ASUS ROG Masters 2017
After a fantastic performance at ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) Masters 2017 Asia-Pacific (APAC) Main Qualifier and, subsequently, ASUS ROG Masters 2017 APAC Regional Finals, Athletico Gold achieved incredible results in their first ever international tournament. Athletico Gold previously competed in the first stage of the ASUS ROG Masters event, which took place between Oceanic teams only in early October. In the second (Group) stage of the ROG Masters, Athletico finished, outstandingly, in second place. In the following two days, the third (Regional) stage saw Athletico Gold achieve 5th place after being knocked out by a fellow Oceanic team.
Athletico seeded in Group D and the first match was against Singaporean team; One Time Wonder. We won this opening game and finished with a satisfying score of 16-1. The next round was against Korean team; Ardeont Academy. While this matchup provided more of a challenge the the previous, Athletico pulled away easily with a 16 -3 victory. This completed the Group Stage, which was held over the weekend of the 26th and 27th of October.
Having qualified for the quarterfinal round, Athletico faced off against Thailand’s Beyond.Maple on our map choice; Cache. Unlike the prior two matches, this victory was no walk in the park. Athletico relinquished the opening two rounds on CT side, despite a close pistol 1v1 in the first match between ‘Sync’ and Beyond.Maple’s ‘j9’. We conceded the first half of the game 2 - 13 and hoped the second half, with a switch to T side, to acquire a few much needed wins. While we secured a further 5 wins, including a heart-racing pistol round, it was not enough to take the game, which ended 8 - 16.
Overpass was the next map and chosen by Beyond.Maple. Traditionally a CT sided map, there was a clear chance for victory for Athletico Gold, who began CT. The first few rounds saw some back and forth, with no definite advantages emerging for either side. ‘Pan1k’ had an extraordinary couple of rounds in which he achieved an unbelieveable 24 kills and topped damage with a 1.66 rating. While it was no easy feat, our team took the first half 9 - 6. In spite of an unsatisfying first map concession, Athletico did the incredible and won Overpass with a 16 - 7 victory. Not only were they playing T side with a distinct disadvantage, the previous half presented a challenge and would have generated a lot of stress for the players. Having only ceded a single round to Beyond.Maple was fantastic for morale going into the third and final map.
Athletico chose Nuke as the final map to be played and won the knife round to secure a CT first half. We opened with a sensational pistol round victory which set us up for a much less nerve racking starting half, which ended 11 - 4. Athletico Gold kept their heads in the final and most crucial half. The gave only four games to Beyond.Maple and sealed the win with a score of 16 - 8. The overall result was 2 -1 and our team put up an excellent, if somewhat agonising, fight to secure the well-deserved spot in the semifinals against Japanese team; SZ Absolute.
The first map for the semifinal game was Train, which was selected by SZ Absolute. Starting CT side, we had an extremely close first half which culminated in a score of 7 - 8. Athletico continued to contest the map with fighting spirit but couldn’t quite make it a victory as it ended 13 - 16. Despite playing our chosen map, Mirage, Athletico did not have an easy time securing the first half 8 - 7. Thanks to some masterful plays from InfrequeNt, we scraped through. However, a win's a win, no matter how small and this victory gave the team strength to pull through with an overall victory on the second map with a final score of 16 - 11.
Amazingly, the final map, Nuke, proved an even closer contest than the previous two. While the first half saw a comfortable victory for Athletico, conceding only three rounds for a score of 12 - 3. SZ Absolute was not to be brushed aside, however, and came through to take an impressive 11 rounds. This was not enough to stop Athletico Gold who secured the necessary four rounds for a 16 - 14 victory. The final result against the Japanese team was 2 - 1.
The final match in the second stage of ROG Masters 2017 was against China’s 5Power. The first map was Cache, chosen by 5Power. The first half started out well for Athletico as we went 10 - 5, however, we ceded the match the the Chinese team with a finals score of 13 -16. Though disappointed, the players refused to let it get the better of them and took the second map, Mirage, 16 - 13. While this was not enough to secure the third map, Train, with a 12- 16 concession, Athletico achieved 2nd place on the ASUS ROG Masters 2017 APAC Main Qualifier ladder.
The third stage of the ASUS ROG Masters 2017 was the APAC Regional Finals held over the 28th and 29th of October. Our first game was against fellow Australian team; Grayhound Gaming. This match was part of the quarterfinal of the event and, like the previous, was also best of three. The first map was Overpass, selected by Grayhound. While this was the first match we played that went to overtime throughout both the events at ROG Masters 2017, it resulted in Athletico ceding with a score of 17 - 19. Unfortunately, our journey ended on the second map, Mirage, with a 8 - 16 result and a total game result of 0 - 2.
Finishing with a 5th position in the APAC Regional Finals is an awesome achievement for Athletico Gold. Having never previously played internationally with their current lineup, our team put on an extraordinary performance. They won 7 maps in an overseas tournament, an amazing achievement in Oceanic CS:GO. To make it into the third stage of the ROG Masters 2017 is an experience they will not soon forget. Everyone here at Athletico is incredibly proud of how far the team made it and everything they learned along the way.
Athletico Gold will be back better than ever in upcoming tournaments, so stay tuned!