Renegades finished their campaign of Dreamhack Masters: Las Vegas 0-2, exiting the competition directly from the groups. Given their Swedish stand-in, quality of opposition and relatively good performance, the result itself is not going to be the focus of their run. With atter’s stand-in performance, the talk of Renegades as of late has been about Australian integration.
Whether it be Renegades looking to take on international players, or international teams looking to take members of Renegades. Due to Australian players speaking English and being almost entirely westernised, the Australian scene will have more to offer the world as it continues to develop.
Perhaps the most detrimental attributes of the Australian scene are its relative isolation from the rest of the world, lack of funding to attend international events or qualifiers, and a drought of high-level, active in-game leaders.
The funding side of things has changed drastically in recent times, with a slew of investments being made by organisations, sponsors and tournament organisers into Aussie CS:GO. This investment hasn’t led to most players quitting their day jobs and going full-time, but it has seen the cropping up of more LANs and a level of professionalism increase in the scene as well.
Reducing the isolation between Australia and the rest of the world can only be solved through international boot camps/team houses or more LANs with Asian sides – something that is becoming more common in 2017. Opportunities for Australian sides to actually live overseas like Renegades or Winterfox are likely going to stay few and far between, but as more money flows and players continue to improve this could change very quickly.
The in-game leader scenario has unfortunately not changed a great deal. Since Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill’s departure, the list of top-level IGL’s has decreased down to about three in the entire scene. This spot of weakness especially hurts when you consider that the NA region is also near starved a solid leader’s, meaning that a truly great leader from Australia wouldn’t have a difficult time finding his way over to NA.
This situation becomes strange when you consider that if an outstanding leader were to develop in Australia, they’d almost immediately be snapped up by Renegades or Winterfox, as most rising talents are. In fact, the majority of Renegades line-up changes are just pick ups from the scenes perennial brides maids – Team Immunity. So, on this front the only real way for integration would be if an NA team actively sought to follow and develop leaders from the Australian scene – an unlikely scenario.
This means that only fraggers or AWPers will be able to find their way into international sides, and while due to the abundance of fraggers worldwide makes it more unlikely – with the right price tag and roster, anything is possible. Amidst people throwing around various names of Renegades players potentially joining NA sides, there are a few more that deserve attention.
Right now, the Australian scene is being taken over by the rifling prowess of erkaSt, a Mongolian-born and raised student, currently studying in Australia and playing for Immunity. Dropping 40+ kills on LAN and proving to be one of these heaviest hitters in the scene, erkaSt’s English improves by the day and could easily mirror his former Mongolian partner-in-crime machinegun who found his way onto Splyce last year.
AWPing wise, the scene has two explosive, flick dominated players in dizzylife from Legacy and Gratisfaction from Immunity. Both players boast an incredible array of shots and can take over entire halves if given the confidence and momentum. Notably rickeh, who left Renegades due to personal issues, is now a free agent and would be a great replacement for any NA team short of an AWPer. Teams like Counter Logic Gaming, or Selfless that don’t benefit from a dedicated AWPer with a high skill ceiling would benefit greatly from picking up any of these players.
The list of names that could attain internationally noticeable status is long and growing. Dark Sided is a young, upcoming roster with a group of players that with further development could be on top of the scene. Chiefs has a stacked roster that works well under the system of Lightstep, and Tainted Minds flaunt some of the most volatile and flashy players in the scene.
While their stature on an international scale mightn’t be big, the dormancy of greatness is currently the setting in which the scene currently exists, and if organisations across the ocean want to get in on the ground level, now is the time to do it.