Throwing the Oceanic CS:GO scene into chaos, Vertex have upset Grayhound in the most dramatic of circumstances to win Fortress OCE Masters 2-1 (11-16, 16-5, 16-14). The reverse sweep means the Wolfpack snatch away the spot at BLAST Showdown later this year.
Grayhound were at their clinical best on Vertex’s pick of Dust 2, sprinting out to a seven round lead and building a huge CT economy.
The ’Hounds would finish with twelve on defence, and while the Wolfpack resistance gained a little traction, the Alistair ”aliStair” Johnston (26-13, 1.80 rating) and Simon ”Sico” Williams (26-11, 1.49 rating) combination proved too strong.
Vertex would need something special on Mirage to stay in the series, and boy did they pull something magical out of the hat.
A massive 14-1 CT half from Vertex—led chiefly by Jordan “pz” White (29-10, 2.05 rating)—was exactly what was needed, with the ’Hounds succumbing to defeat 16-5.
Vertex were perfect as a team on Mirage, and it would take an equally huge effort to put Grayhound away on Nuke—and they kicked off Nuke well with three straight.
GH bit back with a full eco win, but Vertex were confident as ever and won a full Glock round immediately following the lost anti-eco.
Vertex would finish with seven T rounds, a solid platform from which the Wolfpack could build an upset.
And an upset was on the cards with a CT lockout to open the second half. Vertex went 6-1 to begin their Nuke defence.
Liam “Malta” Schembri kept the Vertex train going with a 30-bomb and at 14-10, the unthinkable was on the cards.
But Grayhound have proven time and time again that they are difficult to put down, and through a measured T side recovery tied it up at 14-14.
But leave it to pz, who picked up the saved AWP from Toby ”BRACE” Barnes to ace GH in the most critical of moments, with the Wolfpack holding on to win 16-14 and the series 2-1.
It was Vertex’s first ever victory against the Grayhound core, and with it, they’ll represent Oceania at the BLAST Showdown overseas in October.
Fortress OCE Masters Results
Fortress OCE Masters — Schedule & Results
|Saturday, Sep 17|
|Semi-Final 1||Grayhound 2-0 Encore||4:30pm|
|Semi-Final 2||Vertex 2-0 Rooster||8pm|
|Sunday, Sep 18|
|Grand Final||Grayhound 1-2 Vertex||6:15pm|
Fortress OCE Masters squads
Grayhound welcomed back Declan “Vexite” Portelli, who had to sit out ESL Challenger Melbourne at DreamHack last fortnight due to roster lock rules.
Encore’s veteran duo of Aaron “AZR” Ward and Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai made their long-awaited return to offline OCE action, while the bulk of the Rooster squad made their LAN debut in the Alienware Arena.
Vertex are yet to announce their official fifth, with Marvin “Forleks” Tran standing in for the squad once more.
|Encore Esports Club||HaZR||sterling||SaVage||AZR||Gratisfaction|
|Vertex Esports Club||pz||BRACE||malta||ADDICT||Forleks|
Fortress OCE Masters Preview (September 17)
OCE’s top squads are back on LAN for the first time since COVID lockdown as our best and brightest hit the Alienware Arena at Fortress for the Fortress OCE Masters.
Grayhound Gaming is OCE’s top dog and, with Declan “Vexite” Portelli back in action, are clear favourites to take out the event and the international opportunity it comes with; a single slot at the BLAST Fall Showdown.
Against the likes of Vitality, Astralis and Heroic, our Aussie reps will shoot for the starts — a top two finish in October will see qualification to the Fall Finals and a shot at $200,000 USD.
In Grayhound’s way — arguably the next-best three in the region in Vertex, Encore and Rooster, who will be out to grasp at their chance to take on the best overseas.
Vertex will be looking to build upon their stage appearance at DreamHack as they push for their second international gig this year.
Should Encore make it out of the single-elimination bracket, it’ll be another stamp in their rapidly filling passports, as well as Aaron “AZR” Ward and Sean “Gratisfacton” Kaiwai’s return to the international stage.
Rooster’s qualification would mean Oceania will send a record fifth international squad overseas after Grayhound, Encore, Vertex and Mindfreak.