ORDER are now out of the shadow of Blank Esports. The insanely talented roster are now able to prove themselves without comparison to their old sister team, and if there is one place to do it, it’s at Melbourne Esports Open.
ORDER acquired the old Blank Blue roster midway through Season 2 of Contenders Australia, but the roots of the team stem back to early 2017 with Monopoly Club. Since then, the 4 core players Micro, Adam, Gob and Signed have remained relatively unchanged, with only Signed taking a break during their time as Your Name Here.
They won 4 straight CyberGamer Weekly Cups as Monopoly Club. As Athletico CAMO, they took down 4Legs to win the ESL ANZ Season 1 Championships. As Athletico Esports, they came second in the region’s first Open Division to 4Legs. As Your Name Here, they qualified for Contenders Australia Season 1 in first seed after taking down Kings GC (4Legs) and $krylla. As Blank Blue, they fell painfully short of the Contenders Season 1 Grand Final.
No matter what the roster has been called, they’ve shown us the same top-notch mechanical skill and been a force at the top of the Australian scene. And as ORDER, they’ll be looking to redeem themselves at Rod Laver Arena.
For Season 2 of Contenders Australia, they picked up Aetar, who shone on JAM Gaming and has performed well on LAN in the past – experience the rest of ORDER don’t have. In the transition to ORDER too, they bolstered their support staff, with ex-Blank Esports player Rqt joining as head coach.
Since obtaining the services of Rqt, the team has looked stronger and stronger. While they started the season off slow with a tough 4-0 loss to Sydney Drop Bears, they are coming into Melbourne at full speed.
WATCH: ORDER look to be in a hurry, as they smash Masterminds in 30 seconds on Kings Row in the Quarter Finals of Overwatch Contenders Australia Season 2.
I spoke to head coach Andrew “Rqt” Haws and flex support Max “Unter” Unterwurzacher about LAN preparation, ORDER’s evolution and the future.
The team has been in this position before and fallen one step short. How determined is everyone to not fall short once again?
Rqt: I speak for everyone on the team when I say Melbourne Esports Open is a very rare opportunity as far as esports goes in Australia. That alone gives the players the motivation and the hunger to do the best whilst also being a second chance for the players on this team to really show their full potential and take the title for Season 2.
Unter: The whole team has definitely upped the level of commitment this season with respect to how much time we spend together as a team. Nobody wants to come last, and the setting of MEO amplifies this feeling substantially for the whole team.
This season we increased our scrim hours from very rarely exceeding two hours a night to incorporating a lot more four hour blocks, and filled a lot of this space with theory which we pretty much did none of last season.
ORDER are definitely known for their mechanical prowess, but have lacked a bit of direction. Who’s taken a step up to lead the team and how much has the team improved in this area this season?
Rqt: Overwatch is such a fast-paced game with a high-level of complexity. It’s no surprise to anyone who has watched this team in the past that there has been a lack of direction in game, often being bailed out by incredibly skilled mechanical play.
Given that, I’ve been working primarily with the Supports and the Main Tank to not only build confidence in their communication but also putting emphasis on their abilities to communicate effectively in game as the problems come and take our strategies one fight at a time.
Unter: We’ve always been a pretty mechanically stacked team, and taking Rqt on board this season has been pretty huge with respect to increasing the level of discipline and strategy which we have within the team. I’d argue that in a few areas we have always had mechanically stronger players than a team like Dark Sided, but they’ve always been a league ahead in terms of game understanding.
Fortunately for us taking on Rqt has closed this gap. I’ve had to take a massive step up in terms of responsibility in game, and I’ve found myself largely in charge of fight planning, ultimate economy and making the final call as to whether a fight is won or lost. That being said the whole team has stepped up in terms of their capacity to lead and make calls in game.
Obviously the team has played on LAN before, but not in front of a massive crowd. How are the nerves within the team?
Rqt: Fortunately this is an area I’ve been lucky enough to have a relatively decent amount of experience with during my international events. The playoffs for MEO and Contenders S2 will be decided in one short night so it’s incredibly important to have a strong showing. There is no doubt in my mind that the crowd and stage will definitely play a factor in deciding the winners.
I will do my best to prepare the players for the event and will focus on making sure our players have the best communication necessary to keep them calm and on task in the game. Once they put their headphones on, that’s all that will matter.
Unter: This question interests me the most, and it’s the one that I think everybody should pay closest attention to. Internally, everybody’s understandably a little bit nervous about playing in front of a massive crowd, but I don’t think anybody on the team is regretting signing up for Contenders as a result. I can’t personally express how excited I am to play in front of a huge crowd which I know will be filled with friends and family from my home city.
Every Overwatch LAN that’s been hosted in Australia thus far has been a studio LAN; a tiny to nonexistent crowd in a relatively small room. This LAN at MEO is another breed entirely, and I think that playing in front of an enormous crowd has the potential to facilitate some serious upsets in these playoffs.
Very few players competing in the tournament have any recent ‘real LAN’ experience, with the only names immediately jumping to mind being Aetar competing for Team Australia at Blizzcon and Yuki playing in the Heroes Rumble. With so few players being LAN proven and chokes in first LAN appearances being a common phenomenon, nobody knows who is going to be a LAN choker.
As a result even the strongest teams in scrims could show up in the day and play like utter garbage due to the nerves that playing in front of a crowd can come with. The way I see it, this tournament could be anybody’s game, so I guess it might as well be ours.
Up against Dark Sided in the first round is a tough task, how are you going to take it to them? How’s the team’s preparation been in the lead up?
Rqt: We’ve been hard at work developing a couple of heroes with the patch changes right at the end of the main season. We’re predominantly focusing on ourselves and making sure we are comfortable and confident with our hero picks and strategies leading up to the match. That isn’t to say we haven’t prepared a few interesting and off-meta strategies to keep them guessing!
Unter: We’ve been preparing for this Dark Sided matchup for some time now, and we’re quite confident that we’re strong enough playing a variety of compositions to counter anything that Dark Sided attempt to throw at us. Every team in this tournament is beatable.
Where do you see the ORDER lineup in the future? Who in your opinion has the best chance of making it further in their career?
Rqt: I’d be lying if I said I’ve even thought about the future for this team, right now the only thing that is on my mind as a coach is making sure we’re in the best position for MEO. Naturally the team has a lot of talent behind it and everyone is known within the Australian scene as being some of the best the region has. I think it’s safe to say anyone on this team has the ability to make it far with the right attitude and effort behind them.
Unter: In the future I hope to see our team confidently at the top of Contenders Australia. If anybody on the team wished to pursue the dream of professional computer wargaming further I’d say Aetar, Signed or Adam would have the best chances at making it in this regard. Whether or not any of these three players genuinely wish to pursue the ‘Path to Pro’ is another matter entirely, but all three are extremely high potential players who could likely grind hard and be coached into absolute gods at the game.
I don’t personally see myself as one of these high potential players, I just play the game a lot and have developed decent mechanics on a couple of heroes as a result.