After claiming third place at the IEM Gamescom tournament, the Renegades CS:GO squad are now bootcamping in Europe and preparing for the ESL One major.
At the same time, Luke ”Havoc” Patton and his teammates are getting ready for the greatest adventure of their professional careers – moving from Australia to the US.
– It will be pretty tough but we’re super excited, these opportunities don’t happen for Australian teams, he tells Aftonbladet Esport.
As Vox Eminor, the Australian CS:GO squad gained fans all over the World after a number of appearances at the largest tournaments out there. After building the Vox Eminor brand, the players decided it was time for a change and instead signed up with newly formed North American organization Renegades, and they made their first splash at a European LAN event during IEM Gamescom.
”We know what to expect”
The first day of play in Cologne the past week saw Renegades lose two straight games and they seemed to be faced with a last place finish. But thanks to a pact with the winning team EnVyUs, Renegades made it all the way to third place, and got a lot of valuable tournament experience playing European teams in the process. Something Luke ”Havoc” Patton says will benefit them a lot as they stay in Cologne and bootcamp in preparation for ESL One.
– It gets us in the right frame of mind, so when we get to the bootcamps we know what to expect. The bootcamps are really important for us because anytime we’ve had a bootcamp before a tournament we’ve posted good results. When we haven’t, we’ve kinda just ”looked behind the eight ball”. Just getting here and practicing the European style, it really puts us on the same level playing field. That’s what we feel, he tells Aftonbladet Esport.
Planning a move to the US
He says that him and his teammates, who recently turned fully professional after working day jobs during their tenure in Vox Eminor, is putting more pressure on themselves to get better results. The next step in their road towards competing with the giants in the business is changing region, from the isolated Australian scene to North America.
– The goal is to move. We wanna go to America and it’s like stepping stones. We’d prefer to go straight to Europe because it’s the pinnacle and everyone in Europe is the best so if you wanna be the best you have to beat the best and practice with the best. We’ll go to America and if we can’t play in the North American leagues we’ll use it as hardcore training and just go to tournaments from there, because it’s cheaper and it’s quicker with not as much jet lag, and we’ll play better competition. Hopefully that’ll happen sooner than later.
”Leaving Australia will be pretty tough”
How will it be for you to leave Australia behind?
– It will be pretty tough. We’ve talked about it and shuffled things around in our lives, like quit jobs and stuff like that. And obviously it’s tough with relationships like family, girlfriends and friends, so everyone knows what’s on the line and we’re taking steps to making the transition easier. Were super excited because these opportunities don’t happen for Australian teams. It’s never happened before, so we gotta take it with both hands and ride with it. It’s our dream jobs so we gotta take it and just go with it and see what happens.
Have you noticed a big change since you turned professional?
– Most of us quit our jobs only a month ago and we were home for a week after the ESWC qualifier and now we’re here. So we actually haven’t really sat down and practiced. We’re really looking forward to the bootcamp because that’s gonna be like: ”Let’s review some demos and watch our plays over the last few tournaments, and study ourselves and the other teams a bit”, and get right into it.
So you haven’t sat back and just thought: ”I’m a full-time gamer now”?
– We kinda have. Coming back from Malaysia and having that week-and-a-half before this tournament really kind of sunk it in, because I didn’t have to go to work. I kinda just chilled out, Havoc says before continuing:
– I had four wisdom teeth pulled out. The week I was home, I had that. I still have the stitches in my mouth, and I couldn’t talk.
”We wanna get out of groups”
As Vox Eminor, the team raised a huge fan base who seemed to enjoy the Aussie’s relaxed demeanor, underdog status and the occasional huge plays and voicecom highlights. Havoc says that it was hard leaving the organization but that the fans seem to have followed them.
– It was tough to have to take the next step but it was necessary and everyone was on board. The fans have been really great, we’ve had a lot of them and are getting new ones. People love the vibe that Renegades has, and the logo and stuff like that. Hopefully people will like the stickers at the major.
What are your personal expectations for the major?
– To get out of groups. We definitely need to make top eight. We’ve been to three majors now and the last one we had a third seed and we won a game. This time we wanna win two games and get out of groups. We have to, it’s the kind of pressure we have to put on ourselves.
Chad ”SPUNJ” Burchill
Luke ”Havoc” Patton
Justin ”jks” Savage
Aaron ”AZR” Ward
Yaman ”yam” Ergenekon
Group A at ESL One Cologne
Ninjas in Pyjamas