ESL ANZ Champs Season 16: Grayhound reign supreme over Vertex, securing Pro League slot

ESL ANZ Champs S16, schedule, streams and more.

Grayhound has emerged champions of ESL ANZ Champs Season 16 over Vertex in dominating fashion, claiming a 3-1 grand final win and locking in a spot at Pro League Season 18. Despite recently returning from international events and playing with a stand-in, the ‘Hounds made quick work of their domestic rivals.

Grayhound didn’t miss a beat since returning home from their string of international travel for the BLAST Paris Major and IEM Dallas. Having qualified for the playoffs through Stage 1, Grayhound was absent in Stage 2 where opponent e-LEMON-ators awaited them in the semifinals.

Jayden “foggers” Graham and co. weren’t a match for the tenured Grayhound side, despite GH fielding stand-in Patrick “Falcon” Desousa. GH’s super sub got straight to work and finished the series against e-LEMON-ators with the most kills in the server.

On the other side of the playoffs bracket, Vertex met Rooster. Vertex has cemented themselves in the region as a top squad that on occasion can contest with GH, but otherwise is a gatekeeper for the teams below. Rooster on the other hand continues to improve and impress despite setbacks with roster instabilities.

Rooster’s season ended in the semifinals to Vertex after a 16-6 loss on Anubis and a nail-biting overtime loss on Nuke 19-15. Although disappointing for Rooster who turned their ANZ Champs season around in Stage 2, it was good news for Vertex who now had a crack at the Pro League spot on offer in the final.

With Grayhound and Vertex heading into the best-of-five final, Vertex would have their work cut out for them in order to get over GH who have benefited from their recent months overseas and the experience that comes with that.

In the finals, Grayhound was able to edge out the win, but not without a fight from Vertex. GH set the tone for the series and reminded Vertex that they are ‘Number 1’ in Australia with a 16-5 win on Vertigo.

Vertex replied on Inferno with the entire squad having a great showing to take the map 16-13 and tie up the best-of-five series at 1-1. With Anubis and Mirage up next, Grayhound edged out the series and prevented the final map Nuke, pocketing both maps 16-13.

With their third-straight ANZ Champs title under their belt, Grayhound books the sole qualification spot into ESL Pro League Season 18. For GH this will be another opportunity to build on the recent overseas results and again face up against the world’s best teams.

For Vertex and the other squads who missed out on the spot, there will be an Oceanic qualifier for Pro League after the player break in July.

ESL ANZ Champs Season 16 Schedule & Results

ESL ANZ Champs Season 16 featured two stages that were both double-elimination brackets, with all matches Bo3. In Stage 1, the top two squads advanced directly to playoffs and the remaining six teams proceeded to Stage 2.

Stage 2 introduced two more teams following a last-chance qualifier and once again, only the top two teams advanced from this stage to round out the playoff bracket.

ESL ANZ Champs Season 16 — Stage 1 Schedule & Results

MatchTeamsTime (AEST)
Opening Round
Monday, Mar 27Vertex 2-1 Sunday School5pm
Grayhound 2-0 Stirlz’s Angels9pm
Tuesday, Mar 28e-LEMON-ators 2-1 Rooster5pm
The Big Dogs 2-0 Encore8:40pm
Upper Bracket Semifinals
Wednesday, Mar 29Vertex 2-0 e-LEMON-ators5pm
Grayhound 2-0 The Big Dogs
Lower Bracket Round 1
Tuesday, Apr 11Sunday School 2-0 Rooster6pm
Stirlz’s Angels 0-2 Encore9:15pm
Lower Bracket Quarterfinal
Wednesday, Apr 12Encore 2-0 e-LEMON-ators6pm
The Big Dogs 2-0 Sunday School8:30pm
Upper Bracket Final
Thursday, Apr 13Vertex 0-2 Grayhound6pm
Lower Bracket Semifinal
Encore 2-0 The Big Dogs8:30pm
Lower Bracket Final
Friday, Apr 14Encore 0-2 Vertex6pm
Grand Final
Grayhound 2-1 Vertex8:50pm

ESL ANZ Champs Season 16 — Stage 2 Schedule & Results

MatchTeamsTime (AEST)
Opening Round
Monday, May 22Sunday School 2-0 DXA6pm
Mindfreak 0-2 e-LEMON-ators9:10pm
Tuesday, May 23Rooster 2-0 Stirlz’s Angels6pm
The Big Dogs 2-0 Antic8:10pm
Upper Bracket Semifinals
Wednesday, May 24Sunday School 2-0 e-LEMON-ators6pm
The Big Dogs 0-2 Rooster9pm
Lower Bracket Round 1
Thursday, May 25DXA 0-2 Mindfreak6pm
Antic 2-1 Stirlz Angels8:45pm
Lower Bracket Quarterfinal
Wednesday, June 7e-LEMON-ators 2-0 Antic6pm
The Big Dogs 2-1 Mindfreak8:30pm
Upper Bracket Final
Thursday, June 8Rooster 2-0 Sunday School6pm
Lower Bracket Semifinal
Thursday, June 8e-LEMON-ators 2-0 The Big Dogs8:45pm
Lower Bracket Final
Friday, June 9Sunday School 0-2 e-LEMON-ators6pm
Grand Final
Friday, June 9Rooster 2-1 e-LEMON-ators9pm

ESL ANZ Champs Season 16 — Playoffs Schedule & Results

MatchTeamsTime (AEST)
Saturday, June 10Grayhound 2-0 e-LEMON-ators5pm
Rooster 0-2 Vertex7:30pm
Grand Final
Sunday, June 11Grayhound 3-1 Vertex5pm

ESL ANZ Champs Season 16 Rosters

Three squads entered the tournament via the Last Chance Qualifier.

DXA, Mindfreak, and Antic were the three teams added to ANZ Champs for Stage 2, filling the two additional slots and replacing the slot left by Encore’s departure from the event following Stage 1.

Vertex and Grayhound remained unchanged in the event outside of Falcon subbing in for the playoffs.

Grayhound GamingSicoLiazzaliStairVexiteINS
Vertex Esports ClubBRACEADDICTpzHaZRmalta
The Big DogsSkulLOmichellaN1ghtraidforevintnauh
Sunday Schoolrekonzsuparversaguagnexar
Stirlz’s AngelsObZenDroxToMcallum_murraygump
DXA EsportsKiyoNeoAgricolabebestlucasRoflko
Antic EsportsNoisiaJamesjokesRaZkyson

Ash Whyte

Ash 'Shhlee' Whyte is all about Counter-Strike and its stories. While he did look at playing League of Legends at some point, he soon opted to specailise in CS after being told Shyvana top was apparently not 'viable' and that Bronze was not a 'good' rank.

Ash Whyte
Ash Whyte
Ash 'Shhlee' Whyte is all about Counter-Strike and its stories. While he did look at playing League of Legends at some point, he soon opted to specailise in CS after being told Shyvana top was apparently not 'viable' and that Bronze was not a 'good' rank.



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