In the final week of an NA HCS Pro Series split marked by its upsets and unexpected underdogs, the grand finals were anything but unexpected.
For the third time in a row, OpTic Gaming faced off against Cloud9 for the victory, and for the second time in a row, OpTic put on a dominant performance to stake their claim as the top team in Halo Infinite right now. The Green Wall tucked away the best-of-five series with a 3-1 win.
Much of the spotlight was directed toward FormaL specifically, who turned around a weaker performance in OpTic’s last grand finals appearance to end up topping the majority of leaderboards this time around. Game three, Capture the Flag on Bazaar, was especially notable after a tight back-and-forth had the series sitting at a 1-1 tie.
FormaL’s performance was springboarded by support from his teammates. The veteran Call of Duty talent went on to amass two triple kills as part of a Killing Frenzy on C9 while the rest of OpTic ferried rapid flag captures back to base. Bazaar CTF is notorious for its tendency to cause stalemates and run into overtime, but OpTic’s ability to keep C9 in the respawn screen and limit their opportunities for counter captures meant that OpTic walked away with a 5-1 win. FormaL had a 2.0 K/D and 36 kills to call his own, which was 14 more than anybody else in the lobby.
Despite the fact that C9 stole away a close Slayer match in game two on Live Fire, OpTic’s synergy in the objective-based modes led to one-sided clashes. With OpTic only needing one more win to close out the grand finals following the dominant Bazaar CTF, King of the Hill on Live Fire was a similar story of failure for a C9 lineup hoping to rekindle some of their former glory. While aPG took hill control as his primary focus, Lucid and Trippy combined to be OpTic’s slaying power, walking away with the win in tow with 1.8 and 1.92 K/Ds, respectively.
Here are the full results for the OpTic vs. C9 grand finals:
- Game one: Strongholds on Streets (OpTic win 250-179)
- Game two: Slayer on Live Fire (Cloud9 win 50-47)
- Game three: Capture the Flag on Bazaar (OpTic win 5-1)
- Game four: King of the Hill on Live Fire (OpTic win 4-1)
With this tournament concluding the final week of the HCS Pro Series’ second split, C9 will head back to the drawing board in the build-up toward the NA Super in August and the Orlando Major the following month. Rumors still circulate around the permanence of Bound’s place on the team, who is currently subbing in for Renegade while FaZe Clan continue to be absent from play. They will be encouraged by the victory C9 took in week one with Bound, but their consistent struggles against OpTic will have to be ironed out quickly if they want a chance at the top step again.
In the OpTic camp, many of the questions surrounding FormaL will have been quashed by this return to form. With the talent on the roster, OpTic aim to win but have struggled to do so when it matters. FormaL’s performance against Sentinels in the Kansas City Major came under particular scrutiny, but if he can translate this online play into the LAN environment, OpTic look likely to be the favorite going into Orlando and the World Championship, especially with Sentinels knocked out in the top six in this week’s Pro Series by Spacestation Gaming.