The Renegades’ Counter-Strike roster from Australia delivered a massive uppercut to the surging Cloud 9 team in the first round of DreamHack Master Leipzig, and all while their teammate Liam ‘malta’ Schembri played with a broken microphone.
There’s nothing more frustrating or disappointing for a CSGO player trying to win a game than a teammate who won’t talk. At the pro level, communication isn’t just key to victory, it’s absolutely vital.
So for a team to have a player’s ability to communicate down, that puts them at a massive disadvantage, especially when facing another roster that’s come into a tournament with a lot of confidence.
The Renegades faced off against Cloud 9 in their opening match. Both sets of players are relatively new to their respective organizations, with the ATK team joining C9 in January, and the Grayhound players signing with Renegades in December after the previous roster left for 100 Thieves.
RNG emerged victorious over Cloud9, and even dominated the first half against the North American/South African side. Malta had a quiet game at 18 kills and 19 deaths, as teammates Chris ‘dexter’ Nong and Joshua ‘INS’ Potter led the way with big performances, but that wasn’t as quiet as he himself was on the comms.
After the win, he tweeted that his microphone wasn’t working “the whole game,” forcing his teammates to watch him “run around on the radar like a [matchmaking] teammate.”
FACEIT director and CS commentator James Bardolph asked the Australian lurker why he would play without a working mic, and malta replied that they went through a new PC, a new headset, and an attempt to fix settings in TeamSpeak, and still weren’t able to get it working.
He also said that his teammates could hear him a little if he yelled during pauses or quiet moments.
Couldn't find a fix, tried everything including new PC and headset + TS settings. If I yelled in freezetime or quiet parts of rounds they could hear me a little
— Liam Schembri (@malta_CS) January 24, 2020
The boys from Australia were also playing with a relatively new signing in Jordan ‘Hatz’ Bajic, who joined the team less than two weeks before DreamHack after Oliver ‘DickStacy’ Tierney was forced to step down due to an eye condition.
To win with a new teammate and with another one muted is even more impressive when you consider the roll that Cloud 9 has been on heading into the event, with successful qualification runs for this tournament and IEM Katowice coming in the same week.
Renegades would subsequently fall to BIG in the Group A Winners’ game, meaning they may end up facing Cloud 9 again if they can defeat Virtus.Pro in the Elimination match.