No one expected this. At Cybergamer’s Oceania eSports Masters for SMITE (PC) Avant Garde, the last seed of the four teams, took it all in a terrific show of spirit and skill. With this epic performance the team has earned themselves the title of champions of the Oceania Pro League (OPL) for this split as well as the $13,000 prize that goes with it. The tournament ran over the weekend at Sydney’s Australia Technology Park.
When Avant Garde finished the ten-week regular season in fourth place with a less than stellar 3-2-5* record they were placed in the difficult position of playing the first ranked team in the semi-final playoff bracket. The team also had to deal with the fact that they hadn’t been able to take down the teams above them in the standings, let alone the eventual first seed Legacy Esports who dominated the standings with an 8-1-1* record. Despite that, when asked about the match, Avant Garde’s Hunter, Robert “Robdigidy” De Jong, cheekily responded with, “I’m more worried about our Grand Final match tomorrow”. Despite their apparent confidence in the matchup, in terms of the stats, Avant Garde were seemingly outclassed by Sam “OnlyGoodAtSolo” Wouters’ Legacy squad. Surprising everyone, Avant Garde backed up Robdigidy’s words and swept the Legacy lineup with a clean 2-0 that Saturday morning.
On the other side of the bracket, there was a more tightly contested match between the second and third seeded squads, Incite and Team Pandamonium respectively. After a losing the first game in their set, Team Pandamonium eventually surged and took the next two games in succession putting the defending champions in place to retake their title which they claimed in Split 1 earlier this year.Subsequently, Incite defeated Legacy and earned themselves third place. With only an evening separating the semis and the grand final, neither of the remaining teams had much time for celebration or rest.