the doldrums, putting on eleven straight rounds to flip the map on its head—and while AVANT would survive regulation and force overtime—the comeback kings would prove too strong in the 19-17 win.
Used to beginning the best-of-five grand final from behind, it was ORDER with the map advantage and the J1rah-led lineup were looking to capitalise early on Inferno, adapting well to RNG’s T side and leading 7-0.
But Renegades would bounce back hard — the eventual champions went eight straight to lead the half, then win the second round forcebuy to leave ORDER’s economy hurting. ORDER would only manage three rounds on attack as Renegades found another gear, claiming Inferno 16-10 and levelling the series immediately.
Carnage continued on Mirage, with ORDER struggling from the outset as Renegades opened to a 10-1 lead on defence. ORDER would bounce back and adapt to keep in the map at 5-10 at the half, but the T side pistol round and subsequent gun round wins put the map beyond recovery. INS, dexter and Hatz would combine for 63 kills in the 24-round map, Renegades taking Mirage 16-8.
It was left to Dust 2 for ORDER to find a way back in the final—a map that Renegades had only lost twice in six months—but an early forcebuy win kept hopes alive. Both teams strung together multiple chains of rounds, with RNG’s T side coming out ahead 8-7 at the half.
But ORDER’s hopes of a series comeback faded against the brick wall that was Renegades’ CT defence. ORDER managed a single bomb plant in the final round of the match as RNG went eight straight to shut out ORDER 16-7 and complete the lower bracket run to win the event.
While the CS:GO competitive year has ended, stay tuned to Here’s The Thing for more news, analysis and more as we recap a tumultuous 2020 in esports.