Sep 20 2016 - 8:55 pm

HCS Week 2 Preview and Predictions

Week two of the North American Halo Championship Series Fall Season is here. Will EG and Luminosity remain undefeated? Will OpTic recover from last week's slip-up?
Journalist for GAMURS

Week two of the North American Halo Championship Series Fall Season is here, and with it brings eight teams who jockey for early position before the first in-season event in Santa Ana, California.

Here is a quick preview of all the matches this week, as well as some predictions on who might win each match.

As a reminder, you can click here for stats and standings after one week of play.


Day One:

Allegiance (0-2) vs. LOL (0-2)

Setting the Scene:

Both of these teams had a rough first week of play, but for two entirely seperate reasons. While LOL had to deal with losing their OpTic identity, Allegiance had two long matches that ended with losses in the fifth game.

This is anything but a pride game though, as Allegiance proved to be one of the greatest Strongholds team in the league, and LOL has Ryan "RyaNoob" Geddes joining several veterans who want to move on after Nick "MaNiaC" Kershner's retirement.

One team will finally get one in the W column after this game, and will look to gain momentum after going 0-2 to start the season.

Prediction:

I don't know who to give more sympathy to going into this game, but I'll probably be feeling even worse for LOL when this game is over.

Allegiance had two decisive victories in Strongholds last week, while LOL were blown out in every single one, with their closest loss being by 30 to Luminosity.

If I am LOL, I am making sure to ban as many Strongholds maps as possible, and hope to gain momentum early with some CTF, where ALG lost every game in week one.

At this point, ALG is out for revenge after their game five losses, and will most likely beat up LOL for their first win of the season.

ALG 3 - 0 LOL

Team EnVyUs (1-1) vs. Evil Geniuses (2-0)

Setting the Scene:

EnVyUs was supposed to be the super team that EG is, being the "God Squad" that takes down the ex-CLG side in OpTic. Instead, it was the Geniuses who defeated OG last week, and EnVyUs can at least get some credit back by defeating EG to kick off week two.

The Geniuses fought in an epic 35 minute battle against OpTic in their first game, and wound up taking the series in four by outplaying the objective over the greatest slayers in the game.

Meanwhile, EnVyUs was blitzed by Team Liquid, getting swept out of the first day thanks to blowing a 16 kill lead in Slayer, and loss on a CTF restart. They took out their anger on LOL, but they want to draw blood on a major HCS contender

Prediction:

This series begins a great stretch of three games between teams who all either have something to prove, or a perfect record to keep, and it starts with this matchup.

I will be shocked if this one does not go to five games, as EnVyUs wants to be defined as the "God Squad" again, but EG will wind up staying undefeated. This game will see EnVyUs expose some weak spots in EG though, which other teams in the league should take note of.

EG 3 - 2 nV

Luminosity Gaming (2-0) vs. Enigma6 Group (1-1)

Setting the Scene:

The other undefeated team takes on a Fall Season finalist, in a game that should be a major gatekeeper to LG's run at a perfect record. Luminosity made it to week two the hard way, as they fought hard for their second win in a five game series against Allegiance.

On the other end, Enigma6 were swept by OpTic... But in a weird way, due to some connection issues, which I cannot objectively talk about due to a severe lack of information from the players.

Prediction:

I'm not even going to touch on Enigma6 Group, not only because Carlos "Cratos" Ayala was irate with the media in his post-game interview, but because of yet another post on the Team Beyond forums by StelluR. It's not fair for me to discuss them in that light, and it is next to impossible to give an opinion on this team without touching on those issues, so I'm declining to comment on them.

Rather, I'm going to talk more on how Luminosity Gaming seems to have a fantastic team framework. Yes, they did give LOL their only game win of the first week, and they took five games to dispose of ALG, but save for a game of Strongholds, they still looked great in their two games.

Give me two top-five stronghold capturers in Brett "Naded" Leonard and Daniel "Danoxide" Terlizzi, along with a sharpshooter like Visal "eL TowN" Mohanan, and we'll have ourselves a game five win by LG.

LG 3 - 2 E6

Team Liquid (1-1) vs. OpTic Gaming (1-1)

Setting the Scene:

Both of these teams have relatively unexpected records. OG was not supposed to lose a single game this season, but were beat by EG in a four game series. They are still the best slayers in the league though, posting a team KA/D of over 1.9.

Team Liquid, meanwhile, was expected to start 0-2 with tough matchups against EnVyUs and E6. Instead, they took out the supposed "God Squad" on day one, and took last season's runner-up to five games.

TL is going to look to provide another shocker against OG, and if they do so, they will most likely be a team to watch come playoff season.

Prediction:

This is the game I feel least confident about on day one, because Team Liquid showed that they can hang with some of the best teams in HCS last week, while OG lost out to EG, a team that was projected to finish in the middle of the pack.

Zane "Penguin" Hearon is definitely going to go off again like he did last week against EnVyUs and especially E6, where he had a league leading five flag captures in all week one games. Also, I will be disappointed if ESL doesn't throw his face on a Pingu cartoon at some point this season. If they don't do it, I will. #NootNoot

Anyways, OpTic is going to tell its fans to R-E-L-A-X, but will most likely drop a single game of CTF to Team Liquid in this series.

OG 3 - 1 TL


Day Two:

Luminosity Gaming vs. Team EnVyUs

Setting the Scene:

Both of these teams will most likely be coming off of five game matches, so fans should be spoiled with this kick-off.

Veterans and young guns populate both teams, with EnVyUs having Justin "iGotUrPistola" Deese and fan-favorite Cuyler "Huke" Garland, while Luminosity has the return of Naded along with Kevin "Eco" Smith.

Prediction:

Call me one to overhype LG, but I feel like this team can prove a lot by not only taking down E6, but EnVyUs as well in one week.

EnVyUs technically outslays LG, which could be an issue come time for those game types, but in terms of objective play, LG showed a great amount of rotations and awareness during their games.

Not only that, but I don't trust EnVyUs after the first week, and I'm afraid of another comeback situation in order for Luminosity.

LG 3 - 1 nV

Team Liquid vs. Allegiance

Setting the Scene:

Bear in mind, Allegiance have the two non-OpTic players in the top five for KA/D, with Ryan "Shooter" Sondhi posting a KA/D above 1.9, and Devon "PreDevoNatoR" Layton following behind with a 1.87.

Prediction:

Allegiance will shake off their "game five choke artist" nickname in this one, in what you can technically call an upset.

ALG will somehow get two games of Strongholds on the map rotation, and outslay Liquid in the only Slayer game. They may have some definite issues in CTF, but this team will have most likely worked them out by this point, if not by mid-season.

It will be the only game five of day two, and it will be one of the most underrated matches of the week.

ALG 3 - 2 TL

OpTic Gaming vs. LOL

Setting the Scene:

The feels. All the feels.

A team that was kicked out of its own organization is facing the most dominant team in Halo, who now flies the very same flag those men were represented by a few weeks prior.

Could this be the revenge game from LOL? Could Aaron "Ace" Elam and Bradley "APG" Laws make OpTic pay a lot more than what they did for CLG in a sweet, sweet 3-0 sweep?

Prediction:

I'm sorry LOL, I really am. However, I can't see OpTic dropping a single game here.

OG 3 - Crying Jordan Face, Ex-OpTic

Evil Geniuses vs. Enigma6 Group

Setting the Scene:

EG is where Enigma6 was last year; the team who had the audacity to take down the best team in Halo during the season.

This game will be a "passing of the torch" game between these two sides, as E6 tries to get back to its former glory, while EG wants to crush its way to the top.

Prediction:

EG is going to be too red hot for E6 to handle.

I see this series going either one of two ways: E6 takes EG to five games, where the Geniuses pull off a great game of CTF to put down E6...

Or the Geniuses truly are the team to beat this year now that they took down OpTic, and they will use some frustration to finally get their first sweep of the season.

EG 3 - 0 E6


Who do you think will win and lose this week in HCS?

Let us know in the comments below and for all your Halo and general esports updates, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.

James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted by email at jamestmattone@gmail.com or on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.

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