Dec 12 2016 - 5:34 pm
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Esports Minor League: Fall 2016 Week 3 Preview

The ESML is back in action while most of the pros head home from Burbank. Get a quick preview of what is to come in week three right here.
Journalist for GAMURS
preview

While the world wakes up from an incredible HCS Finals, the Minor League will be back in action Monday and Friday to satisfy that craving of more competitive Halo.

With several members of the Esports Minor League attending the HCS Finals in Burbank, it is unsure at the moment who will need to be substituted. Nevertheless, this week of play should be just as exciting as the first two.


Day One

Solstice (1-3) vs. Dynasty (3-1)

Setting The Scene

Solstice was able to get their first victory of the year over a solid Scion side, and later had a tough matchup against Most Wanted.

This was a definite turning point for a side that had an absolutely rough week one against two of the Minor League favorites, but now they face another powerhouse in Dynasty.

However, that strong side proved to be human, as it dropped a shocker to Fly Society to end the second week of play, and it may just prove to mess with the mojo of this team.

Prediction

While Dynasty has had matches against teams who are all at the bottom of the standings, Solstice squared off against 3sUp and Most Wanted.

Both of these sides were 3-0'd by Fly Society, so there isn't much transitive property work to do there, however, this could be one of the most competitive series of the night.

In terms of strength of schedule, though, I have to give this one to Solstice in a clutch 50-47 game five.

SOL 3 - 2 DYN

Scion eSports (1-3) vs. Most Wanted (3-1)

Setting The Scene

Scion has continued to sputter against the bottom-half teams, blanked by Solstice and giving PNDA their first win of the series.

Meanwhile, Most Wanted survived a tough week one match against 3sUp to come out and take home both of their week two matches three games to one.

The X factor here is who will replace Eli "Eli Elite" Ruiz on Scion, as according to his Twitter, he won't be returning to Scion. Whether that means he is out for the season or will play out the rest of it is yet to be seen, but Scion will most likely feel this effect right away.

Prediction

Call this the beat reporter's bias, however, I've seen and been more impressed with Most Wanted before this Minor League even started than with Scion.

If Scion picks up a clutch free agent, such as Burbank FFA winner Dillon Randa Randa, then it can turn this series on its head, but the overall experience of Most Wanted may outclass a Scion team that hasn't proved to be its week one self.

MW 3 - 1 SCI

Abusement Park (1-3) vs. PNDA Gaming (1-3)

Setting The Scene

Both of these teams have had brutal starts to their collective seasons, facing some of the top sides and being sent down to the bottom of the standings.

However, one of them will get their second win of the season, and break up the log-jam of teams who all have only a single win on their records.

Prediction

When looking at these two sides who only have a single win, you have to look at who they beat.

Abusement Park took down Fly Society, who also bested Dynasty in week two, while PNDA took Scion to four games in order to get its first win.

In terms of looking at who they beat, PNDA has an edge for how strong Fly Society has been this season, and while this series will be a close one, PNDA should pull out a game five win.

PNDA 3 - 2 ABP

Fly Society (2-2) vs. 3sUp (4-0)

Setting The Scene

3sUp is not happy to be home after placing third in Burbank, and they are going to attempt to use the whole of Fly Society as a punching bag.

This is a bit unfair to Fly Society, who got a statement win over Dynasty and a close series with Most Wanted, and who has risen to become an early top-four favorite in this league.

At the very least, 3sUp has to get all four of their members home from Burbank in time to play this match tonight.

Prediction

After speaking to several of the players this weekend in Burbank, they were all not happy about losing their chance at that coveted Pro League spot. 3sUp played its heart out in California and made a losers bracket run at Team Allegiance, however, they fell just short of becoming a pro Halo team.

As 3sUp has to follow up that kind of finish with a game in the MInors, it is safe to say that they will bring a lot of drive into this one.

Fly Society needs to be prepared for a team out for revenge, and as seen by 3sUp's 12-1 game record, they are going to be out for blood in the Minors for the rest of this season. 

3sUp 3 - 0 FS


Day Two

3sUp (4-0) vs. Dynasty (3-1)

Setting The Scene

The last time we saw these two sides square off in Vegas, 3sUp was able to get the hot 3-0 on Dynasty, and both sides finished in the top-three of the Open Circuit teams.

While 3sUp has dominated everything in its path, Dynasty has had several close calls in the Minor League thus far, and comes into this match with a team that has probably not cooled off from its weekend in Burbank.

Prediction

It's safe to say that 3sUp will attempt to run the entire Minor League as a warm up to the qualifiers for Worlds, and Dynasty will prove to be a tough challenge that they will overcome.

Dynasty is not an overrated team, despite their three wins against teams at the bottom of the league, and they will put up one heck of a fight against a side that will have an undying hunger for its next shot at a Pro League shot.

3sUp 3 - 1 DYN

Abusement Park (1-3) vs. Most Wanted (3-1)

Setting The Scene

The wild cards of the minors will square off against a Most Wanted side that trails closely behind 3sUp, and is ready to leapfrog over a Dynasty side that rivals its top-two spot in the league.

Prediction

At this point, the Abusement Park may have stabilized from its rough start, but they are still going to face Most Wanted.

MW 3 - 1 ABP

Fly Society (2-2) vs. Scion eSports (1-3)

Setting The Scene

After picking up an impressive win over Dynasty, Fly Society will come out of its 3sUp gauntlet to face a Scion team that has considerably cooled down.

Scion lost to Solstice earlier in week two 3-0, while the Society blanked Solstice.

Prediction

From the transitive property, I could easily say that Fly Society will sweep away Scion, but I do believe that there is still some fight to this side.

Given that they took Dynasty to five games and pulled off a win over Abusement Park, this could be Scion's shot to take home its second win in the Minors. However, FS may be a bit more than what Scion can chew, and they unfortunately may have to wait until next week to get that second win.

FS 3 - 1 SCI

PNDA Gaming (1-3) vs. Solstice (1-3)

Setting The Scene

On paper, the Minor League will end off with an early relegation matchup, as both sides are desperate to get out of the basement.

PNDA Gaming has seen its rocky start due to major shakeups before the league began, while Solstice has yet to find solid ground against a few formidable sides.

Prediction

I don't care what the records say here, this is going to be the match of week two.

Both these sides have definitely built up enough anger as they have yet to fully show their powers, and will take out their angst on each other in an all-out dog-fight.

In that fight though, as both teams have beaten Scion, I'll take a quick coin flip to see who I think should win:

*lands on its side*

... Okay I'll just take PNDA with a 51 percent vote of confidence.

PNDA 3 - 2 SOL


For all your Halo and esports updates, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.

James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.

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