Match Preview (0-2): Renegades vs Space Soldiers
The Renegades have dropped to 0-2 in the New Challenger stage for the FACEIT London Major following a sloppy 10-16 loss to CIS squad Gambit Esports.
A jks 3k pistol round, a Nifty AWP 3k and a USTILO 4k retake were bright spots in an otherwise sloppy match from both sides, with mistakes made by both teams that went begging.
Up 6-3 on the CT side the Renegades looked to control the pace of the match but Gambit broke their way back into the half, then looked like running away with a lead in the second half.
As usual RNG played to the death and while it didn’t last, their resistance to Gambit still offers hope heading into the elimination match against a floundering Space Soldiers. The Turks were struck with awful luck with player ngiN unable to attend the major due to visa troubles, forcing their analytically strong but technically limited coach hardstyle into the players chair.
Expectations for both teams took massive hits after two days of losses but if there’s ever a time to shift gears it’s right now. RNG’s potential as a team is there but shrouded right now, and at this point any win will boost confidence levels in a run to the Legends stage.
RENEGADES VS SPACE SOLDIERS - THE FACEIT MAJOR: NEW CHALLENGER STAGE - Fri September 7, 11:00am PDT, 4:00am AEST Sep 8
Head to Head: Space Soldiers 1 - 0 Renegades (all-time) | Space Soldiers 1 - 0 Renegades (last 6 months)
Last Meeting: Space Soldiers 1-0 @ ESL Pro League S7 Finals (16-7)
Key Match Up: USTILO vs XANTARES. Down 0-2 and yet XANTARES is having a stellar event, with a 1.20 rating over two losses and 24 kills against coL yesterday. Two losses for USTILO as well but his 19 kills against Gambit were as clean as they come for Karlo. Always given the dirty job of playmaker and space creator, USTILO has matured over the past three months and it really showed in yesterday’s Train. His 2v4 4k flank with jkaem to keep RNG alive on the T side in a pistol forcebuy, combined with his net positive popdog holds on the CT see him as the key for RNG against a weakened SS. Likewise, XANTARES when given hardstyle to trade from has been massively successful and can most certainly take the game himself.
RNG’s Stat of the Day: Nifty’s 10 AWP kills over two maps comes from just 19 rounds with the weapon across both maps, and that’s even with the Renegades doctrine of tight pistol upgrade rounds in order to go for that max AWP buy in the gun round. The stat shows how important economy management is in the game - continual CT-side resets after that early lead against Gambit had RNG strapped for cash and, much like the BIG game, no rounds wins equals no AWP for Nifty. A bit of that vintage IEM Sydney form came out in that second gun round yesterday with Nifty’s back six AWP netting three fantastic kills. At the end of the day, more Nifty AWP will mean more RNG wins - how RNG go about keeping the AWP for as long as possible is on them.
SS’s Stat of the Day: The circumstances surrounding ngiN’s absence are incredibly unlucky, and as unfortunate as it is to point out, Space Soldiers’ coach hardstyle will never be able to fill the void left by a player of youth and in-game fundamentals. However, putting aside his 3-22 and 7-16 performances against Rogue and compLexity, he’s doing everything right by his team. He’ll go in first and offer a trade to his lead fraggers in XANTARES and Calyx, who have been more than capable of following up. He’ll bank and drop weapons to his allies when they are short of cash. Now that he’s in-game, he gets to communicate his thoughts on strategy and execution every round instead of four timeouts and a halftime break. Has it made up for his technical inexperience? It hasn’t yet, but it’s getting close to paying off.
RNG’s Way to Win: Exploiting weakness on T side and evaluate risk. The obvious focus on the T side should be to find out hardstyle’s angle and position. Play onto that site, expect a crossfire setup around the coach and expect fast rotations. SS should rotate players around on the CT side so RNG should be prepared to adapt and change up site takes. RNG were a little faster than the match against BIG but losses on full aggression rounds kept them at a mid/late round execute speed. There is no time for caution anymore; if there’s anything in the playbook the boys haven’t touched on or something they were hoping to save against bigger teams, we’ll most likely have to see it tonight.
SS’s Way to Win: Keep to what they’ve been doing, to be honest. They are utilising hardstyle correctly given his lack of game time and SS honestly shouldn’t have gotten as close as they have to compLexity and Rogue. Continue providing for the big names in XANTARES and Calyx, keep the AK/AWPs coming. Use the fragging power of the team on the T side and keep on changing up positioning on CT if possible. RNG will target hardstyle, so move him around and always try and set up around him.
Written by Nicholas “Taffy” Taifalos
@TaffyAU on Twitter