Over the weekend, the Hoyts Cinema Complex in Sydney played host to the finals of Gfinity’s Elite Series in Australia. The Street Fighter V finals, held on Sunday afternoon, proved to be an epic clash between two of Australia’s finest: Melbourne Order and Perth Ground Zero. After seven weeks of intense competition, audiences were treated to a fiery showdown.
Both teams brought the goods – passion, a visceral rivalry, and some of the biggest personalities in the FGC. The stage was set and the mood in the theatre was palpable.
Melbourne Order’s ROF has been outspoken and talking big since the start of the Gfinity series. Not surprisingly, punters were keen to see if the smack-talking “Villain” of the FGC would reign victorious, or if he would be made to eat his words.
As the two teams were introduced on stage, the usually good-natured Perth Ground Zero team captain, Rupps, gave ROF a “friendly” shove, much to the blood-thirsty audience’s delight. But, in a surprising about-face, Melbourne Order team captain, ROF, extended the offer of a handshake to his rival, proclaiming, “May the best man win.”
Melbourne Order’s Bug (Ibuki) vs. Perth Ground Zero’s DookyT (Akuma)
The first matchup between Order’s Bug, playing Ibuki, and Ground Zero’s DookyT, playing Akuma was an explosive start to the competition. The first round was close with Bug getting some good combos in, but DookyT edged out the win with some impressive combos of his own. The second round looked like it would go to Bug, but DookyT came back from the brink to take the first point for his Perth team.
Melbourne Order’s Travis Styles (Balrog) vs. Perth Ground Zero’s Syo (Ibuki)
Order quickly responded with a 2:1 round win in favor of Travis Styles against Syo, who admitted pre-game that the Order line-up put the fear into him. Travis’s defensive play style with Balrog thrived off Syo’s offensive Ibuki whose health would easily chip away. Syo came back in the second round to temporarily even the score, but Travis’s patience paid off in round three waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Melbourne Order’s ROF (Birdie) vs. Perth Ground Zero’s Rupps (R. Mika)
The third match, between team leaders ROF and Rupps, was a complete stomp in favor of Melbourne Order’s loudmouth captain. ROF’s Birdie had a considerable advantage over Rupps’ choice in R. Mika, who struggled with getting up close enough to be effective.
ROF took both rounds for another Order win.
Melbourne Order’s Travis Styles (Balrog) vs. Perth Ground Zero’s Rupps (R. Mika)
After a short break, the fourth game match-up between Travis and Rupps was another hard-fought 2:1 victory to Melbourne Order. All three rounds were close with Rupps comfortable adapting to Travis’s “do-nothing” style. Round three looked to belong to Rupps as well, but Travis pulled out all the stops to squeeze out the win.
Melbourne Order’s ROF (Birdie) vs. Perth Ground Zero’s DookyT (Akuma)
The final game between ROF and DookyT was a highly anticipated matchup. Akuma players will tout that Birdie is a difficult opponent for Akuma, and Round One proved that sentiment with an almost perfect run from ROF, who easily neutralized Akuma’s fireballs. Round two was closer, but DookyT couldn’t quite pull it off, leaving ROF to take the point, securing the series for Melbourne Order.
A mighty effort from Perth Ground Zero, but Melbourne Order took the title of the inaugural Gfinity Street Fighter V champions. The first Gfinity Elite Series was a resounding success, lifting the profile of esports in the Oceanic region. Congratulations to Melbourne Order on their epic Street Fighter V win and on taking out the entire Series, including CS:GO and Rocket League. Bring on Season Two!
Based in Australia, I owe my love of esports to my partner’s involvement with Masterminds Gaming Club. In my spare time, I write game reviews for Neon Lights Gaming and troll my favourite streamers’ Twitch chats. I like to eat Nutella straight out of the jar, and If I invite you out for coffee, it means “You can have a coffee if you want; I’m getting a triple-choc Nutella popcorn milkshake with cookie crumb”.