Grayhound have qualified for ESL Pro League Season 18, following their win in the ESL Australia & NZ Championship on Sunday.
The Australian Counter-Strike team faced off against VERTEX in the event’s grand finals, beating them 3-1 in a best-of-five series. They duked it out on Vertigo, which Grayhound won 16-5, before VERTEX evened out the scores on Inferno with a 13-16. Grayhound won both remaining maps on Anubis and Mirage 16-13.
Grayhound started ESL Australia & NZ Championship Season 16 in dominant fashion, beating teams like Stirlzs Angels, The Big Dogs, and VERTEX on two occasions before advancing to playoffs. They kept up the pressure during playoffs and secured victories over e-LEMON-ators in a two-map series and, finally, VERTEX to win the title.
Grayhound were able to secure the win despite playing two matches without their star player, Alistair “aliStair” Johnston. They fielded Patrick “Falcon” Desousa in his place and were still able to topple other competition in the Oceania region.
The win secured Grayhound another international LAN qualification, increasing their impressive list of achievements. This year alone, they have qualified for events like IEM Katowice, IEM Dallas, the BLAST.tv Paris Major and ESL Pro League Season 17.
Season 18 of the ESL Pro League will take place from August 30 to October 1 in Malta and feature 32 teams competing for an $850,000 prize pool. The listed teams include 15 partners of ESL, the tournament operator invitees, and the winners of the regional qualifiers.
There are currently seven spots yet to be filled, and three will be teams from the ESL’s world rankings. Two spots will be taken by squads from the ESL NC EU qualifier, while the winners of the Oceania and South America qualifiers will complete the list.
ESL Pro League Season 18 qualified teams
- G2 Esports
- Team Vitality
- Team Liquid
- Lynn Vision
- Natus Vincere
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Rare Atom
- Imperial Esports
- Evil Geniuses