OMEGA ESPORTS showed once more they have the keys to breaking the code as they defeated Blacklist International Ultimate in the grand finals to become the CODM Garena Masters 3 champions yesterday at Manila Marriott Hotel, Newport World Resorts.
In a rematch of the Garena Masters 2 grand finals, Smart Omega reasserted their dominance over Blacklist in the SMP (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines) region in CODM, scoring a 3-2 win in a five-game thriller.
Blacklist initially took the lead in Game 1, winning a close one in Hardpoint at Firing Range, 250-221. Smart Omega struck back, dominating Game 2 in Search and Destroy at Standoff 7-3 and Control at Raid 3-1.
However, Blacklist wouldn’t go down easily as they dominated Smart Omega on their own with a convincing win in Hardpoint at Takeoff 250-169 to force a winner-take-all Game 5.
At the deciding Search and Destroy at Summit, Smart Omega controlled the whole game behind a stellar all-around performance and a game-breaking highlight flank by Ronan Arkie "Rage" Eleria in round 10 where he backstabbed three Blacklist players to take the title home for Smart Omega.
The matchup was also the first time the teams got to use their newest player acquisitions against each other, including Nel “R1SKY” Buemio of Smart Omega and Blacklist’s Shan Rouise “FDx” Mateo. The two replaced Kevin “Kevs” Baguio and Railey “Yobabs” Abrenica, respectively, for their teams to prepare for the age eligibility restrictions in future tournaments.
In the end, R1SKY proved to be an exceptional get for Omega as he helped the team secure their second straight Garena Masters title without Kevs, who was instrumental to the squad's Garena Masters 2 run.
How Smart Omega did it
Aside from Kevs, another notable absence for Smart Omega CODM for their Garena Masters 3 journey was team captain JC “Jayzee” Rivera, who now plays for Smart Omega’s Hyper Front team.
Jerrold “Woopiiee” Regay succeeded Jayzee as captain, inheriting the keys to the team as one of the OG’s of the squad.
With Woopiiee at the helm, he, along with mainstays John Kenneth “KenDy” Pimentel and Kennedy “iDra” and team acquisitions Rage and R1SKY, Omega charted a familiar path albeit with a revamped team.
They started off with a domination in the group stages, scoring an incredible 16 map wins against only two losses. The boys in green and white went at the likes of RTL Esports, PDR Esports, and NV Doctors to take the top spot in Group B coming into the playoffs.
The playoffs came, and Smart Omega got to work early. They first went up against C8 Legacy in the quarterfinals, defeating them 3-1, and against the WPM LowKings in the upper bracket semifinals, winning in a five-game thriller 3-2. Smart Omega advanced to the upper bracket finals where they faced Blacklist, defeating them also in 5 games 3-2 to send them to the lower bracket.
What’s next for Smart Omega
With their championship win, Smart Omega took home $10,000 (approximately 600,000 pesos) from the $25,000 prize pool.
Moreover, they will qualify for Stage 4 of the CODM World Championship 2022 and compete in the Garena Regional Qualifiers against teams from Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore. This will be the ticket to the Stage 5 and the Worlds, where Garena will have 2 slots to qualify.