For the first time in the history of CounterStrike, the squad from down under will march their way towards the Champions stage of a CS:GO Major.
Australian squad Renegades managed to secure their way to the top 8 of the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII - Katowice Major 2019 via 3-1 score card, joining Astralis, Team Liquid and fellow 3-1 placers MIBR and Natus Vincere.
The course towards the culmination of Poland’s Major wasn’t easy for the Aussies as they had to come all the way from the Asia Minors. Being a regular sight for the past 2 Majors as an Asia-Pacific representative, Renegades were always regarded as the bottom dwellers, finishing 18th and 20th during their stints at ELEAGUE Boston and FACEIT London 2018 respectively.
This time however, Aaron "AZR" Ward and his men played the game of their lives as they finished on top of the New Challengers Stage in immaculate fashion before upsetting teams like ENCE Esports and Faze Clan at the New Legends Stage – including a decent 1-2 contest against defending champions Astralis that was the only time the Danes dropped a map in the whole Major. Eventually, they punched their ticket to the final stage of IEM behind a 2-1 victory against French squad Team Vitality led by ex-EnvyUs stalwart and Major Champion Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt.
Looking to push further with their Cinderella run, they are set to face MIBR at the quarterfinals of the New Champions stage on March 1.
On the other hand, former Major rivals Faze Clan and Cloud9 were able to save their campaigns in exchange for the end of Complexity and Hellraisers' respective runs. Robin "flusha" Rönnquist came off with an inspiring performance for Cloud9 despite mourning the loss of his mother in the middle of the Major. He led the series against HR with a 1.61 rating and a 52-32 KD record to fight for one of the last three seats at the Champions Stage.
Faze Clan meanwhile are still fighting through expectations with their own 2-2 card. Both Faze and C9 are set to battle it out at round 5 of the IEM Katowice Major New Legends Stage tonight along with knockout series featuring Ence versus AVANGAR and Ninjas in Pyjamas against Vitality.