Gfinity Australia's Elite Series launched this week! The city-based esports league kicked off with its first week of competition, and we've got the highlights from it! There was some PUBG action over the weekend as well, as 320 Aussie and Kiwi teams did their best to qualify for the PUBG Global Invitational OCE LAN Finals.
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CSGO - Gfinity AU Elite Series
Gfinity's CSGO competition — which kicked things off this Saturday past — was epic. The first match between the Brisbane Deceptors and Melbourne Order opened proceedings, with the Deceptors' mixed team pushing Order a lot harder than most expected. The Chiefs vs Roar was less compelling, as the Roar smashed their Sydney rivals. The closest match of the series saw Avant take on Ground Zero on Dust2, and it honestly could have gone either way.
It's going to be interesting seeing these teams grow as the season continues, but for now it's sorta wobbly. Counter-Strike is at its best when teams are working in sync with one another, and that's difficult to manage when team line-ups can change week-to-week. If you look at the Brisbane Deceptors, you can see they would have struggled if Gotz hadn't been vac-tastic — in fact, after the half he cooled off a little and Order were able to mount their comeback. Of course, this will sort itself out overtime, but it's something I think teams will need to specifically manage for.
Rocket League - Gfinity AU Elite Series
The Rocket League tournament is in a bit of the same predicament as the Counter-Strike — the game is better when teams are in sync. That means Melbourne Order — made up of the Dark Sided squad from the OCE Championships — had a clear advantage over the Deceptors. Brisbane managed to sneak away with one game, but Order were too strong. The Ground Zero vs Avant game was a similar situation — Ground Zero have the Legacy Esports roster on loan, and proved very strong against Avant. The closest match-up of the weekend was the Sydney Derby. The Chiefs main roster is in London for the RLCS S5 Finals, but the subs looked like they were a lock to win anyway. The Roar mounted a comeback in game three, however, and the reverse sweep was on — game five ended in overtime. The game three do-or-die win in overtime from the Roar was pretty epic, even if they couldn't cap it off with a series win.
Street Fighter V - Gfinity AU Elite Series
The third game on the hook for the Elite Series is Street Fighter, and it was probably my favourite. Team Street Fighter isn't something I am generally drawn to, but the collection of characters it has attracted provided some extremely entertaining series. The Sydney Derby was one-sided — the Chiefs have a Golden State Warriors vibe about them in terms of talent — but the casters kept it entertaining anyway. Perth vs Melbourne Avant went all the way down to the wire, with a tie-breaker scenario going Avant's way in the end. My favourite of the week was the first, with the Deceptors vs ORDER. ORDER's ROF, who is a pro-tier heel at this point, played the bad guy quite well against the Deceptors, and it was satisfying seeing Brisbane push his team to the limit — even if ORDER were able to shut them down with authority in the end.
PUBG - PGI Online Qualifiers
320 teams of plucky PUBG players duked it out over the weekend as they competed for one of 20 spots at the PUBG Global Invitational Oceania Live Finals later this month, and if you're a fan of PUBG action it was kick-ass. It seemed a bit hastily put together — there were some technical issues over the weekend, it was hard to find the fourth stream, the timing was a bit shaky at times — but when it was working, it was top notch.
I'd love, for the LAN finals, to see Stabbies casting. Or hear him, whatever. His game knowledge and personality were on point, and he did a great job of solo casting while dealing with the issues as they cropped up.
The teams are set!
Congratulations to those qualified for the #PGI2018 Oceania Live Qualifiers!
See you on June 22! pic.twitter.com/XM1L477km7
— ESL Australia (@ESLAustralia) June 3, 2018
Grayhound Gaming won their group, Arcane won group three and Avant nailed it in group four. Chiefs Esports Club had probably the strongest showing, winning group one on the back of some epic plays — like the one below, recorded in-game by Champz from the team.
When you are all out of options and your rotate becomes a Michael Bay sequence... @ESLPUBG @ESLAustralia @ChiefsESC @PUBG #PGI pic.twitter.com/3yF8Dd8aK4
— Champzzzz (@N_Champzzzz) June 3, 2018
Hit us up in the comments or on twitter if you think I missed any of the best highlights!
Joab Gilroy is an Australian-based freelancer that specialises in competitive online games and chicken dinner acquisition. You can tweet at him here.