Match Preview (0-0): Renegades vs BIG
It’s Christmas in September!
The wait is finally over; The FACEIT Major is upon us and on Wednesday morning sixteen challengers will enter Twickenham Stadium with one goal - three wins, and they’re alive and through to next week’s Legends stage.
There were plenty of question marks surrounding the performance of teams heading into the major given the almost two weeks without a premier official but the ZOTAC Cup Masters and Dreamhack Stockholm provided a chance for viewers to garner an idea of what could come in London.
For many though, it threw a glitch into the simulation - expected performers Fnatic, FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere fell short of expectations while North blew open their Challenger expectations with a 2-1 victory over HLTV #1 Astralis in the grand final.
The Renegades have enjoyed a well-earned break across August, and returned to Copenhagen a fortnight ago to boot camp ahead of their 5th iteration of CS:GO’s pinnacle event under the RNG banner.
For European squad BIG, their miraculous ESL One Cologne run seemed almost an age ago, but going through three current Legends and two of the Challenger favourites in Germany last July should have their upcoming opponents quaking in their boots.
RENEGADES VS BERLIN INTERNATIONAL GAMING - THE FACEIT MAJOR: NEW CHALLENGER STAGE - Wed September 5, 6:30am PDT, 11:30pm AEST
Head to Head: BIG 4 - 1 Renegades (all time) | BIG 2 - 1 Renegades (last 6 months)
Last Meeting: BIG 2-1 @ ESL One Cologne - Group LB Semi-Final (13-16, 16-12, 19-17)
Key Match Up: smooya vs Nifty. The UK AWPer for BIG cracked out the Big Green big time, netting 192 AWP kills across ESL One Cologne and out-AWPing the likes of s1mple, kennyS and GuardiaN, while also topping the 1vX clutch leaderboard with 10 clutches. While Nifty will also be calling for RNG and thus not just limited to main AWP, many were left desiring more from Noah at the Asia Minor, who battled illness to manage a strong final performance against TyLoo and net 97 AWP kills (2nd at event). Here’s hoping we see Fifty-Nifty out of the gate as his high opening kill percentage against opposition AWPers will be sorely needed.
RNG’s Stat of the Day: If we are talking about the potential for players to go nuclear, check out jks’ Asia Minor record; a 1.37 rating (0.06 rating ahead of 2nd), 92 ADR (3.8 ahead of 2nd), +110 kill difference (+34 ahead of 2nd), 7 1vX clutches (=1st), 312 total kills (20 ahead of 2nd)... jks has for a long time been the consistent warrior of the Renegades and if he can bring that form to Twickenham the boys could very well crack that Legends egg.
BIG’s Stat of the Day: tabseN, nex and smooya average a 1.21 rating over the previous six months, and while not all of those games were played together their firepower is heavily underrated. There is rarely ever a game where just one BIG player goes nuclear - if CS:GO is a team game, then BIG’s big three go hard and as one.
RNG’s Way to Win: The three previous major qualifiers/Challenger events all came off of similar spells for the boys, with all three resulting in qualifier elimination. RNG need to come out of the gates after the player break fresh and ready first up. As events drew on the Renegades looked better but a sore start cost the boys multiple shots at a major run. A two-week boot camp in Denmark before travelling to the event would definitely help more than hinder their chances of a first up win. A day one victory over a top ten side would be the exact start that RNG need to begin the Challenger series.
BIG’s Way to Win: BIG’s utility usage is miles ahead of even the top five teams - 30.0 ADR with grenades/incendiaries and 0.34 flash assists a round have them firmly out in front of the field, let alone the Renegades. It’s this that BIG will need to draw upon; superior utility and team coordination on a map that favours this utility usage is their key, and a number of those maps (Overpass, Train, Dust 2) could be seen in the best-of-one. Before Cologne, BIG weren’t seen as a massive threat anywhere but they cannot be underestimated - their break from the scene since Cologne only makes them that much scarier.
Written by Nicholas “Taffy” Taifalos
@TaffyAU on Twitter