Throughout the year of 2016 the ex-Athletico roster now known as Tainted Minds collectively attained over four national event victories (including all ESL Australia major events) as well as participated in an additional four international competitions; cementing themselves by a strong margin as the fiercest AU & NZ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive line-up of 2016.

With a period of dominance lasting for over six months, the young and energised ex-Athletico line-up were able to fill a void that was left from the oceanic scene’s great predecessors such as Team Immunity and Vox Eminor. However it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows for the aspiring roster and in order to understand their profound dominance an examination of their history must be conducted.

The Alpha Stage

Beginning their journey as Alpha Sydney it didn’t take long for the roster of Sonic, Liazz, Chuch, Infrequent and Kyoto to find their feet as they sought to compete in numerous online CyberGamer tournaments. However it was actually the 11th of January where the line-up truly touched ground as they blitzed through the IEM Taipei ANZ Open Qualifier. Defeating Corvidae in the finals, a known up-and-coming roster with today’s premier Australian competitors such as INS, Alistair, Gratisfaction and Erkast.

With the open qualifier coming as a great success Alpha Sydney sought no reason to stop as they even managed to top their group in the closed portion of the Taipei ANZ Qualifier. Even taking victory over Team Immunity; a prestigious powerhouse team in the Oceanic region. Unfortunately however, this is just about as far as they got as they were soon extinguished by the Chiefs ESC roster in the semi-finals; the very same roster that then went on to win-out the qualifier and compete overseas in Taipei.

Soon after, Alpha Sydney then went on to qualify in the CyberGamer Professional League in yet another case of complete domination during the Summer Slam II qualification stage. At this point in time, so early in the team’s career, it was clear that they had be destined for a prosperous future. With fans chanting #GoAlpha it was as if nothing could possibly go wrong…

The Day of Reckoning

In the month of March 2016 it was announced that CS:GO Alpha Sydney player Infrequent was banned from all CyberGamer events, leagues and competitions for a minimum of two years. This decision formed by the AC (Anti-Cheat) panel of CyberGamer and was comprised of several unknown individuals in which, in conjunction with the refusal of handing in POV demos from Infrequent, concluded that he had been convicted as a cheater.

The consequences of this ban were enormous. The roster was immediately segregated from the Alpha Sydney organisation, participation in the upcoming CGPL season was revoked and Jesse “Infrequent” Barker was tarnished as an un-redeemable cheater who should be exiled from the Counter-Strike community. During this time the roster felt no motivation to compete in further online tournaments and after weeks of both hatred from the community as well as assurance from team members that Infrequent’s is and remains innocent, a new statement was released from the CyberGamer admin team.

Vindication

Almost a month proceeding Infrequent’s ban, another statement was made by CyberGamer informing the public that the circumstances of which Infrequent had been previously been banned, no longer applied since several members of the AC panel had gone back on their word convicting the player of his allegations. As a result of this Infrequent’s ban was relieved and in no time at all it was back on the horse for the old Alpha Sydney roster.

Now the appropriately titled Homeless roster, Infrequent & Co. we’re immediately back in the ring and asserting their dominance amongst the oceanic region. Fortunately for the team this was a time in which Australia had made some headway in terms of competitions as well as a period where no distinct team ruled the lands of Counter-Strike.

With this opportunity at hand, Homeless filled the absence of authority and quickly struck first place in the scene’s most prestigious competitions such as ESL’s ANZ Season 1 Championships; catching the eyes of fans and organisations alike.

The Leap To Greatness

Coming into the month of May, the Homeless roster were acquired by Athletico, an organisation which had many notorious rosters in the past including a CGPL Season One Grand Finalist lineup. Alongside this support of their organisation, Athletico with wind in their sails were able to ascend to a level of superiority which hadn’t been seen from the oceanic region in many months.

By placing first over four national tournaments and competing in numerous international events, it is clear to see why such a team with a tenure of over twelve months had such an outstanding era during the year of 2016.

Photo credit: ESL Australia