Last weekend, the ESL Arena at PAX Australia was host to the SMITE Oceania Regional Championship. Following an action-packed semifinals, Avant Garde and Dire Wolves emerged as the victors over their opponents Integral Nation and SYF Gaming respectively. Fighting for the lion’s share of AUD$65,000 and the opportunity to represent the region at the SMITE World Championship 2016 in Atlanta, eight months of practice and competition all boiled down to this one final series.
The first game of the series was in full swing from the get-go with Sporks leading the charge and picking up two solo kills on Yada’s Isis in the first six minutes of the game. However, it was Biggy who took the first stride to extend Avant’s gold lead, catching RichardCastle with a great charge and tossing him back into four members of Avant Garde. Dire Wolves were completely walked over, the early gold deficit simply too much to overcome. Avant slowly but surely closed out the game off the back of many one-sided teamfights by simply chasing DW through their left-side Phoenix and taking out the Titan.
Game two began in a similar fashion with Avant claiming first blood yet again, this time RichardCastle falling to Biggy in the duo lane. At roughly the ten minute mark, Avant Garde converged on the Gold Fury to increase their lead, leashing it onto their side and stealing it away undetected. As the Wolves attempted to contest, Avant quickly dropped off the objective and engaged, annihilating the entire enemy team while only losing two of their own.
Dire Wolves grouped up in the left-side jungle and attempted a last-ditch effort at getting back into the game, forcing a fight on a separated Avant. Rowe found himself in a bit of trouble briefly but Avant quickly rotated to back him up, re-engaging on Dire Wolves and scoring three kills followed by the Fire Giant. After returning to base and spending their on-hand gold, Avant dove deep into the left-side lane, sacrificing Biggy to net themselves three kills and the surrender vote from Dire Wolves.
Heading into the final game, Dire Wolves were in a do-or-die situation. Once again, Avant Garde kicked off the game with a first blood, catching Chuckles at the left-side mid camp. This time however, Dire Wolves were ready, capitalizing on the overextension of Avant and killing off three members without losing anyone else.
After a rigorous back and forth, the teams met at the Fire Giant for yet another teamfight. However, this time it was all Dire Wolves, obliterating Avant in a resounding four-for-two exchange. Unfortunately, indecisiveness got the better of them as two team members endeavoured to take the Fire Giant while Yada unsuccessfully attempted to defend the respawned middle Phoenix.
Avant regrouped and forced a fight on their own terms, finding kills on every Dire Wolves member and their key to ending the game. Avant Garde rushed down the middle lane and eliminated the Titan, granting them the 3-0 victory over their competitors and their tickets to Atlanta for the SMITE World Championship.
Congratulations to Avant Garde!
Remaining undefeated throughout the entire OPL, Avant will be heading to the SMITE World Championship in Atlanta January 2016 to represent the Oceanic region against the best teams from across the globe - good luck, guys!
Make sure you follow @SMITEPro on Twitter for all the latest updates as the SMITE World Championship grows ever closer, and keep an eye on ESL Australia on Twitter and Facebook for all the region’s top esports news.