While Sentinels may have been the talk of the town with their win at HCS Kansas City, Cloud9 were still up to their usual antics throughout the Halo Infinite Major this weekend.
In the closing stages of pool play, the C9 roster finished a clean 3-0 sweep against Spacestation Gaming in style with back-to-back-to-back flag captures. They took what looked like a certain Spacestation victory and turned it on its head with only seconds left on the in-game clock.
Aquarius is one of the fastest Capture The Flag maps available in Halo Infinite right now, due to geometry that allows for lots of “curb slides,” an exploit in the physics engine where a slide performed at just the right time on certain terrain can be significantly faster and longer. C9’s Pznguin already displayed this once during a Pro Series match against OpTic Gaming in January, capping one flag in only 15 seconds.
With 55 seconds left on the clock and Spacestation up 4-1 in the game, C9 needed to pull off similar feats to even have a chance at tying up the game. Keeping Spacestation members on a brutal spawn cycle, with two to three players regularly on the death screen, Stellur captured flag No. 1 and Pznguin already had flag No. 2 on the move before it had fully re-materialized in the Spacestation base. In a run that equaled the electric 15-second run he had already performed in the HCS Pro Series, Pznguin brought home the second flag with very little contest to make the score now 4-3.
Thirty-eight seconds remained and a previously insurmountable comeback now seemed far more likely with only one more capture needed to tie up the game. Three C9 members rushed to the Spacestation base, taking a risky fight and winning it to put all four Spacestation players on respawn momentarily. With 15 seconds left, Renegade had the flag in his hands and was on the move back home. With a flag out that would potentially tie the game, C9 forced a sudden-death mechanic when the clock dropped to zero and gave themselves the time they needed to capture it and kick it into overtime. Frantic dives from Spacestation almost stopped the run, but their attempts ultimately proved fruitless to stop C9’s momentum.
Whether the sudden reversal of fortune broke Spacestation or not, C9 shut down any remaining hopes of Spacestation keeping themselves afloat in the series with one final flag cap in overtime to make the score 5-4 and win the set 3-0. It was an incredible display of synergy from the two-time tournament champions and perhaps a lesson learned about getting comfortable for the Spacestation roster.