Steven R. February 22, 2019
The Cinderella story of Renegades is continuing on.
Opening day three of the Katowice Major’s Legends Stage, the Australian team secured a spot in the top eight with a dramatic win over Vitality. The victory represents the best performance in a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major by an Australian squad, and a major milestone for both the region and the organization.
The series opened on Dust 2 with a dominant showing from Renegades. Tearing up the French side with a powerful offensive half, the team fought off Cédric "RpK" Guipouy’s occasional heroics and forced its way to a 16-5 opening point.
It was a generally poor showing from Vitality, but the team showed that it remains a force on Cache. Despite a rocky first half, Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt took the reins and made the plays necessary to bring Vitality back from the brink, captaining the team to a 16-9 win that evened the series score.
The deciding game on Inferno was a competitive one, with each player on the server holding their angles and making shots. The key difference is that while everyone on Vitality looked solid, Renegades had four of its players contribute evenly while Australian Justin "jks" Savage went wild, notching 10 multi-kill rounds and 31 frags to carve Renegades’ path to a 16-12 win that secured the series.
By defeating Vitality, Renegades advanced its Legends Stage record to 3-1 and secured a spot in the Champions Stage playoff, joining Team Liquid and Astralis. Despite entering as underdogs, “the boys” have become the breakout stars of the major, dominating the Challengers Stage and taking out formidable Legends Stage competition in ENCE and FaZe Clan.
In addition to moving closer to the grand finals in Katowice, the guaranteed top-eight placement has long-term ramifications for the squad. Instead of having to work its way through a competitive Asia Minor, Renegades is now guaranteed a Legends Stage spot in September’s Berlin Major.
Though the team has plenty of work ahead of it in Poland, it is positioned for major success for the first time in its history.