Yesterday’s ESL Australia & New Zealand Championship semifinal between Chiefs and Rooster was a suppoesd to be a typical a best-of-three. And while the match ended 2-0, the teams ended up playing way more Counter-Strike than anyone expected.
After defeating Rooster on its own map pick, fellow Australian team Chiefs moved the series to Mirage. The Chiefs were slightly behind at halftime, trailing Rooster by an 8-7 scoreline.
After a grabbing seven out of eight round following the swap to take a marked lead, the Chiefs roster gave up six rounds in a row, just enough to put Rooster on the cusp of a win after coming back from the 14-9 deficit.
Rooster found a weakness, however, and put up six straight rounds of their own that should’ve been enough to pressure an opponent into giving up that precious final round.
Chiefs had other plans. Chiefs made an incredibly aggressive play in round 30, sending two underpass for an early trade. A quick noscope flick by Hugh “stat” Anderson won Chief’s the 30th round and sent Mirage into overtime.
The first overtime of many, as it would turn out.
The teams launched themselves into what turned into the third-longest game of Counter-Strike in history at eight overtimes. Each roster was clearly determined to put the other away and progress to the tournament’s lower bracket final. There was no prize money on the line, only a spot at the ESL Australia & New Zealand Season 10 Championship Finals, which is a prize in and of itself.
As part of the ESL Pro Tour’s Challenger Series, the LAN finals come with a modest purse of $5,216 going to the first-place team. What teams are really fighting over is the automatic qualification to a DreamHack Open LAN event. Before Chiefs or Roosters could get to the LAN, though, they had to get through one another.
After 30 rounds of regulation Counter-Strike, Chiefs and Roosters would go on to effectively play another full match on Mirage. Even after 60 rounds of CSGO, the teams played a further 18 until the match reached its final end. In a one versus two, Roosters’ Akram “ADK” Smida failed to peek before Chris “Jinxx” Moseley’s defuse came through, ending the game after a total of 78 rounds.
The 78-round marathon is good for the third-longest pro game of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ever played, only one round short of the number two spot held by Pixelfire and DenDD. Last night’s slog, which nearly lasted four hours, is still ten rounds short of the longest CSGO game of all time.
That honor is held by XENEX and exceL during the ESL UK Premiership Season 1. The teams played out 88 rounds of British CS before XENEX took the win.