LookingForOrg have completed the lower bracket run at Season 39 of ESEA Premier, reverse-sweeping Order 3-2 in the final to claim their sixth title for 2021.
LFO will now add ESL Pro League Season 16’s Conference to their 2022 travel plans, pairing with their upcoming appearance at EPL Season 15 in March.
Order entered the nail biter grand final with the map advantage after a flawless run throughout the season, dropping just one map in the group stage due to international duties.
Their form held through playoffs, dispatching of 8Ballers (16-0, 16-4), but taking their time against a revamped Paradox (16-8, 19-16) and a resilient Vertex (22-19, 19-17).
It was a different story for LFO, who found themselves down in the lower bracket early after a shock 1-2 (16-7, 8-16, 14-16) loss to Vertex.
Tom “apocdud” Henry (62-54, 92 ADR, 1.24 HLTV rating) led the server for the Wolfpack as they knocked the Season 38 champs into the elimination bracket.
There, LFO bounced back, downing Paradox 2-1 (16-9, 13-16, 16-4) to set up a qualifying final rematch against Vertex following their loss to Order.
Jared “HaZR” O’Bree (33-25, 98 ADR, 1.42 HLTV rating) led LFO to the opener win in an overtime thriller on Vertigo, before the Wolfpack hit back on Inferno thanks to a solid 9-3 T half.
LFO would eventually overcome Vertex on Overpass 16-11, with Mike “ap0c” Aliferis, Benson “Liki” Niuila & Euan “sterling” Moore combining for 67 kills in the final map.
Order were wasting no time in the grand final, with Matthew “Valiance” Hartrick leading the Melbourne-based squad to a 14-5 lead.
“Everyone did so well to reset after those tough losses. What a feeling, props to [Order] — they played so well.”Jared “HaZR” O’Bree, LookingForOrg
LFO ran it back, aiming to tie the series early with nine straight rounds, but Order broke through at the death to reset LFO’s economy and claim Overpass 16-14.
Order, now up 2-0 in the best-of-five, looked to end the evening early on Dust 2. Seven straight T side rounds had them well ahead, but LFO closed out the CT half with three rounds, then got to work on offence.
A 9-2 half featuring six bomb plants and a stellar effort from James “Savage” Savage ultimately kept LFO in the series, forcing Nuke.
Again, Order leapt out of the blocks; the squad put on a CT clinic to lead 11-4 at the half, with both Valiance and Karlo “USTILO” Pivac managing 17 kills each.
But the reigning Premier champions weren’t laying down the Conference spot.
4-11 became 8-13, then 11-14 before sterling & ap0c put the finishing touches on a massive comeback; running out eventual winners 16-14, ending the map with five straight rounds including three successful retakes.
LFO had finally warmed to the grand final, beginning strongly on Vertigo 9-6, before Order began a recovery of their own.
But LFO adjusted; Order struggled to win the anti-eco, which forced a re-buy that LFO latched straight onto to immediately reset Order at 13-11.
The sidearms proved Order’s downfall — LFO’s pistols were brought back out at 15-13, with HaZR’s P250 finding three kills to complete the reverse sweep and take out the Premier championship.
The result spells the end of ESEA Premier as we know it in the region, with ESL ANZ Champs merging and expanding to a three-tiered system in 2022.
With the win here, LookingForOrg will feature at Season 16 of the ESL Pro League Conference in Jönköping, but not before their international debut at Season 15’s main group stage in early March.
For Order, it’s a brutal end to their 2021 campaign. The organisation took home just two trophies at ESEA Premier S36 and ESL ANZ Champs S12 in what was an amazing start to the calendar year.
Their most recent victory at the DreamHack Anaheim OCE qualifier was soured by the announcement that the live event would be cancelled and the ESL Challenger tournament postponed.