Order, the home of the old Team Launch roster, has cemented themselves at the top of Oceanic Valorant yet again in their first outing under their new banner, taking down bitter rivals EXO Clan in the MEX Invitational, and setting themselves up for a deep run at First Strike.
After Rise of Valour, EXO Clan seemed untouchable. They beat their number one rivals, Team Launch, three times to secure the Ignition Series win. They were on a tear across all competitions — they made the final of LPL Challenger, and were on an 11-map win streak.
However, that was before the roster shuffle. Team Launch revamped itself under Order, bringing on Ground Zero’s Kale “autumn” Dunne and Cameron “disk0” Mac over Travis “Wizard” Richardson and Fergus “ferg” Stephenson. This roster looked stellar on paper, but was unproven heading into the MEX Invitational.
It ended up living up to its expectations. Order managed to break EXO’s hold of the Oceanic Valorant crown, and started swinging their bitter rivalry back in their favour. It didn’t come easy — the 3-2 series was a nailbiter, and arguably the best in the esport’s short history — but what matters is having the trophy in the metaphorical cabinet.
“It feels good to be at the top. You always feel like if you’re not first, you’re last, so it’s a good feeling to hit what you strive for,” DickStacy told Snowball.
“There wasn’t too much pressure coming in from the lower bracket. We were determined to play our own game, and we did just that,” autumn added.
To try and recount exactly what happened in that series would be doing it a disservice. From Bob “Bob” Tran’s incredible 1v4 clutch on Haven, to Order’s miraculous comeback on Ascent thanks to Tucks, and even a double overtime to boot — there was a weekend’s worth of action in just four maps.
However, the tournament set alight some storylines for the months to come, and also put some names to the forefront of people’s minds. One of those was Order’s new signing autumn.
He ended the tournament with Order’s second best ACS at 226, all while playing Cypher. He had an unforgettable showing against Notick, including dropping 29 frags on Haven. It was different from his time on Ground Zero, where he was expected to step up to the plate on Jett, but he’s comfortable in his new role.
“It wasn’t too hard [to make the swap]. It’s quite a different role but I know how to play the majority of agents in the game, so it was easy to pick up. I just had to play more for the team instead of myself with Cypher,” autumn said.
“Originally we were going to have Kale go Sova and I was going to play Cypher. However, after I played a few rounds of Cypher, it didn’t connect well with my brain — I’d rather be with the pack, and Cypher is typically a lurker. Cypher needs to have a player that needs to be super sharp and agile with good game sense, and that fits Kale really well,” DickStacy added.
DickStacy and autumn as a duo go back well before their Valorant days. In fact, the two used to play on a team in CS:GO. While their paths in the game took drastically different directions — one went on to play in a Major, the other didn’t find much success — they’re back where they started in a completely new title, and already finding success together.
“Kale was my first teammate in CS:GO ever. When I started playing CS, me and him were just farming RWS on ESEA, and he was like ‘do you wanna make a team for this qualifier coming up’ — we were just one-tapping everyone and they thought we were cheaters,” DickStacy said.
“Kale has always been a very scary player to come up against, but he never got the opportunity in CS:GO.”Ollie “DickStacy” Tierney
“With my experience, mixed with Matt [texta] and Tyler’s [tucks] experience, we’ve given him and Cam some knowledge in a team aspect. However, they’re both really switched on for players who have come in with minimal experience of playing in a top team.”
That experience will come in handy with First Strike on the horizon. Coming in as the second seed behind EXO Clan despite their recent victory, Order are confident they can clean up their act from the MEX Invitational to try and continue making history in Australia.
“We were playing like sh*t and making basic errors due to teething issues with every new team. The rounds we lost — we were never going to lose them again because they were simple mistakes we could learn from. That first loss [to EXO] was just a hiccup, and we knew we could take it out with a bit more time,” DickStacy reflected.
The upcoming Rise of Valour closed qualifier also marks the debut of Skye, Valorant’s 13th Agent, in the pool. While the Australian wildlife enthusiast has been making a scene in ranked, it’s yet to be seen if she will have the same impact in professional play. Many expect her to take over the Cypher role, but teams like Order are still testing the waters.
“I think Skye is a pretty strong agent, and she could probably replace Cypher. I think her flashbangs are a bit too strong right now, but overall she’s pretty good,” autumn stated.
“On some maps definitely. On Split and Haven though, Cypher’s trips and intel is just too valuable. Maybe Ascent you can swap Cypher out for Skye, but his kit is still insane. It was a nerf, but they’ve made him the exact same way as any other character — if you die, your abilities are useless — so it was a reasonable change,” DickStacy added.
There’s also a lot of new competition on the block. Legacy, Gravitas, Dire Wolves, and more — the top end of town is set for a shake up at First Strike. However, DickStacy is adamant that there’s only room for two — and that’s EXO and Order.
“We haven’t played against any of those teams [Dire Wolves, Gravitas, Legacy] yet, even in practice, so we don’t know what to expect from them in First Strike. When it comes down to it in Valorant, you just have to focus on bringing the best version of yourself as a team. I’m not too sure what they’re going to bring, but we’re the best, and we’ll have to prove it,” he said.
“Us and EXO can beat the majority of American teams at the moment. If we came head to head, and had a bootcamp, we could definitely take games off of them. They’re not too switched on with the fundamentals — they’ve got good players, but I feel like as a team, we’re just better.”Ollie “DickStacy” Tierney
“We don’t know the skill ceiling of other teams. Mechanically, EXO and us are the better players, but all the other teams can come close — or even take maps off us — if they put in the effort,” autumn added.
The Rise of Valour closed qualifier for First Strike kicks off on November 14. You can catch the action live on the Fortress Melbourne Twitch channel.