Cloud9 didn’t go into the first week of the HCS Pro Series’ second split at full strength. Despite FaZe Clan rookie Bound subbing on the roster in the place of Renegade, their grand-finals matchup against OpTic Gaming looked like business as usual for the back-to-back Raleigh and Anaheim champions. They won the best-of-five series 3-1 to take home first place in the weekly tournament.
Bound was a key part of that victory. Super subs have been a trend in competitive Call of Duty as of late, with the successes of Prolute on OpTic Texas and Spart helping Los Angeles Guerillas to win Major Two, but substitutes have traditionally seen less success in Halo. Bound, however, stepped up to the plate in the series against OpTic and nestled into Renegade’s spot as the team’s slayer perfectly, putting up numbers unlike anyone else in the lobby.
OpTic were heavily outslayed throughout the series, all four members failing to produce a positive K/D ratio according to data provided by Halo Data Hive, and a lot of that came at the hands of Bound and C9 team leader Eco. The two combined for 181 kills alone, and Bound concluded their victory with a standout 1.29 K/D. While Eco’s statistics were less flashy on a leaderboard, he had the most assists on his team on top of having the second-most kills in the lobby. It’s easy to lose synergy when even one player on a roster is different, but Eco’s tenacity to get involved with every team fight and put in the dirty work made sure that Bound could succeed, and made for a temporary C9 roster that looked every bit as dominant as its permanent one.
It was going to be a tall order for OpTic to win in the grand finals coming from the losers bracket regardless, needing to win two best-of-five series while C9 only needed the one. Game one did show signs of promise as OpTic came out strong with a win on Live Fire Strongholds, but their momentum tapered off with each passing map. C9 never had it too easy, with every match only narrowly swinging in their favor, but OpTic equally failed to clutch up in those narrow margins. They will be back to the drawing board before next week’s Pro Series matches if C9 with a substitute was still able to take victory against them like this.
The results for the C9 vs. OpTic grand finals were as follows:
- Game one: Strongholds on Live Fire (OpTic win 250 – 188)
- Game two: Slayer on Streets (Cloud9 win 50 – 40)
- Game three: King of the Hill on Recharge (Cloud9 win 4 – 3)
- Game four: Capture the Flag on Aquarius (Cloud9 win 2 – 1)
C9’s victory is nothing to scoff at, but the absence of Sentinels may have played a part in their ability to take the top step. Sentinels wiped C9 off the mainstage in the grand finals at the recent HCS Kansas City Major and it stands to reason that they aim to continue that dominance after the legendary roster struggled in the early days of Halo Infinite. Sentinels will most likely be back for week two of the Pro Series, but they, alongside fellow partnered teams FaZe Clan and eUnited, were absent from play this time around.