Team Immunity fell just short of victory over the weekend in their semi-final match of the ESL AU & NZ Championship League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, losing their best of three match 1-2 to rival Australian team Athletico.
As the round robin fixtures of the ESL AU & NZ Tournament came to a close last month, Team Immunity were among the top four teams alongside Athletico, Chiefs and Parallax, who were invited to the knockout finals at PAX Australia.
With a full squad on display of JAMES, deStiny, bURNRUOk, Gratisfaction and coach gazR, Immunity were set to face Australian powerhouses Athletico, comprised of players sonic, InfrequeNt, erkaSt, wizard and liazz.
Having faced Athletico earlier in the latter half of this year at events such as the EB Expo in Sydney as well as the first week of the ESL AU & NZ Championship league, Athletico were no strangers to Immunity, having results going in favor of both teams in past results.
With matches set at Overpass (Immunity), Train (Athletico) and Mirage, a spot in the grand final was up for grabs for each team, as well as a qualification spot for the newly-announced ZEN League in the Asia-Pacific region.
Map 1 – Overpass
Starting on the non-preferred Terrorist side of Overpass, Immunity showed promising signs in the opening pistol round, but a strong site retake from Athletico ensured that Athletico would start the game on the front foot, going on to win the first four rounds of the match. Immunity then retaliated by bringing back three rounds for themselves, but a prompt response from Athletico allowed them to keep their lead for a few more rounds, before the game was once again turned into Immunity’s favour, eventually taking the lead in to half time.
The half time switch saw a rejuvenated Athletico pull ahead to a lead of 13-9, which resulted in just enough to pull Athletico over the line, as Immunity’s last hurrah proved to be too little too late. The final score being 12-16 to Athletico, putting them in the driver’s seat coming into Train.
Map 2 – Train
It looked to be a completely different story coming into Athletico’s map pick of Train, as Immunity put a dominant show on display, taking out the first seven rounds as the counter-terrorist side. Losing just two out of fifteen rounds for the half, Immunity were all over Athletico, with gazR also picking himself up an ace in spectacular fashion.
A score line of 13-2 at half time gave Immunity a huge advantage coming in to the second half, needing to pull off just three rounds to seal the second map. With a relatively easy first half, this was no challenge for Immunity, as they closed out their terrorist side and won map two with a score of 16-9.
Map 3 – Mirage
With both teams now with a map each under their belt, it was looking to be an extremely even match-up as the final map of Mirage approached. However, a reversal of scores from the previous map saw Athletico take the first seven rounds of the game this time, as Immunity could not break through the CT defenses of their opponents. Once Immunity found an answer to their opposition, they managed to string together six consecutive rounds, but Athletico were able to hold their lead with a score of 6-9 by half time.
As Immunity swapped to the counter-terrorist side, it was a game of cat and mouse. Immunity would bring back the score almost level with Athletico, but Athletico would surely enough pull a few more rounds ahead to keep the lead. In the end, Athletico had the final say, gaining just enough rounds over Immunity to close out map three with a score of 12-16, knocking Immunity out in the process and progressing through to the grand final match.
Athletico eventually went on to winning the entire competition, after beating The Chiefs in the best of five grand final match 3-1, after Chiefs managed to close out their semi-final match against Parallax with a score of 2-0.
Immunity walk away from the ESL AU & NZ League in 3-4th place, taking home prize money of $2,000 AUD.
We now look towards the WESG APAC Finals which will be held in Korea this weekend, as we’re joined by Athletico and Parallax to compete in a prize pool worth almost $100,000 AUD. The top six teams from WESG APAC will gain entry in to the main event, boasting a prize pool of $1.5M USD.
Congratulations to our CS:GO team for their performance in the ESL AU & NZ Championship, and we wish them the best of luck heading into WESG APAC.
Luke “Sjambok” Harris