Renegades have claimed their fourth title of 2021 with a 3-1 win over LookingForOrg at DreamHack Open 46 Oceania, taking home a cool $16,000 USD and, crucially, an invitation to ESL’s newly-restructured EPL Season 15 Conference.
The win extends their regional championship streak to 13, dating back to 2020’s ESL One: Road to Rio qualifier, but it wasn’t a clean ride we’ve come to expect from Renegades.
They were pushed to the absolute limit by a LookingForOrg (ex-Dire Wolves) roster, who, until the grand final, had won 28 of their past 29 maps in the region.
LFO entered the grand final with the map advantage after a gruelling 2-1 (16-6, 7-16, 16-12) win over RNG in the upper bracket.
Renegades got out to a solid start on the T side of Mirage, locking in the half up 8-2, but LFO bit back through a Jared “HaZR” O’Bree special (26-20, 102 ADR, 1.50 HLTV rating) to go five straight.
LFO opened the second half with another five rounds in a row, but RNG corrected and despite multiple site executes, the eventual champions held strong in the retake to win 16-13.
Dust 2 and LFO’s pick, but RNG came out of the gates strong once again, posting an 11-4 half on T through Liam “malta” Schembri (28-15, 88 ADR, 1.39 HLTV rating).
LFO would not go quietly on one of their strongest maps, returning fire in the second half and eventually tying the game at 14-14, but a successful 4v4 retake from Renegades broke the T economy enough for RNG to double up in the final round of regulation to win 16-14.
LFO would need to win RNG’s pick of Nuke to force a fifth, and began strongly on CT, leading 7-2. But RNG changed up and built an unbreakable economy though numerous rounds with 4+ players alive, while LFO were forced onto save after save.
Four rounds in a row on T threatened a comeback but RNG adjusted again, led by Jordan “Hatz” Bajic (24-18, 71 ADR, 1.26 HLTV rating), and this time they wouldn’t be stopped as they completed the grand final sweep 16-12.
LookingForOrg’s HaZR (1.25 HLTV rating, +30 K/Diff) dominated the stat sheets and continues to build upon an astonishing 2021 portfolio, while it was Renegades’ dynamic duo of Joshua “INS” Potter and Alistair “aliStair” Johnston who led the way for the champions.
Paradox’s new line-up were forced to forfeit their opening match against Renegades but Sharvesh “dangeR” Saravanan and Daniel “DannyG” Giusa were both sublime in the narrow 1-2 (9-16, 16-13, 9-16) loss to Order in the lower bracket.
It was a disappointing result for Order, who finished the playoff bracket with a 2-5 map record, dropping 0-2 to both LookingForOrg and Renegades.
Declan “vexite” Portelli (1.14 HLTV rating, +12 K/Diff) was the standout performer for the third placed squad, while Matthew “Valiance” Hartrick (0.94 HLTV rating, -22 K/Diff) had his insane streak of 1.40+ rated events end with the loss to RNG.
The win here means Renegades qualify for the ESL Pro League Conference — the new gateway into ESL’s premier tournament circuit. The Conference is currently set for late November.
All focus now switches to IEM Fall, starting this Wednesday, September 29. Mathematically, should Renegades qualify for the grand final, their RMR points lead will be insurmountable and their spot will be secured at the Stockholm Major next month.