As we approach the WCA APAC Qualifier match between our own Team Immunity, and Inchk1ng of Hong Kong, we recap on the journey to an online BO3 and what it means for the oceanic CS:GO scene.
World Cyber Arena are continuing to cultivate a strong e-sports culture in China, and their latest foray into CS: GO tournaments is getting a number of teams involved. The two finalists in the Asia-Pacific qualifier will be invited to WCA 2016 LAN in December. The LAN will be an international event with a $200,000 prize pool. Oceania have been given a chance to compete in the Asia-Pacific qualifier; a great opportunity for teams in the region.
Team Immunity will be the sole representatives of Oceania at WCA 2016, and on the 17th they will play in an online BO3 against Inchk1ng, whom Team Immunity defeated 2-1 when they met at the Dreamhack Malmo 2016 Closed Qualifier. Team Immunity are selected as the high seed in this group, and Inchk1ng have been seeded low, Immunity being the favourite to win the event.
Unfortunately, the date of this event clashed with the CPGL Autumn 2016 Finals. A difficult choice had to be made. The value of an opportunity to compete internationally is enormous, and not attending the CPGL event earned Team Immunity a one season ban from Cybergamer events.
A lot of people may not see this as a hard choice to make, but attending local LANs are important for teams in a region where international opportunities are hard to come by. More opportunities to play internationally prompt an important question for a team – where their future lies, and how to get there. Events like the WCA APAC Qualifier contribute greatly to answering this, and Immunity have gone to Singapore hunting an invite to the Beijing LAN finals.
Putting the teams side by side makes quick work of any wondering why Team Immunity are the top seed in their group. Immunity have a wealth of international experience in their core of emagine, JAMES, and Rickeh. Inchk1ngs have had good results locally, but lack any international experience. Looking outside of Group B, The MongolZ are the only team competing in the qualifier that have close to as much experience as Immunity – remembering that when they last met at the ESL Cologne 2015 Asian Qualifier, Immunity defeated Mongolz 16-10.
A win at an event like this is important for Team Immunity. As the most experienced team in Australia, their performance at international events is observed by all CS fans in the country. More than just carrying the pressure of winning for the sake of the team, the Immunity roster carry the pressure of bringing attention to their region. Victory and failure are often met in extremes of praise and scrutiny; the double edged sword of being a top performing team in a region that is desperate for a chance to prove itself at a major LAN event.
The amplifying element of fans judgement being that Oceanic invites to events are rare – and with a global e-sports scene that continues to boom, fans are increasingly aware of the benefits of exposure. Hopeful players and passionate spectators are eagerly awaiting more infrastructure for professional CS:GO in Australia, and every series won by an oceanic team puts more value on our attendance at future events.
The Immunity roster has a core of talent that are more than familiar with these pressures, and will look forward to unleashing new additions MoeyCQ and Zewsy, and showing that they’re the correct team to represent Oceania at events. The growth of the Asian CS:GO scene could be one of the most vital developments for the Oceanic scene, and observers from all over the globe will be looking to see if Team Immunity can forge their prior international experience into a roster that will find their way to larger events.