New Year, New Opportunities for Oceania. Will 2022 be the return to form for the Aussies? Renegades AWPer aliStair thinks yes

In all the talk about saving NACS, smaller regions like Asia and Oceania are generally forgotten. Teams from countries like Australia have historically had to live overseas to compete in the biggest events. With that opportunity gone, the level of the scene has plummeted. Renegades have shown promise in the few LANs they get invited to, but as soon as they return home, their level seems to reset.

We talked to Renegades in the lead-up to IEM Katowice to find out if 2022 will be the return of the Aussies to the top.

Q: How is it to be back on this Renegades roster?

Renegades Liazz: It's incredible. I miss my boys. Happy to be playing with them again. Yeah, it's been too long. It's been like two years since I played in Renegades. Three years now. I'm excited.

Q: At the Berlin Major, in 2019, you and Renegades managed to go all the way to the semi-final, beating teams like, sorry, G2, FaZe, and ENCE. Will you guys be able to do the same thing?

Renegades Liazz: Absolutely. This team is even better than the last one, so I'm expecting to win the whole thing.

Liazz was last competing on the Extremum roster
Liazz was last competing on the Extremum roster

Q: Can you talk about what you were doing after being benched?

Renegades Liazz: I was still living overseas in Serbia, so I was still playing a bit of CS because I don't really have anything else to do. I was living overseas, but I came back to Australia in December. And since December I've been playing CS again. So I'm back into it. But yeah, I can't really speak to the other guys. I know a bit of Valorant has been getting played by a few of the boys.

Q: Regarding all these travel problems between Australia, Europe, and so on you guys have the RMR Qualifier on the fifth and 6th March. What is the plan?

Renegades INS: We'll be playing the RMR qualifier and then traveling to Europe for the events, basically. But playing every Australian qualifier we can and Australian events because we kind of have to. And we'll go to Europe for boot camps when necessary, pretty much.

We came to a point where there were just people not coming to agreements on how we should be playing.

renegades aliStair on removing malta

Q: What was the reason behind your parting way with Malta? What's the reason behind this?

Renegades aliStair: I think there were just different visions for the game. I think Liam played in this team for a long time. We came to a point where there were just people not coming to agreements on how we should be playing. So I think it's just all the best of luck to him and his journey and stuff, but I think it was just different ideas.

Q: How has the practice been going with the new roster? The firepower upgrade you have made is clearly a big one, but are you guys more confident in the team overall?

Renegades aliStair: Yeah, I think this team's potential is amazing. We had a boot camp here which was our first one with Liazz. Practice and stuff started off slow, but towards the end of it, I think we built a lot of confidence and a solid foundation to continue from and I think this roster will only go upwards after each event.

The Renegades team at IEM Katowice.
The Renegades team at IEM Katowice.

Q: At IEM Cologne you took down OG and took a map off NaVi. With your first game again being up against OG, do you think you can take them down?

Renegades Hatz: 100%. I think everyone's capable here to play on top levels. I think we're all very confident enough in ourselves and each other to do it again.

Q: What is the situation for you guys in the oceanic region in terms of practice and getting the best possible conditions in the region now?

Renegades INS: To be honest, it's really bad. Like in terms of practice we can't really scrim too many teams, especially with the RMR coming up. We don't want to practice against ORDER and other opponents like LFO. So scrimming is kind of like you don't learn much probably learn more in three days here than you do in like two years in Australia of scrimming? Pretty much. It's really bad right now.

Q: How much does the lack of practice and inability to travel to the EU regularly affect your level versus the EU teams?

Renegades INS: I think as long as we spend our time wisely in Europe and make the most of it and we don't really mess around with anything, we just get to work and everyone's working really hard, I think we can still maintain a high enough level to compete here for sure.

I think the style I playback in Australia has to be altered quite a bit here because I'm not getting punished nearly as much as I am back home.

Renegades aliStair

Q: aliStair, you have produced great numbers in the Australian region but do you think you can transition into the EU playing against EU teams?

Renegades aliStair: Yeah, I think it just comes with time and practice. Pretty much getting used to the matter here and the style. I think the style I playback in Australia has to be altered quite a bit here because I'm not getting punished nearly as much as I am back home. So I think it's a lot more team orientated and yeah, it's a completely different level of competition but I think I can perform in the officials.

Q: We have three Australian teams practicing and playing in the EU with you guys order and LFO. Do you think that will help the overall level of the Australian scene improve significantly?

Renegades Sico: Yeah, it should. LFO not many of them have ever been overseas at all so they should learn a lot just from scrimming. Like they're over there for like a month or two. So they should learn a lot. And then ORDER's had another competition so it definitely should help them.

"We're going to be in a very competitive team this year."

Renegades alistair

Q: Do you think Renegades will be more competitive this year?

Renegades aliStair: Yeah, I think we have the right tools on the same level think we definitely have enough. Especially with our coach now being fully comfortable in implementing his system and how we want to use him. It's really good, I think. And we'll only grow from it, I think. Yeah. We're going to be in a very competitive team this year.

While the situation isn't perfect for Australian players, the renegades continue to show promising signs for the future. With the LAN RMRs, the return of Majors, and LAN events coming back, 2022 seems to be a good year for Australia and Renegades.

Stay tuned to for continued coverage and more interviews with the IEM Katowice 2022 teams and players.