Two of New Zealand’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gamers will play a key role for Tainted Minds in the final of the LPL Alpha Invitational.
Tainted Minds will meet Grayhound Gaming in tonight’s final and the Australian-based gaming organisation boasts Auckland’s Chris “ofnu” Hanley and Hamilton’s Ryan “zewsy” Palmer on their roster.
The final will take place at the LPL Studios in Auckland and will be broadcast live on Sky Sport and online on Twitch from 8pm.
Tainted Minds beat Corvidae 2-0 in last week’s semifinal while Australian outfit Grayhound Gaming went straight to the final after five weeks of group play.
Tainted Minds operations manager Michael Stewart said it was a great opportunity for their Kiwi contingent to play on a big stage in front of their friends.
“They have both been loving being able to tune into the broadcast recently on their TV and have had friends that might not have known much about esports mentioning it to them already,” Stewart said.
Tainted Minds was established in 2012 and has professional teams in a range of gaming titles and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is one of their specialties.
Interestingly, Tainted Minds and Grayhound Gaming met in another tournament last week, which saw the sides battle to a draw winning one map each.
“I think both teams didn’t play to their full capability in that series in order to hide their best strategies as a surprise for this upcoming final. This time around though neither team will be holding back so it’s sure to be a thrilling series to watch,” Stewart said.
Grayhound Gaming have one Kiwi on their roster in Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai and team owner William Gray said Kaiwai was looking forward to playing on home soil.
“Sean moved to Sydney a while back so it’s an especially fun opportunity for him as he hasn’t been back in quite some time,” Gray said.
“His family are definitely excited to see their son play on live TV, not to mention who isn’t excited to be on TV.”
Grayhound Gaming will be without Erdenetsogt “erkaSt” Gantulga due to visa issues but he has been replaced by Willem “badge” Clarke.
“We haven’t teamed with him before, but we are certain he will be capable of temporarily filling in the big shoes left from erkaSt,” Gray said.
“Teams in Australia play each other frequently enough, which limits the potential of surprise, so we’re going to go in, do our thing and win.”
The Counter-Strike series has been around for nearly 20 years and the “Global Offensive” edition was released in 2012.
It is primarily played on computers and is recognised as one of the premier shooter games with a dedicated community of gamers across the globe.
The game’s premise is simple: It pits one side as terrorists and the other as counter-terrorists.
Both sides are tasked with eliminating the other while also tackling other challenges along the way.
In a team format, CSGO is played with five in each line-up, generally consisting of an in-game lead (IGL), riflers, AWPers (snipers) and a support but this can vary from game to game.
How they line up:
Yaman “Yam” Ergenekon
Ryan “Zewsy” Palmer
Chris “Ofnu” Hanley
Connor “Chuch” Morgan
Joshua “INS” Potter
Callum “BURNRUOk” Henderson
Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai
Christopher “Dexter” Nong
Ollie “Dickstacey” Tierney
Erdenetsogt “erkaSt” Gantulga – being replaced by Willem “badge” Clarke