After they were forced through the lower bracket gauntlet, Platinum Blondes ran it all the way back — but fell at the very end to John Industries 0-2 (3-16, 11-16) at Clash of Rivals Spring, hosted by EsportsOps at Fortress Melbourne.
It was the second Melbourne-based event for 2022 from organiser Andrew “Wander” Caughey and the EsportsOps crew, with Clash of Rivals Summer debuting in February.
Joining him in production was DFrag’s Daniel “mavrick” Lang and Snowball’s very own Josh “Swifty” Swift, both of whom were present last weekend at BrisVegas Spring.
Like BrisVegas, Wander’s Clash of Rivals series was brought to life in part thanks to esports bookmaking company Rivalry and their investment into the Oceanic grassroots scene through local operators like DFrag and Wander.
This iteration featured a wide range of playing talent, from amateurs itching to play their first offline tournament right up to the likes of ‘Hounds Josh “INS” Potter and Alistair “aliStair” Johnston.
Despite the occasional hiccup, the event was a major success, with growth evident across the board–from product improvements to a major upgrade in production and venue, with Fortress’ Alienware Arena playing host to the final day.
John Industries exited the round-robin group stage undefeated, including a 16-0 win over cellar dwellers Cry is Free, with Levendi, Yeet or be Yoten and Meat Grinders joining ‘the Johns’ in the playoff stage.
With a format change necessary due to a late withdrawal, gamers innit and Platinum Blonde both received direct qualification to the playoff bracket and skipped the round robin group.
But while gamers innit dispatched of Levendi with ease, Platinum Blonde fell to John Industries 16-14 on Mirage, and had to make the long slog through day two’s best-of-threes to make the big dance.
That’s exactly what they did, though; taking down the Greeks 2-0 (16-11, 16-10) and gamers innit 2-1 (16-14, 7-16, 16-4), Toby “BRACE” Barnes’ men booked the rematch against John Industries in the final.
With BrisVegas runner-ups Jayden “foggers” Graham and Hugh “HUGHMUNGUS” Anderson backing up from last week–but on different teams–the stage was set for a full finals series.
John Industries had other ideas, wiping out Platinum Blonde 16-3 and stealing away Blonde’s pick of Vertigo behind an impeccable performance from James “Roflko” Lytras (21-13, 1.69 rating).
Roflko wasn’t done with his former Vertex teammates just yet; the free agent dropped another 28 kills against Platinum Blonde on Inferno, and try as they might, the lower bracket heroes couldn’t complete the run in the grand final.
Roflko combined with Jordan “Hatz” Bajic (19-15, 1.13 rating) to put away the grand final 16-11 and secure Jayden “foggers” Graham (14-21, 0.87 rating) a national title…somehow…
Clash of Rivals Spring concludes back-to-back weeks of grassroots Counter-Strike in Oceania, with an action packed month following DreamHack wrapping up next weekend at PAX Aus in Melbourne.
PAX will play host to the Rio Major APAC RMR, with OCE hopes Grayhound Gaming amongst the four competitors vying to represent the Asia-Pacific region in Brazil at the pinnacle CS:GO event.
BrisVegas will make a return for it’s fourth and final event of 2022 in December.