Grayhound Gaming came into the ESL ZEN League Season 2 Finals from the ESL AU&NZ Championship having placed second in the online phase just behind Kings Gaming Club. Going into the offline tournament, all eyes were on the Kings roster having won the recent eXTREMESLAND qualifier with some considering this the best current roster in the country.
The first round was a blistering affair where the initial match pairing the same Kings roster against a new look Tainted Minds with the Yam "yaman" Ergenekon buff went to all three maps. Kings came out of the gates with a close win on the first map, bringing home the goods on a 16-13 Mirage. This match soon turned on its head as Tainted blitzed the second map, Inferno with Kings only picking up 8 rounds. If the first map of this match was a close one, the third was an absolute screamer, going 15-15 after regulation with Tainted managing to pick up the Overpass overtime ending a clinical 19-15.
Little did we know, but the ESL ZEN League Season 2, would pretty much be renamed "The sparring battle between Grayhound and Tainted". At the end of the competition, the teams had competed against each other over 9 maps with the differential going to Grayhound only 5-4.
By series, Grayhound started the rivalry by reducing Tainted to the Lower Bracket after a 2-1 victory in the Upper Bracket Final. Despite Kings strong form coming into the event, it seemed almost inevitable that Tainted would return to face Grayhound in the Grand Final and the double series truly stood the test. Tainted whilst a little shaky in the first series, cleaned up maps two and three and took the first series off Grayhound in the tournament.
In the second grand final, and final series of the tournament, Tainted continued their momentum from the prior series and managed to pull yet another map from their opponents. Impressively, the following two maps were yet again another flip of the tables as Grayhound proved themselves, winning both remaining maps and securing their Championship victory. Perhaps it could be attributed to the youth of the Grayhound roster, or the fact that Tainted were required to play 14 maps through the two days of competition, but one thing is for sure, Grayhound were indisputably the better team over the weekend and are suitors to the ESL AU&NZ Championship for 2017!
1st: Grayhound Gaming ($13,000 AUD)
2nd: Tainted Minds ($6,000 AUD)
3rd: Kings Gaming Club ($2,500 AUD)
4th: MVP PK ($2,500 AUD)