Oceanic Counter-Strike has gotten off to a tumultuous start in 2021. The Boys got back together under the Extremum banner, as well as 35 local pros suspended for betting offences. Here’s your snapshot if you missed the month’s news.
January saw the Aussie scene get shaken up on both ends of the spectrum. While we were graced with the return of the ‘The Boys’, an additional 35 players saw themselves banned from ESIC-partnered events.
Many teams are now left scrambling to put rosters together and some are still seeking to fill out their rosters following the end of the 2020 season. In addition to this, the region’s premier event IEM Melbourne, which was already postponed once, has been moved online in its entirety.
While turbulent, January will likely frame how the rest of 2021 will pan out both at home in Australia and overseas for our international players.
100 Thieves reforms as Extremum, and the boys are back
Midway through January, we saw the end of speculation and reports about the ex-100 Thieves line-up who have now officially signed with Russian organisation, Extremum. The move comes as a relief to many fans, concerned with where some of our most beloved players would end up following the team’s short hiatus at the end of 2020.
There’s one big change in the line-up: Justin “Jks” Savage is out of the picture, leaving his former teammates for Complexity in October. While it was speculated that Jks could return for the Extremum project, Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand would fill his place instead.
- Read more: Ex-100 Thieves core joins Extremum
Jks hasn’t yet seen success in 2021. Despite Complexity’s strong 2020 results, they’re yet to win a series in the new year. Their roster has been plagued with stand-ins and instability.
Extremum will become another team for Australian fans to get behind. Currently ranked 27th in the world, their first official match is due to be played on February 2 at 1am AEDT, against Honoris in the Snow Sweet Snow 1 event.
Roster Moves: Alistair to Renegades rumors, Vexite to Order
Closer to home, there are many roster moves on the horizon for our domestic teams.
Order has been the first top squad to make signings this year, acquiring Declan “Vexite” Portelli from Chiefs, replacing Alistair “Alistair” Johnston. This move leaves the Chiefs with three players for the time being.
It remains speculated that Alistair will be headed to Renegades in place of Chris “Dexter” Nong, who is reportedly being approached for the IGL spot on Mousesports.
With the 2021 season yet to kick into gear in OCE, many teams are yet to finalise rosters that have been incomplete since the end of 2020, or otherwise have been impacted by the ESIC sanctions.
ESIC bans 35 Australian pros for betting offences
“Disruptive” doesn’t put how impactful the recent ESIC sanctions to hit Australia truly are. Following an investigation into betting and match-fixing, 35 additional players have been banned following the 7 who were banned in October last year.
With the news coming out so close to the start of our domestic leagues such as LPL and ESEA Premier, many of the teams have been left without their full roster.
- Read more: ESIC bans 35 more Australian CS:GO players
LPL has pushed their starting dates back for the time being while ESEA has gone ahead with the season, which has already resulted in forfeits and many games with a large number of substitutions.
Many players are seeking more information about their bans and are doing so through the formal channel and processes. It’s a developing situation, so there’s bound to be more in our February snapshot.
Tournament schedule in limbo after IEM Melbourne moves online
Outside of the leagues that typically run – LPL, MDL, and ANZ Champs – the Oceanic CS:GO tournament schedule remains pretty murky. Renegades have spots in the ESL Pro League Season 13 and IEM Katowice 2021 play in, but whether they are granted the chance to travel is still to be seen.
For now, it is unclear to what events will take place in OCE and whether we will be offered Australian variants of the same events occurring overseas as we saw from ESL and DreamHack throughout 2020.
We do know one thing though: IEM Melbourne will be moved online for 2021. Penned in on the ESL Pro Tour schedule, 16 teams were set to descend on Melbourne for a LAN at Rod Laver Arena in August. Details about how the online event will run aren’t yet public.
- Read more: IEM Melbourne 2021 moves online