Melbourne Order Sweeps Gfinity Australia’s Inaugural Season

The inaugural season of Gfinity’s Australian city-based esports league wrapped up over the weekend with a southern rout. Having solidified their position in the finals of all three games, Melbourne Order turned the weekend into a whitewash, taking home the trophy in all three matches and the club championship to boot.

The series started off with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on the Saturday, which made for an intriguing rematch. Order knocked off Chiefs 19-17 earlier in the season, although Chiefs won the more important match late last month, knocking Order out of the IEM Shanghai qualifiers 2-1.

But the Sydney-based Chiefs came into Saturday at a disadvantage. Their head coach departed a week beforehand, and Chiefs spent most of the regular Gfinity season using fill-ins and their draft picks. That carried through to the finals, where Dominic ‘Doom’ Wilson and Lyengaran ‘lyeN’ Raju filled in for Tyler ‘tucks’ Reilly and Matthew ‘Texta’ O’Rourke, Chiefs’ regular members.

Order took the final home in three maps, although the score was a little unfair to Chiefs. The second map, de_cache, could have very easily gone the other way. Chiefs even found themselves 13-10 up, and they even gambled correctly at 14-14 by stacking the B bombsite. A bit of bad luck meant they ended up losing the bombsite regardless, however, and Order closed out a 2v2 clutch in the final round to go into de_nuke two maps up.

Nuke ended up being a bit of an easier ride, with Order taking 8 rounds as terrorists on the defensive-favoured map. Some strong individual rounds from Chiefs kept the game going, including this one from Kyran ‘dizzyLife’ Crombie, but Order’s more established teamwork eventually ground out a comfortable 16-10 win.

The Sunday was always going to start off well for Melbourne: the city was represented twice in the Rocket League finals, with Order facing off against Avant Gaming after the latter pulled out a surprise upset of Chiefs (the Rocket League favourites this season). Avant weren’t able to replicate their heroics a second time over, although there were plenty of highlights:

The best-of-seven series went to Order 4-1, although not with a few harline results along the way. After a 7-1 drubbing in the opening match, two of the next four games went into overtime. Avant missed an open net in one overtime that would have put them ahead, and while their defence held on admirably throughout, Order were able to pile on too many goals early on for Avant to recover.

That left Perth Ground Zero’s SF5 team as the last line of defence against an Order battering, with the unusual best-of-one format offering greater potential for upsets. Perth took the first game, but the matchups (which under the Gfinity format, are predetermined and announced moments before the match) quickly veered in Order’s favour. Order ended up closing the series 4-1, completing their clean sweep of the event.

It’s been an intriguing first season for Gfinity. It’s been a wonderful boost for Rocket League and Street Fighter, although the latter could use a broader format that gives competitors a little more time to adapt and plan. The CS:GO competition was a little more fragmented – while the $30,000 prize money was nothing to sneeze at, qualifiers for CS:GO majors overseas are still a higher priority.

But first seasons are often about finding your feet, not just for the teams, but the casters and producers too. A second season hasn’t been announced as of yet, but here’s hoping it returns soon. Esports thrives on constant competition, and it’d be interesting to see other games (particularly those that are heavily reliant on developer-funded leagues) get a Gfinity boost.

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