ESL Pro League Season 7 - Week 7 Recap: Are You Ready, Dallas?!
L vs. Rogue (11-16) [0 pts]
W vs. Rogue (16-6) [3 pts]
W vs. Team Dignitas (16-10) [3 pts]
W vs. Team Dignitas (16-12) [3 pts]
L vs. SK Gaming (15-19) [1 pt]
L vs. SK Gaming (3-16) [0 pts]
Renegades’ Season Record: 13-9 (5th) [40 pts]
Renegades have qualified for ESL Pro League Finals in Dallas!
That’s right - for the first time in four seasons the Renegades CS:GO team have avoided Asian Minor clashes and subpar online efforts to secure their first ESL Pro League finals berth!
Finishing in 5th position, the Renegades will join North American sides Liquid, NRG, OpTic, C9 and SK Gaming at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas, Texas for a shot at $250,000. For the first time, the Pro League finals will feature teams from the APAC (MVP PK, Grayhound Gaming) and South America (TBD) regions, joining the listed 6 from NA as well as the top 6 from the European division (Mousesports, NiP, NaVi, FaZe, Space Soldiers and Astralis).
Justin “jks” Savage dominated the stats for RNG over the course of the season, finishing with an average rating of 1.18 (+78K/D, 22 maps) whilst topping the charts with 12 1vX clutch rounds and 3rd in total headshots across the 3 month league (228 headshots). Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad’s 1.13 (+43K/D, 22 maps) and Noah “Nifty” Francis’ 1.10 (+47K/D, 22 maps) weren’t far behind in overall stats, with Nifty’s 237 AWP kills just edged by NRG CeRq’s 243 for the season. Karlo “USTILO” Pivac equalled 1st for season aces (3) with Rogue’s gMd, with USTILO managing 2 of his 3 in the single map against Ghost Gaming.
While it was the Dignitas wins that got the Renegades over the line for finals qualification, it is their trademark determination they showed once more in their opening map against SK Gaming that stood out as the best for the week. On the final matchday, between ECS online matches and Starladder i-League qualifiers, RNG were put to the sword by a ravenous SK lineup who were playing for their playoff lives.
Up 11-4 at the half and with seemingly no resistance stopping them, it all but appeared over as SK dominated the match through fer (33-26). Switching onto their “weaker” T side, the boys got right to work. They weren’t playing for nothing - despite qualifying a day earlier two solid wins over SK could see them jump as high as 2nd - and as such through Nifty’s AWP and jkaem’s rifle they began pulling the match back.
Showcasing the strength of a strong T economy and tactical executes, particularly on the B site, RNG began the long task of reversing a monumental lead. The highlight - jkaem’s nutty 1v3; losing 3 players on the A split from Ivy/A main, jkaem and jks worked in tandem to even the odds but SK’s trades were looking strong. Jks dropped, and jkaem was left with a huge task. Finding the heaven player, he grabbed the bomb, dropped in the open, and upon rerouting to the A site caught a second SK player napping.
With less than 30 seconds left he pushed into the B site through Z connector, and with the final SK player too far away from the play, jkaem had ample time to plant and take an aggressive hold on CT and Z, finding the 3rd and final player to keep the streak going.
Eleven straight rounds saw RNG now ahead and with 4 map points but SK make the change up work, then capitalised on RNG as they slowed down to adjust to the newfound aggression. The core Brazilian squad, led again by fer, found the 4th straight round to hold onto the map and while RNG would drop 0-4 in the overtime, they clearly showed that they have the potential to take maps all 30 rounds from ANY position.
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Wrapping up the EPL season in 5th, RNG now look this week to probably their biggest calendar event - IEM Sydney (May 1-6). Back at home for the Aussies and with the online mickey off their back, at least until ECS resumes, the boys can focus on the task at hand - winning a premier LAN in front of their largest fanbase.
Written by Nicholas “Taffy” Taifalos