In their official debut, Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland’s new project Aftershock have downed PGL Antwerp Major contenders Renegades and top four squad Paradox on their way to the IEM Dallas OCE Closed Qualifier.
Monday’s first qualifier saw Aftershock out almost immediately to Paradox 16-5, but revenge would be found on Thursday night in a 2-0 (16-8, 16-9) victory that sees the new squad through to Saturday’s Closed Qualifier.
But it was the previous semi-final that caught many an eye.
In one of the more ‘shocking’ results of recent in Oceania, Aftershock met a Renegades outfit fresh off the plane from qualifying for the Challengers Stage at the PGL Antwerp Major.
Reportedly, Renegades players were still heavily jetlagged from their return from Romania, but they didn’t look it early on, dispatching of ex-8Ballers 16-1 on Vertigo.
Awaiting them was Aftershock, who turned up the heat in the best-of-one semi-final on Inferno. Timothy “val” Youn (32-12, 2.09 rating) was instrumental in an 11-4 CT half for Aftershock while RNG were left floundering.
RNG would take the pistol, with Joshua “INS” Potter’s consistency on Inferno holding strong (17-18, 0.96 rating), but it wouldn’t be enough as Aftershock took the first gun round and never looked back.
Vertex took out qualifier one–also over Paradox–2-0 (16-6, 16-9), ending a 2022 head-to-head stranglehold held by Michael “chelleos” Hawkins’ squad.
James “Roflko” Lytras (44-25, 1.46 rating) led an otherwise well-rounded Vertex wolfpack to the Closed Qualifier, joining Aftershock and invites LookingForOrg & Order.
Discussion was had in the lead-up to this week’s dual qualifier as to how invites were decided, with ESL utilising their own world ranking system to determine the closed qualifier invites.
LookingForOrg’s spot was assured with participation in Europe throughout early 2022, but Order nabbed the invite over Renegades with participation in events at home, while RNG received no points for their appearance at IEM Katowice.
In any case, the teams are locked for the final qualifier, from which one team will emerge and represent Oceania at IEM Dallas in late May.
The two-day double-elimination Closed Qualifier begins Saturday April 24.