If you hadn’t already heard, history was made at the Gfinity Elite Series in Week 3, after Perth Ground Zero fired on all cylinders to hand Melbourne Order an embarrassing 16-0 demolition.
We had the opportunity to speak with team captain BURNRUOk (Callum Henderson) about how they put together the reigning champions’ demise.
The Roar: So, obviously, you were actually at the Elite Series last season, but as far as I can tell, you only played to one game for Sydney Chiefs.
BURNRUOk: Yeah, that’s right.
The Roar: What do you remember of that match in June?
BURNRUOk: I mean, I just remember being really early stages of Gfinity and I remember going and thinking this is a pretty cool concept. I knew I was only going to play
one or two weeks of that season, so, I just went and played for the Chiefs with a few substitutes.
The Roar: Fair enough. And obviously, just back-tracking to your journey before Ground Zero. So, you played for Grayhound, I think, for almost two years. Then you joined Tainted Minds last year, and now you’re on Ground Zero. What led you to moving to Ground Zero full time?
BURNRUOk: Well, after the changes in Tainted Minds, I was going to take a bit of a break from CS. I’d been playing for a long time, I hadn’t really had a break in a while.
But, I got a call from Beau [Melia] – and I knew some of the boys on the team already and he gave me a pretty good deal too. So, instead of taking a break until the new year, I decided to play for the next two months.
His goal, he said to me, was to win Gfinity, so I said I’d do that for him and so that’s the goal, you know.
The Roar: Yeah, for sure. Your form across the first three weeks, of the Elite Series, obviously, the line-up you’re on has been there twice, it’s been pretty scary. You won a game 16-2 and you won a game 16-0.
Did you guys always think you were going to be the team to beat coming in to this season?
BURNRUOk: We thought it would be a bit of a challenge with, maybe, one or two of the teams. Like Avant and the Chiefs.
But, Chiefs don’t seem to be too good this season – and we still haven’t versed Avant, so we’ll see how they go. But, if we verse Order’s full line-up, I mean, that’s always going to be a
challenge. But, we didn’t the other week, so, we ended up smashing them.
The Roar: That’s it. Let’s talk about “the 16-0”. So, Order were going to be pretty gettable, because they had a backup team on the stage. Firstly, did that affect your planning, or preparation, for the match-up at all?
BURNRUOk: Not so much. I mean, we just came back from Taiwan, so, we played a few international line-ups and stuff. I mean, we were pretty fresh off the plane, so, none of the lads were pretty keen to put on a show.
We weren’t expecting a 16-0, of course, nobody ever really does. It’s not very easy to do, we ended, you know, just having the momentum.
The Roar: Realistically, if someone had asked you before the game, what you thought the score would be, what would you have said?
BURNRUOk: I would say they’d go, maybe, two or three rounds.
Maybe four. Yeah.
The Roar: Cool. Obviously, you really carved them up. I don’t know if you know, your match started 25 minutes late and the next match started more than half an hour early.
BURNRUOk: Yeah, I remember we were pretty quick.
The Roar: But why do you think … I mean, it’s one thing if you can play back-up teams and you can play, you know, teams who you should beat and have a good game. But, why do you think you were able to dominate this match so decisively in each round?
BURNRUOk: I think, to be honest, especially in the back of my mind – I really wanted to get home that day. Because, I mean, we were all a bit under the weather from travelling, so.
I know I didn’t even warm up on the PC’s to play that much, because I was having a bit of a lazy day. I just wanted to play the match and get out of there.
I think a little bit of that went into it. In the way I led the team and stuff. I mean, maybe, it was the fact or maybe it wasn’t, but, yeah.
The Roar: That’s cool. And then, as far as gameplay goes, what did you attribute to your actual ability to just execute every single round and just not really let up?
BURNRUOk: Yeah. It was actually like over-aggression on our part really. Especially me, I was playing extremely aggressively.
The Roar: I’m sure you’ve had other games in the past where you’ve played it and you’ve been dominating to some extent, maybe not 16-0, but you’ve been up by a fair bit. When you are playing a game and your team is just crushing it, how do you make sure the team is staying focused and doesn’t let bad habits or complacency creep into the game?
BURNRUOk: Well, the main goal is to keep them on their toes. Usually, you can tell, once you’re in the game and a few people aren’t working as much as they should be, you can definitely notice it and you can take care of it by speaking out. On LAN usually, everyone’s pretty switched on – so, that’s the idea behind it.
The Roar: Yeah, that makes sense. Over the last two rounds of the competition, you’ve got the winless Deceptors and the undefeated Avant coming up. Is there anything either of those teams does that you feel you need to look out for?
BURNRUOk: I mean, Avant are very good on one map – Mirage. They’ve beaten some pretty good teams on that map so, as long as we avoid that, I think we’ll have a pretty good chance beating them. And in terms of Brisbane I mean, they’re looking to get their first win on the board, so we’ve just got to watch out for that.
The Roar: Just lastly, how far do you think this team can go in 2018 Season 2?
BURNRUOk: I think we can win this. I mean, especially, what I’ve heard from Order is they’re gonna be using their backup line-ups. I’m pretty sure we can get to the finals and see what we can do – and take it out.