With a swift 3-0 (1-0, 16-12, 16-6) against Rooster, Grayhound have secured back-to-back season wins at ESL ANZ Champs Season 15, and have stamped their tickets to Malta for the ESL Pro League Conference next year.
But the Rooster squad were far from perturbed at the grand final loss, for their victory over Vertex on Saturday meant they’ll be joining the ‘Hounds at the Conference.
The EPL Conference will be the squad’s first overseas opportunity, and it comes just a month following the expiration of Corey “nettik” Browne and Akram “ADK” Smida’s ESIC bans.
Rooster’s qualification means Oceania will have sent four teams overseas in the past twelve months, with Grayhound, Encore and Vertex all getting an opportunity to compete internationally in 2022.
Nettik was a key component of Rooster’s rise through this season of Champs, finishing with a 1.14 rating and picking up right where he left off before his ban in 2021.
“It’s wonderful — this is what we’ve been waiting for all season,” said Tynan “TjP” Purnell following the squad’s win over Vertex and subsequent Conference qualification on Saturday.
“It hasn’t been clicking for us too well this year, but everything fell into place today and we steamrolled them.”
“It feels amazing to be back. Thanks to Rooster for bringing me back, it’s great to be with the fellas, and Chel’s [Chelleos] is the GOAT,” said ADK.
“For Malta it’ll be more practicing, more scrims, making sure we f****n’ know what we’re doing and staying locked in during the off-season.”
Michael “chelleos” Hawkins topped the sniper charts for the season as the squad were forced through the lower bracket on their way to the grand final, taking out top squads Encore and Vertex 2-0 back-to-back.
Grayhound proved a step too far for the Chooks, with the eventual champions tying up 2022 with a Season 15 trophy — matching that of their Season 14 win earlier this year.
“I think we always had a good read on Rooster. For us it feels all these teams are pretty level,” said Alistair “aliStair” Johnston following the grand final win.
“It’s a tight race for second.”
“To be honest for this game, once we actually got the Conference spot locked, there wasn’t much in the way of anti-stratting or homework we were worried about,” said GH coach David “Kingfisher” Kingsford.
“It’s more about making sure we’re all in the right mental space, but otherwise there wasn’t too much to this one.”
Joshua “INS” Potter continues to rampage over the Oceanic field with yet another dominant performance season-wide; he finished the season with a 1.47 rating, and pummelled Rooster in the 3-0 grand final (50-31, 1.61 rating).
Outside of the BLAST Fortress OCE Masters final, Grayhound were unstoppable in 2022 domestically, and like Rooster will be keen to begin 2023 strongly with the Conference in Malta.
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 Schedule & Results
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 began with a sixteen-team Swiss bracket — win three games and they’re through to the playoffs, lose three games and they’re out.
The top eight moved to stage two’s double-elimination bracket, with the two finalists heading to the EPL Conference next year.
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 — Playoffs Schedule & Results
|Wednesday, Nov 30||Rooster 2-0 Antic||5pm|
|Encore 2-0 ex-DGG|
|Grayhound 2-0 Gods Work||7:30pm|
|Vertex 2-0 Nut-E Gaming|
|Upper Bracket Semi-Finals|
|Thursday, Dec 1||Grayhound 2-1 Encore||5pm|
|Rooster 0-2 Vertex||7:30pm|
|Lower Bracket Round 1|
|Thursday, Dec 1||Gods Work 0-2 ex-DGG||5pm|
|Antic 2-0 Nut-E Gaming||7:30pm|
|Lower Bracket Semi-Finals|
|Friday, Dec 2||Rooster 2-0 ex-DGG||5pm|
|Encore 2-0 Antic|
|Upper Bracket Final|
|Friday, Dec 2||Grayhound 2-0 Vertex||7:30pm|
|Lower Bracket Semi-Final|
|Saturday, Dec 3||Rooster 2-0 Encore||5pm|
|Lower Bracket Final|
|Saturday, Dec 3||Vertex 0-2 Rooster||7:30pm|
|Sunday, Dec 4||Grayhound 3-0 Rooster||5pm|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 — Stage One: Swiss
|3||Encore Esports Club||3-1|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 — Round 1 Results
|Monday, Sep 12||Rooster 2-0 Warriors||6pm|
|ex-DGG 2-0 Arena||8:30pm|
|Tuesday, Sep 13||Encore 2-0 Gods Work||6pm|
|Antic 2-0 Frontier||8:30pm|
|Wednesday, Sep 14||Vertex 2-0 RKON||6pm|
|Elemental 0-2 Dynasty||8:30pm|
|Thursday, Sep 15||Grayhound 2-0 Grinders||6pm|
|Yellow 0-2 Nut-E Gaming||8:30pm|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 — Round 2 Results
|Tuesday, Sep 20||Grayhound 2-0 Encore||6pm|
|Yellow FF-W Arena Esports||8:30pm|
|Thursday, Sep 22||ex-DGG 2-1 Nut-E Gaming||6pm|
|||Antic 1-2 Vertex||8:30pm|
|Monday, Sep 26||Kraken 2-0 Frontier||6pm|
|||Elemental 1-2 Warriors||8:30pm|
|Thursday, Sep 29||Gods Work 2-1 Meat Grinders||6pm|
|||Rooster 2-0 Dynasty||8:30pm|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 — Round 3 Results
|Wednesday, Oct 12||Rooster 0-2 Vertex||5pm|
|Grayhound 2-0 ex-DGG Esports||7:30pm|
|Thursday, Oct 13||Nut-E Gaming 0-2 Gods Work||5pm|
|||Meat Grinders 1-2 Frontier||7:30pm|
|Monday, Oct 17||Encore 2-0 Kraken||5pm|
|||Elemental 1-2 Yellow||7:30pm|
|Tuesday, Oct 18||Antic 2-0 Warriors||5pm|
|||Dynasty 2-1 Arena||7:30pm|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 — Round 4 Results
|Wednesday, Nov 16||Rooster 2-0 Gods Work||5pm|
|ex-DGG 2-0 Dynasty||7:30pm|
|Thursday, Nov 17||Arena 0-2 Frontier||5pm|
|Antic 0-2 Encore||7:30pm|
|Monday, Nov 21||Kraken 0-2 Yellow||5pm|
|Nut-E Gaming 2-0 Warriors||7:30pm|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 — Round 5 Results
|Monday, Nov 23||Antic 2-1 Yellow||5pm|
|Gods Work 2-0 Frontier||8:30pm|
|Tuesday, Nov 24||Dynasty 1-2 Nut-E Gaming||5pm|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 Rosters
As reported, teams across the region have made sweeping changes ahead of this season of ESL ANZ Champs.
Grayhound finally return with their full squad, and will be at maximum firepower with Vexite ready to go. Vertex are yet to announce their official fifth.
Notable absentees from last season include Matthew “Valiance” Hartrick (Order) and Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland (Aftershock), with Valiance stepping away from competing for the interim.
8Ballers and Overt, both finalists from Season 14, have broken apart and reformed across multiple squads including Nut-E Gaming and Warriors.
UPDATE 04/11: DGG Esports has parted ways with the roster, including coach KETUBOR.
|Vertex Esports Club||pz||BRACE||malta||ADDICT||Forleks|
|Dynasty Esports Club||Poccket||Coxy||Rhyu||AWorks||TRIPLUS|
|Encore Esports Club||HaZR||sterling||Hatz||Liki||ap0c|
|Nut-E Gaming||Velocity||Mega2F||supar||Mr Shark||cl0ver|
|Kraken Esports Club||GYPSY||dcey||nub||tisoyy||rainstylezgk|
ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 Preview (September 12)
ESL ANZ Champs is back.
Season 15 of ESL ANZ Champs will kick off this evening, with Oceania’s top flight welcoming back champions of old and the prodigies of tomorrow in a battle for the title of OCE’s best.
Season 14 winners Renegades return this time under Grayhound Gaming following their departure from RNG and Order in 2022, and with exciting prospect Declan “Vexite” Portelli beginning to warm into the squad, the ‘Hounds enter as favourites to go back-to-back.
That’s not to say they’re without challenge, however.
Fellow ESL Challenger Melbourne reps Vertex will be out for the crown, and while they remain without an official fifth, super sub Marvin “Forleks” Tran has proven himself capable following the Wolfpack’s qualification for Fortress OCE Masters this weekend.
Also entering as contenders for ESL ANZ Champs Season 15 will be Encore, with the squad’s acquisitions of Aaron “AZR” Ward and Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai starting to get to grips with their return to competitive CS:GO.
Rooster, who also qualified for Fortress OCE Masters last week, are back and will be out to take major scalps as they seek their first international opportunity.
Antic & DGG Esports make returns to Champs this season, as well as Warriors Esports–the esports division of the New Zealand Warriors NRL franchise–who are back after a season’s hiatus.
All sixteen teams will be hunting for that top two playoff finish, with the grand finalists both earning a spot at Season 17’s ESL Pro League Conference.