The former pro player turned analyst Chad ‘SPUNJ’ Burchill celebrated on the desk after Renegades, his former team and fellow Australians, upset ENCE in the quarterfinals of the StarLadder Berlin major.
Yeah the Boys are back in a big way, and their most dedicated supporter wasted no time in celebrating. After shocking ENCE 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the Champions stage, the stream cut back to the StarLadder analyst desk, where SPUNJ was waiting to celebrate with an Australian tradition.
SPUNJ wisely removed his headset and jacket before attempting the shoey, as he proceeded to spill most of on his shirt and on the floor. SPUNJ then walked directly off the set, either to celebrate with Renegades or rinse his mouth out.
Despite being down a colleague, the analyst desk pressed on and broke down the surprise result.
ENCE were heavy favorite in this series among analysts, Pick’Em players, and various betting websites. They came into the series with 3-0 Legends stage record, and with Aleksi ‘allu’ Jalli and Jere ‘sergej’ Salo firing on all cylinders.
For ENCE, this playoffs run was to be a great final run for the departing Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen.
That didn’t happen, as the ENCE we saw against Renegades didn’t look the same as the one from the previous stage, or the one from the previous major playoffs. Allu was unable to have the same effectiveness with the AWP he had in the Legends stage, sergej didn’t produce, and despite being down a game, ENCE looked lifeless in the second half of their map pick, Train.
For Renegades, this is a testament to their resilience. They were a common 0-3 pick for Legends stage, and started group play 0-2. But the Aussies crawled out of the darkness by winning three straight best-of-threes to qualify for playoffs, and now a fourth straight to make it to the semifinals.
Justin 'jks' Savage was excellent on both maps, leading the Renegades in both kills and player rating. The team as a whole dominated on Mirage, only giving up one map on their CT side after commanding first half. ENCE had no answer for Aaron 'AZR' Ward's window boost, which he utilized multiple times to catch ENCE off guard.
Coincidentally, Renegades are following in the footsteps of ENCE at IEM Katowice, who went from 0-2 to 3-2 in their Legends stage, and then upset a 3-0 team in the quarterfinals against Team Liquid. ENCE ended up in the grand finals, falling to Astralis.
Cloud9 did the same thing at the ELEAGUE Boston 2018 major, and they ended up winning the whole thing.
With a semifinals match against either Vitality or AVANGAR, a grand finals appearance for the Australians is not out of the question. SPUNJ will need more beer, and more shoes.