Renegades is the favorite to win the IEM Fall Oceanic tournament and secure its spot at the PGL Stockholm Major.

IEM Fall 2021 kicks off with the Oceanic tournament starting on September 29. As the most dominant team in the region, Renegades are the favorites to win and secure the sole Oceanic spot at PGL Stockholm Major. The team is also fresh off a victory at DreamHack Open September 2021: Oceania with a 3-1 win over ex-Direwolves. had a chance to speak to the Renegades squad before IEM Fall. The players talk about the CS: GO scene down under and Valve's latest update, which was released just a few days before IEM Fall. Renegades is 180 RMR points ahead of their closest competitor, ORDER and is looking to secure its PGL Stockholm slot with a win the final RMR event of the season.

Rohan Samal, Eurasia Editor: Congratulations on the DreamHack win. Valve just released an update, Operation Riptide. What do you think of the timing of this release, just a few days before the RMR event? 

Hatz: Not the best. Obviously, there are a lot of big changes. I think the timing was, especially because we had a DreamHack tournament and/or BLAST. There's not much time in between tournaments to prepare on the new update.

Rohan: Dust 2 received a big change to mid doors. You guys have been playing double-AWP at times, you have been putting them at B and A Long. Do you think it makes it easier for the CTs with the mid-changes? Will they be more aggressive down mid. How do you see the meta changing?

Malta: Yeah I think it will make it easier for the CTs to actually control mid. I think the way it was, getting tagged crossing mid was not good. So it'll be interesting, we kind of just need some time to play it and see how teams are going to react to the changes.

Renegades took down OG 2-0 to reach the group stage at IEM Cologne. Image Credit: Renegades.
Renegades took down OG 2-0 to reach the group stage at IEM Cologne. Image Credit: Renegades.

Rohan: Recently three orgs, Chiefs, Direwolves and Paradox parted ways with their CS: GO rosters, and they blame COVID. Even, you guys couldn't go to ESL Pro League S14, does that weigh you down (knowing that) COVID could play spoilsport to any LAN international appearance. How's the team mentality right now?

Malta: It did play a big part. It was pretty bad last year because we come off a hot streak and going into EU, no travel, it was pretty rough. At this point, it's getting better. We've had trips overseas this year, that kind of satisfied our thirst while we play the game. But I think it's easing up now. It's really looking like the world is getting to a place where we are able to travel pretty consistently for these tournaments. And the team mentality is getting better as well.

Rohan: How do you guys feel about the level of top-tier Australian Counterstrike? I know you guys have been winning everything since 2020, but things have been getting closer like ex-Direwolves took you down in the upper bracket at DreamHack. Is it much closer right now or do you still have a comfortable lead?

INS: I honestly think ex-Direwolves have gotten a lot better. I don't think we played out best in this tournament, we still managed to win. They have improved pretty good since we got back from Cologne. I think they will keep improving and so will we. 

Rohan : I want to talk about the maps in CS: GO. Valve has been very slow in adding new maps to the active duty map pool. Do you think there should be a rotation system in CS: GO maps? Once every six months or maybe once a year?

Hatz: I think maybe after every two majors. Just cause it can also get to a point when it's maybe a bit too much and people can't really stay consistent cause there are always new updates. But I think at this time, for me personally, it was getting pretty stale with Train still being in the map pool. It was a long time with just the same stuff. Definitely think they made the right choice/timing in adding Ancient. Whether that's a good decision or not is something different.

I don't think anyone's going to pull off a 500 IQ play at IEM Fall

Liam on teams using droppable grenades at iEM fall

Rohan : In the latest update, Valve introduced a new feature wherein you can drop grenades, some people say it's a big deal, it's going to change how Counter-strike is played. Some believe people are just making a fuss out of nothing. What are your thoughts on this feature and are you going to try something cheeky at IEM Fall?

Liam: I think it's a pretty big deal, to be honest. It changes quite a lot on both sides. We have two days to play around with it and so do all other teams in this tournament. I don't think anyone's going to pull off 500 IQ just yet, it's going to take some time to figure out how useful it is strategically. I think for this tournament it will be pretty plain. It does change a lot in the long term.

IEM Fall Oceania features four teams competing for a $10,000 prize pool and valuable RMR points. Renegades and ORDER are fighting for the one spot for Oceania at the PGL Stockholm Major. With a 180 points separating the two teams, their performance at IEM fall would decide whether Renegades is going to PGL Stockholm Major or can ORDER upset the order and grab the slot.

Stay tuned to for regular coverage and more CS: GO interviews during IEM Fall 2021.

Featured Image Credit: Stephanie Lieske for ESL.