Over the weekend of Nov 1-3, twelve teams from the APAC region descended in Jakarta, Indonesia for the OMEN Challenger Series 2019. After an exciting grudge match between Thailand’s Alpha Red and Australia’s Grayhound in the grand finals, the boys from Australia finally emerged as Champions.
The action began on Friday, November 1st, 2019. The twelve teams from across APAC represented eleven countries, as host nation, Indonesia, received two slots to the event. Local favorites BOOM Esports were the invited Indonesian team. The second Indonesian slot was determined by an online qualifier earlier last month, and while BTRG were the eventual winners, the mixed Indonesian line-up decided to forgo their spot here for the WESG SEA Regional Finals.
The group stages were played in a round-robin, best-of-two format, with each team playing simultaneously in each round. The excitement started from round one, with teams like BREN taking a map off eventual winners, Grayhound, early on. In group A, Thailand’s Alpha Red showed a dominating presence, not dropping a single map throughout, while Japan’s Absolute secured the second spot after a slow warm-up on day one.
Group B was arguably the more competitive group, with teams like NASR, FrostFire, and BREN all contenders for the playoffs. Singapore’s LaZe had replaced BOOT after BOOT had pulled out of the event to attend the WESG SEA Regional Finals. The boys from Singapore managed to take a map off Grayhound, but it was a one-sided affair on their second map vs the Aussies. The higher level of competition was evident in the close matches, and the final results for group B meant that UAE’s NASR and Philippines BREN Esports were both in close contention for the second playoff spot.
Results of the Group Stage:
|🇹🇭 Alpha Red||5||5||0||0||77||15|
|🇨🇳 Let's Quit||5||0||3||2||-27||3|
Heading into the playoffs, it was Australia’s Grayhound that had the most to prove. Their recent results put them front and center as the favorites to win this event, which only added to the pressure. Japan’s Absolute was to face off against the Australians first, and although they didn’t cause an upset, they didn’t make it easy for the Aussies by any means. The series ended 2-0 after Grayhound defeated Laz and company 16-11 on Inferno and 16-14 on Mirage.
The second semi-final between BREN Esports and Alpha Red was supposed to be a more competitive game, and it surely delivered. The boys from the Philippines were hungry to win a title after coming second in September’s ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2019 SEA finals where they lost to BOOT. After winning their map pick of Inferno, 16-14, they were unable to best Alpha Red, who stole the show on Dust2 and Overpass, securing their spot against Grayhound.
The grand finals were as exciting as anticipated. The last time these two teams met was at the COBX Masters in April this year. For both teams, the chance to lift the trophy at the OMEN Challenger Series 2019 would be the first International LAN trophy. After Alpha Red surprised the Australian team on the opening map, Inferno, a stellar performance from Simon “Sico” Williams helped equalize the series on Dust2. The deciding map was Overpass, and while Alpha Red led the charge towards the end of the series, it was the wisdom, grit, and experience of Chris “Dexter” Nong and his boys that pulled them over the line, winning the grand prize of US$ 20,000.
The final standings for the OMEN Challenger Series 2019 are as follows:
1 🇦🇺 Grayhound Gaming – US$ 20,000
2 🇹🇭 Alpha Red – US$ 10,000
3 🇵🇭 BREN Esports – US$ 5,000
4 🇯🇵 Absolute – US$ 4,000
5-6 🇦🇪 NASR – US$ 2000
5-6 🇮🇩 BOOM – US$ 2000
7-8 🇲🇾 FrostFire – US$ 2000
7-8 🇮🇩 Syntax – US$ 2000
9-10 🇸🇬 LaZe – US$ 1000
9-10 🇨🇳 Let’s Quit – US$ 1000
11-12 🇰🇷 ikarus – US$ 1000
11-12 🇹🇼 ahq – US$ 1000