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In a city that already sports countless famous rivalries; Carlton-Collingwood, Essendon-Hawthorn, Victory-City, esports promoter Gfinity have today announced the addition of a second Melbourne team to their upcoming Elite Series competition, in the form of the Melbourne Order.
The Order will take their roster from existing franchise Order esports, who emerged from the remains of defunct team Regicide earlier this year and qualified for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) world championships at IEM Katowice.
They are set to enjoy a fierce rivalry with Melbourne Avant who, alongside the Sydney Chiefs, were one of the first two teams announced for the competition back in Feburary.
Order general manager, Jake Tiberi, said he was honoured, saying he and Order were “excited to further cement our presence as part of the Melbourne esports community by becoming a representative of Melbourne in the Gfinity Elite Series Australia.”
“It’s a great opportunity to represent our fans locally with some of the biggest names in Australia, and we look forward to the competition,” he added.
Gfinity Australia CEO, Dominic Redmond, said the rivalry with Melbourne Avant would be one of the highlights of the competition, while the promotion of such a locally-oriented team would help grassroots esports continue to grow.
“Australia has a long history of traditional sporting rivalries, and we’re excited to welcome a second Melbourne team, bringing our own flavour of derby to the Gfinity Elite Series Australia.”
“Melbourne Order tackling Melbourne Avant are fixtures of the future – every big city needs healthy competition,” he said.
“It’s a key goal for us that the future of Australian esports is represented through the Gfinity Australia Elite Series. The grassroots community has driven the local industry to where it is today, and we want to support and foster that growth through our city based league,” he added.
The Gfinity Elite Series – which is now set to kick-off on Saturday, June 2 – will be the first domestic, city-based esports competition in Australia, and will also offer esports athletes national record $400,000 prize pool.
Teams will compete in three esports – CS:GO, Street Fighter V and Rocket League – much in the same way countries participate in different sports at the Commonwealth Games or Olympics. The best teams will emerge over seven weeks of competition, before finals are played to decide the ultimate champions.
The Challenger Series, which was open to all aspiring esports professionals, pitted ordinary gamers against one another in competition to see who would be drafted to Elite Series teams before the season.
This competition is currently in its third season in the UK. During the first UK season, 30 amateurs were drafted into the rosters of professional esports teams – and the Rocket League grand final actually saw an equal number of existing professionals and recent draftees competing.
We spoke with Order GM Jake Tiberi back in March, before it was announced his team would be in the Elite Series. In that interview, he discussed his list’s CS:GO success, while also noting a keen interest in getting involved in both Street Fighter and Rocket League.
Note: Gfinity Australia is a joint venture with HT&E Events. The Roar is published by Conversant Media, which is owned by HT&E.