In a game dominated by Europeans, there was one team from the other side of the world hoping to make some noise in the Counter-Strike scene.
The Australian Renegades failed to impress at ESL One Katowice earlier this year, but prior to ESL One Cologne, a few of the game’s top players had been tipping them as a dark horse.
Unfortunately, Renegades failed to live up to their expectations, crashing out in the group stages of the tournament.
“The opponents were really difficult and we definitely didn’t play as well as we should have,” said Renegades captain Chad “Spunj” Burchill, whose team faced a tough test in Team SoloMid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Titan. “Early on we showed some signs of life against TSM and if we continued our 5-0 streak and got up to maybe 7 or 8 rounds on our T side, we would have definitely won that game.”
Despite the difficult route his team faced, Burchill doesn’t make any excuses for their failure to make it out of the group stage. “The NiP game, I just don’t know, Inferno seems to be our kryptonite in majors,” he said. “But there’s no excuses about the teams being too hard. If you want to be the best in the world, you have to beat the best in the world. We’re going to put in a lot more work in the next few months.”
In June, Burchill and his squad swapped from their old organization, Vox Eminor, to join up with new sponsor Renegades. The squad had always been vocal about their wishes to bootcamp abroad, with Burchill himself stating back in May that the team would love to try their hand in Europe. Instead, thanks to Renegades, the team will be heading to the U.S., with hopes of playing in the ESL ESEA Pro League.
“Regardless of if we get into the pro league or not, we will be going to NA,” Burchill said. We’ll be there for a period of time towards the end of this year and I think that will help improve our team synergy and help us practice on a much more professional level. The pro league thing is still up in the air. We’re still waiting to hear back from them; there’s quite a few issues which I’ve been lead to believe we’ll find out about soon, but they’re going to let us know if it’s possible.”
The move to the U.S. is not the only change for the team. With the new backing from Renegades, Burchill said he and his players can now spend more time focusing on the game, rather than other obligations.
“The idea was to transition from our actual jobs into playing full time by the time we moved to NA,” he said. “But because we’ve been traveling so much for, like, ESWC, Gamescom, ESL One qualifiers, and now the main event, we haven’t really had a chance to work.”
Despite the benefits of being able to focus on the game more, Burchill says he doesn’t mind working when he’s not on the road: “If I had been at home I probably would have done a little bit of work with the old man and gone and dug some holes and other fun stuff, but I haven’t actually had the chance to do that, so I’m pretty much full-time Counter-Strike now, still with the big issue of traveling so much but hopefully moving to the States will solve all of that.”
The U.S. isn’t the only thing in Burchill’s sights, though. The Renegades captain says there is still work to be done before the move, possibly starting off with more trips to Europe.
“We have been invited to go to DreamHack London, which will be very exciting if we can get there, which we should be able to,” Burchill said. “There are a few more events later in the year, like ESWC and stuff that we’d like to go to, but we’re not sure yet. We haven’t really talked about the future yet, though. Now that we’re out of the major we’re just going to take some time to relax before we get into that.”
Renegades may be out of ESL One, but the major still rolls on in Cologne. With the quarter final matchups taking place today and the event coming to a close on Sunday, Burchill and his side will head home with a mere $2,000 of the $250,000 prize pool. With one more major this year, they will be looking for a bigger slice of the pie next time around.
Photo via TeamRNG/Facebook