A close match in the so-called “losers’ final” of Oceania qualifying for the Asia Minor Championship on June 3 ended with a 2-1 win for AVANT, who now join Grayhound as the second team from the region to secure a berth at Berlin 2019.
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AVANT entered the repechage match after losing to Grayhound in the finals of the upper bracket on June 2. Their opponents were ORDER, who AVANT had beaten 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the upper bracket. ORDER then cruised through the lower bracket with clean sweeps against Paradox Gaming, Genuine Gaming and rewound.
The battle for the second and last ticket to the Asia Minor started off on Mirage, a map picked by AVANT. The first half of the map ended in a narrow 8-7 lead for AVANT. Both teams managed to win four rounds each at the start of the second half, but ORDER switched into a higher gear and won the next five rounds to take the opening map 16-12.
Having performed exceptionally well on Mirage, ORDER chose Nuke for the second map. They failed to carry over their momentum, however, mostly due to their questionable defence. Despite ORDER winning a few rounds before the interval, AVANT took a three-round lead into the second half went on to square the series with a 16-11 win.
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The map that would decide it all was Train. It ran a similar course to Nuke, meaning AVANT got out to a nice lead on the CT side (7-2). ORDER tried finding an answer to their problems but failed to achieve anything more than five rounds by the end of the first half. They started performing better after the break, but that was not enough as AVANT ran way with another 16-11 win to seal it.
The best player of the day was ORDER’s Alistair “aliStair” Johnston, who ended the finals with a 1.31 HLTV rating – not quite enough to carry his team through the qualifiers and into Asia Minor.