Oceanic Valorant Open down to final 16 as race for inaugural OCE champion heats up

Pros from all FPS backgrounds will be fighting it out in the Oceanic Valorant Open finals.

The Oceanic Valorant Open, Oceania’s hallmark event for the Valorant Ignition Series, started with 373 teams. Now, there’s 16 left, with the race to be named the inaugural OCE champion in Valorant heating up with the Group Stage kicking off this weekend.

Order’s Oceanic Valorant Open is the biggest regional event in the Valorant Ignition Series so far. 373 teams rocked up on Day 1 to fight over $10,000, and the title of being the inaugural OCE champions in Riot’s new FPS title.

Now, the field has been slimmed down to 16 of the best. With the open qualifiers now completed, and the closed group stages kicking off on Saturday, Oceania will now have a chance to see the region’s best duke it out over the next two weeks.

One of those teams is Coffee. Stacked with some of the region’s best talent across numerous titles, the team managed to pull through and get to the top 16. They didn’t escape the qualifiers unscathed, but according to captain “Dreamchosis,” they are ready to show what they are truly made.

“Coffee is a fairly new roster and we haven’t had a ton of time to play together compared to some of the other teams who have been playing all the one day competitions that have been going on since launch,” he stated.

“Our team has a good base of Counter Strike experience, decent Overwatch experience, and Zhii is proficient at casting spells in this game, as he was a top WoW player.”

Dream, alongside his duo Zhii, have been grinding Valorant since before the game even launched in Australia, bearing with the high ping to get as much practice possible in. It helped them achieve their goals of making the top 16 in what is the region’s first major Valorant tournament.

“Essentially our goal for this tournament was to make it to the final 16 and we’ve accomplished that so we’re cheering,” Dream stated. “Progressing further in groups would be a nice bonus and we’re going to give it a good go.”

They’ve got their eyes keenly set on the competition. Coffee lost to Crab Walk Killers in the qualifiers, but will potentially have a chance to play off against them in the Group Stage as they sit on the same side of the bracket. That’s not their only threat though, with a host of teams like Exo Clan, Rip N Tear, Launch, and Pants Down also seen as keen favourites for the title.

“Crab Walk Killers are a great team that I really want to play again with our full lineup and team comp,” Dream admitted.

“I would also love to play against Exo Clan as they’re all sharp players and seem to be a top team in the region. Also Crunchy is an old teammate of mine from Battalion [1944, an FPS which launched in 2018] so it’ll be fun to duke it out if we end up meeting in groups.

“The biggest threat would probably be Team Launch though. They’re all individually very good and probably have the most experience in high level play from CS. RipNTear are also a great squad in our bracket who we narrowly lost to in qualifiers, so it would be nice to be able to get a W over them in groups.”

This was echoed by Oceanic Valorant Open caster & admin Mitch “Conky” Concanen, who said that while he was expecting CS:GO players to have a distinct advantage, the top prize could really go to anyone who clawed their way into the final 16.

“We’ve seen some crazy close games already leading into the RO16,” he told Snowball. “The most exciting thing for me is that it’s not just CS players cleaning house and we have quite a diverse group of players from different backgrounds.

“The easy answer [for the best team] would be EXO, but I don’t think they’ve had a challenge yet. The teams I’ve really been locked in on have been RipNTear, Team Launch and PantsDown.”

No matter the result on Saturday and beyond, the Oceanic Valorant Open spells a bright future for not only Dream and the rest of the Coffee squad, but also the future of Riot’s new FPS title in Oceania.

“Valorant in OCE definitely has a bright future. It’s been great to see a lot more players in the region streaming on twitch and getting more exposure, which is something I’ve felt has been lacking in OCE for some time,” Dreamchosis said.

“I think Riot has done an excellent job so far with supporting the Oceanic Valorant Open, and it makes me super excited for the future, given how massive Riot actually is from a global standpoint,” added Conky.

“Pro players right now are also streaming and creating content, something we’ve lacked in the past given that I feel Australia’s FPS talent has the capacity to go further globally than other games. With how big it is in Asia right now, I think we have a stepping stone to connect from an international standpoint provided big TO’s continue to give us the platform to do so.”

The Oceanic Valorant Open Group Stage kicks off on Saturday, July 18. Watch live from 1pm AEST on the ORDER Twitch channel.

Andrew Amos
Andrew Amos
After joining Snowball in mid-2018, Andrew "Ducky" Amos has fast become one of our region's best esports writers. Cutting his teeth in Oceanic Overwatch, he now covers all kinds of esports for publications globally. However, his heart still lays at home, telling the story of Aussies trying to make it big.



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