Over the past couple of years, ESL has risen to the top of the esports management community - rightfully so, as they continue to announce heavy support for a multitude of games, ranging from more popular franchises such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, all the way to the less-popular competitive games such as NBA 2017. However, despite all this, there’s one thing that stands out - the proactivity, dedication and consistency found in the ESL organisation is one that isn’t found anywhere else in the Oceania region for esports.
Because of this consistent amount of dedication from the Rocket League staff at ESL Australia, the third season of the ESL AU & NZ Championship Cup was announced - sporting an impressive $7,500 prize pool to the top 4 teams, as well as a LAN-confirmed finals over at the ESL Australia Studio in Sydney.
The tournament saw a different structure this time around, with Pale Horse and Chiefs qualifying for League Play automatically, due to them coming 1st and 2nd in Season 2. JAM and Avant Garde also qualified for the Invitational Qualifier.
However, there were also 2 Open Qualifier tournaments - from these tournaments, 8 teams would qualify for the Invitational Qualifier from the first Open Qualifier, while 6 would qualify for the second - summing up a total of 16 teams in the Invitational Qualifiers. From these 16 teams, the remaining 6 would take their spots in the League Play, filling out until the final 8 teams of the qualifiers remained.
Showed off in a rather elegant GIF, the 8 teams that qualified were:
In case you see some unfamiliar faces, the teams that qualified were JAM Gaming, Pale Horse eSports, Chiefs eSports Club, Avant Garde, Legacy eSports, Lynx Gaming, Scylla eSports and Square One.
Though the list of teams qualifying is made of an abundance of skill and perseverance, there’s definitely some surprises. Square One making the qualification is something just about nobody predicted - as a team that was only freshly formed and overall, haven’t exactly been the center of people’s attention. Another surprise is Conspiracy eSports failing to qualify - since, of course, they are a team that has attracted the notice of some particularly respected members of the Oceanic Rocket League community over the recent weeks; particularly due to the up-and-coming star Walcott and his ability to seemingly score from every angle. However, the team failed to secure the victory in their loser bracket game against Legacy eSports- which saw them depart from the tournament instead of qualifying.
Fortunately, the eight teams pictured above can breathe a small breath of relief - their qualifications have been secured, and as they now look to the future, there appears a daunting wall for just about every team competing. The 8 teams will battle it out for a total of 7 weeks - after the 7 weeks of League Play is complete, the top 4 teams of the league will head to the ESL Australia Studios in Sydney to compete for the heftiest-share-possible of the $7,500 prize pool.