Order have been living in the shadow of Renegades for the most part of 2020. Finalising their roster in March, Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland and Jireh “J1rah” Youakim entered the squad only weeks before the world shut down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, Order have managed to place first two seasons on MDL but are constantly bowing out and finishing runner up to the Renegades.
2020 has left the squad without a coach or analyst, but also without roster turmoil that other domestic teams have been constantly embroiled in. This has enabled Order to build up consistency and establish themselves as the squad who can slay the Goliath that is Renegades and end their seven consecutive tournament win streak.
After leaving Complexity, Rickeh returned home and within a couple months landed the spot on Order. Shortly after finalising their roster, the pandemic began and esports shifted to what will go down as the online era.
“If nothing COVID related had happened, we had planned to be overseas at least 3 times now, so we missed a couple big opportunities because of that. The Minor qualifier for the Rio Major was a big one because we would have had a shot at top two against Tyloo or Vici and not just Renegades.”
“Not only Order, but Avant, Chiefs and the Renegades have all missed out on travel and events this year, so we’re very thankful to the tournament organisers who have provided a circuit of online play and events to the region. Without it there wouldn’t be much to play for.”
In recent months, Order have taken the fight to Renegades in events such as the ESL Pro League Finals and the Perfect World RMR event, but have been unable to push ahead further.
“In the last couple weeks and tournaments, we’ve established ourselves as a consistent second place team in Australia. No one can beat the Renegades though. They are without a doubt first, but we would comfortably be the second best team.”
“What separates us is our lack of coach and analyst, who I think will be able to provide that additional outside help. It might not make us number one, but it will potentially give us the edge when it comes to contending with Renegades in these events and hopefully push us over the edge.”
The team benefits from having Rickeh and Karlo “USTILO” Pivac, who have both been on internationally competitive teams before their time in Order.
“One of the biggest strengths Karlo [USTILO] and I bring to the team is mid-round calling and calls in broken situations. With the kind of experience Karlo and I have had, sometimes what to do in these 4v4 and 3v3 spots feels instinctual, so being able guide the younger and less experienced players through these rounds is a strength
“Jirah came from Avant just after I joined and initially I was sceptical of him as an in-game leader. After getting to know him as a player and individual, I would say he gives everything you need from an IGL and is fully dedicated to the role, even calling in those mid-round and broken situations. We really mesh well with him as the IGL in this team.”
In the lead up to Season 35 of the ESEA MDL, Order went into the league with more interest in using the matches as practice. As back to back winners of the league, they began the season with mixed results.
“Towards the beginning of the season we agreed that we would use MDL as practice, but after losing a couple of series early on we thought it might be time to take it seriously.
“While no one is sure, there is the possibility that this season may be tied to a global challenge event, pending on travel restrictions. So if things were to change between now and then, we want to take this season with full force and ensure we can qualify on the off chance there’s an event tied to it.”
A common issue across teams in the region at the moment is a lack of resources and teams to practice effectively against. This makes preparation for events and official matches difficult and riddled with mind games between teams who are constantly playing one another.
“Renegades and Order look to avoid one another for practice, mostly because we know that it’s so competitive between us and we’re constantly on their heels. Otherwise, we basically look for any MDL to scrim against.”
“If we do take a series off them, I don’t believe it will make us number one, but we’re always on the hunt for Renegades”
“We’re hoping to find a coach or analyst to help with Demo review, but for the rest of the year our goal is go into IEM Beijing and DH Winter and take as many important series off the Renegades as possible.”
A former member of the now 100 Thieves line-up, Rickeh has played with and against the likes of Justin “Jks” Savage and Aaron “AZR” Ward. The question on everyone’s minds is what will come of the squad given 100 Thieves’ withdrawal from CS:GO and further roster moves potentially on the horizon.
“I thought they were going to stick together, but since the news came out, I think it was a shock to everybody. From what I’ve been hearing, the boys are looking to stay in NA and transition into other teams. If that doesn’t happen they could even go to Valorant. There are a bunch of different avenues for those guys and I don’t think they’d be looking to go home yet unless there’s nothing else on offer.
“If they know how COVID is going here, particularly in Melbourne they should stay in NA. Lockdown wise, things are tough here. It may be safer for them to come home and use it as an opportunity for a break, then seeing what is available, which if they did would definitely cause a couple of shuffles in the teams.”
Order will be looking to take the fight to Renegades and hopefully claim a title of their own in the upcoming IEM Beijing-Haidian and DreamHack Masters Winter.