So close but so far!
The Renegades CS:GO squad fell agonizingly short of a trophy on debut in their first international LAN of 2020, falling to hometown heroes BIG 2-0 (16-5, 16-12). To say the debut of Jordan ‘Hatz’ Bajic (-8 K/Diff, 0.97 rating, 1 ace, 6 clutches [1st at event]) was a success is an understatement, with the young Aussie sliding right into the lineup.
But it was all about captain Christohper ‘dexter’ Nong (+18 K/Diff, 36 opening kills [1st at event], 1.18 rating) - he took to the Leipzig stage with a fury, finding sharp opening kills and perfect timings to slide between his opponents on both offense and defence. Ever consistent, dexter found his peak for the event in the semi-final against Danish side MAD Lions, netting a huge 1.72 rating as the boys marched towards the trophy.
Defeating Cloud9 in both their opening best-of-one and decider best-of-three matches, the boys took on a red-hot MAD Lions in the first semi-final. It took a monstrous performance from in-game leader dexter (28-21, 120ADR, 1.57 rating) to recover a 2-7 deficit on the T side to trail by one at the half-time break.
A pistol round retake win had scores tied but the Danes forced back and followed up with three to lead 11-8 before Simon ‘Sico’ Williams (24-14, 17 AWP kills, 1.43 rating) clutched out twice to tie it up and RNG capitalised - dexter held strong at B to close out the comeback 16-11.
The boys started well on MAD Lions’ Train pick leading 4-0 but Danish IGL HUNDEN and AWPer acoR kicked into gear, stringing together seven rounds with RNG needing to scramble to keep it close at 7-8. Joshua ‘INS’ Potter (21-17, 84ADR, 1.13 rating) & Hatz (21-23, 88ADR, 0.99 rating) kept up on the T half but the Danes would be too good on Train taking the second map 16-11, forcing Nuke.
And what a show Nuke would be - dexter (23-11, 119ADR, 1.72 rating) was a menace from A lobby to B ramp, flanking and entrying for Renegades as the boys piled on the rounds. 2-2 became 6-2, then 12-2 as dexter could not be faulted on the way to a demolition derby of a map - RNG claiming the map and series 16-6, 2-1 to book a finals spot.
Unfortunately it wasn't to be against the hometown favourites of BIG, who themselves were featuring a new lineup in their first main event of the calendar year. A 4-1 start to the boys was quickly turned on its head, and RNG struggled to keep with the tempo the German squad was putting out.
A 5-16 loss on Mirage was quickly followed by a 4-11 deficit on Dust2, but the boys weren't going down without a fight. Finding 7 rounds in a row, RNG looked to make the impossible happen tying up the scoreline but BIG fought back and broke twice, ultimately claiming the map and series 16-12, 2-0.
RNG will return to Europe in late February for the all-important IEM Katowice World Championships in what has been a blistering start to 2020. Keep up to date with news, photos, interviews and more with Renegades on Twitter.
Written by Nicholas ‘Taffy’ Taifalos
Photo courtesy of DreamHack