Following the closed qualifier’s completion on Sunday, four teams have been locked in for the Fortress OCE Masters main event next weekend. Grayhound, Rooster, Encore & Vertex will battle it out in the Fortress Alienware Arena for Oceania’s first qualifier spot at a BLAST tournament.
Rumours of a BLAST qualifier for OCE were circulating as early as 2021, but next week will see one of the four attendees earn the right to represent the region at the BLAST Fall Showdown in October.
Vertex and Encore closed out the qualifiers yesterday, emerging ahead of Antic and CAMO in Group B.
Vertex were most impressive, holding Encore to a single CT round in a 16-10 comeback on Vertigo — all with an emergency stand-in in Marvin “Forleks” Tran (21-15, 1.25 rating).
The Wolfpack were still buzzing from their hometown stage appearance at ESL Challenger Melbourne, and with the wins over CAMO and Encore, Vertex will be pushing hard for a second international opportunity inside of 2022.
Encore would eventually join the Wolfpack in the finals bracket, downing the other wolf-based squad in Antic 16-12 behind Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai (24-18, 1.28 rating).
Saturday saw Grayhound Gaming and Rooster through first to next weekend’s finals bracket, overcoming a spritely DGG Esports and Team yellow in Group A.
Grayhound will be looking to rebound after a group stage exit at DreamHack Melbourne last fortnight and wasted no time in qualifying for the Fortress event, conceding just six rounds in their two wins over yellow (16-3) and DGG (16-3).
DGG went close twice against Rooster, with all thirty rounds and a Hugh “HUGHMUNGUS” Anderson (29-20, 1.45 rating) clinic needed to force the Chooks into the loser match.
Rooster would get the last laugh, however; a 16-7 win over yellow was followed by a 16-13 victory over DGG in the decider. Rooster’s Sharvesh “dangeR” Saravanan (33-20, 1.51 rating) plus a 12-3 CT Mirage half proved the difference-maker, even through a DGG comeback attempt on their own CT half.
The BLAST Showdown sees teams who fell in the group stage in August take on challengers from across the globe, with the top two nabbing $20,000 USD and further progression in the BLAST event calendar.
From the Showdown, the two winners will join the likes of Natus Vincere, FaZe Clan and G2 Esports at the Fall Finals to play for a whopping $200,000 USD winners purse.
It all begins this weekend at the Alienware Arena at Fortress Melbourne, October 17-18. Tickets for the event are on sale now.