Nov 17 2016 - 11:51 pm
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HCS Las Vegas Open Circuit Finals Preview & Predictions

Nine teams are guaranteed a spot for Championship Sunday, but only the top-two make it into the relegation tournament. Which Open Circuit teams will rise to the occasion?
Journalist for GAMURS
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Luck had nothing to do with these top teams rolling high into Las Vegas for the final HCS Open Circuit event of the season, but predicting what two sides will make it to the relegation tournament is harder than a good night on a craps table.

The first three teams are already guarenteed a spot in the Open Circuit Finals, as they finished in the top-three of HCS Orange County. The other four are my picks at teams who may shock those dominate sides and wind up in the Relegation/Promotion Tournament against Enigma6 and Allegiance, or at the very least, turn some heads on Championship Sunday.

Here are the seven teams to watch out for from the Open Circuit:


Most Wanted

The Team:

Kyle "Nemassist" Kubina, Garrett "LifeStyle" Miller, Troy "DasTroyed" Dusman, Alex "Swift Kill" Ramirez

Preview:

Most Wanted is a force to be reckoned with in the Open Circuit.

Going undefeated in Open Bracket play at HCS Orange County, finishing fourth in that event, and going on to place second overall in the HCS Open Circuit season is quite the resume.

Prediction:

This team will be a Pro League team next season.

That's all I have to say.

Without a doubt in my mind, the talent on this team can hold its own in the pros, and, unless they have The Hangover Part IV in Vegas, they will be going to Burbank for the Relegation Tournament.

Predicted Final Placement: First in Open Circuit Finals (Qualifies for Relegation), Seventh/Eighth Championship Bracket


Solstice

The Team:

Xrossfade, Kaiss, Galaxy, Stress

Preview:

This team flew right under the radar of the HCS Open Circuit, mainly because they qualified for a free Open Circuit Finals spot at HCS Orange County,

You can't blame Solstice for that, as they've also focused on getting qualified for the upcoming Halo Minor League.

Needless to say, this team is set regardless of how they finish in HCS Las Vegas, although a Pro League spot is a lot better than the HML.

Prediction:

I don't like teams that creep back up onto the scene after not playing in constant Open Circuit matches.

Because of that, I'm completely biased against Soltice, as I believe other teams will creep up on them in the Open Circuit Finals and knock them out of contention for a relegation spot.

Predicted Final Placement: Fourth in Open Circuit Finals, Ninth-12th in Championship Bracket


3sUp Entertainment

The Team:

Abel "Rammyy" Garcia, Zeke "Prototype" Martinez, Chance "MoNsTcR" Duncan, Jonathan "Renegade" Willette

Preview:

The other team that should be your favorite to qualify for the relegation tournament is 3sUp, who rolled its way to the top of the HCS Open Circuit with a staggering 2,410 HCS Points.

Winning three cups (one open and two legendary) throughout the season, as well as qualifying for the OC Finals through Orange County and getting a spot for the Halo Minor League, 3sUp has been one of the most consistent organizations in the Halo minors.

Prediction:

The acquisition of Renegade JW is, in my opinion, the greatest thing that has happened to 3sUp, and will bolster their chances at making not only the relegation tournament, but the Pro League itself.

It makes 3sUp into even more legitimate contenders, and it will show when they take down several talented semi-pro sides en route to Burbank.

Predicted Final Placement: Second in Open Circuit Finals (Qualifies for Relegation), Seventh/Eighth Championship Bracket


6S Gaming

The Team:

Jorge "Boamx" Campos, Trippey, Tyler "TireIron" Mara, Saiyan

Preview:

Barely missing the cut for a Minor League spot, it is now or never for this side that sees a FFA force in TireIron.

Prediction:

Despite the history of both Boamx and TireIron being successful, I don't see this team getting far in the Open Circuit Finals, if they do make it.

They made one hell of a losers bracket run during the second Halo Minor League qualifier, but not making that league is a clear indicator that Las Vegas may not be their tournament.

Predicted Final Placement: Fifth/Sixth in Open Circuit Finals, Ninth-12th in Championship Bracket


Bittersweet

The Team:

Dillon "Randa" Randa, Gilbert "MuNoZ" Muñoz, T3CT9, BrainStrm

Preview:

Daddy Randa's Daycare is under new management in the Bittersweet organization, and while Randa's side did not perform as expected in both the Open Circuit and the HML qualifier, a pickup of MuNoZ may kick start this roster in Las Vegas...

Prediction:

But I'm not counting on it.

Because they lost to 6S in the Halo Minor League, I don't have too much faith in Randa. This may cause my Twitter mentions to explode, but this squad is my last team in these top-seven that I've chosen out of the many squads attending HCS Las Vegas.

Predicted Final Placement: Seventh/Eighth in Open Circuit Finals, 13th-16th in Championship Bracket


Set To Destroy X

The Team:

Oguz "Burton" Ustuntas, Tyler "Calm Mentality" Mozingo, Chris "Blaze" Chapon, Justin "Hunter Jjx" Joseph

Preview:

The former Sicker than Yo Average side has a new name under the StDx brand, and will look to avenge their fallout of the top-eight in the Open Circuit with a run at Las Vegas.

Like most teams, each of these men possess some professional LAN experience, and taking them lightly is the last thing a team wants to do.

Prediction:

From interviewing Blaze and Burton, this is a team that just wants to fight, but they may be outmatched by several teams who are also in that weird semi-pro stage.

They may not make it to Burbank, but they will bring several matches to the final game, kicking and plowing through anything they can touch.

Predicted Final Placement: Fifth/Sixth in Open Circuit Finals, Ninth-12th in Championship Bracket


PNDA Gaming

The Team:

Faisal "Goofy" Khan, Ryan "RyaNoob" Geddes, Gabriel "Gabriel" Funes-Soto, Scottie "Cloud" Holste

Preview:

Another strong team of semi-pros, PNDA Gaming recently qualified for the Halo Minor League at UGC St. Louis, and also upset Team Allegiance.

Prediction:

This team has a lot of talent, but there are too many talented teams fighting for just two spots in the relegation tournament.

I definitely have one of these teams in the running for grabbing one of those spots, but having to go through Most Wanted (which they did at St. Louis) and 3sUp to get there would be a tall task.

However, I do see them taking down Solstice and/or 6S Gaming, and definitely can shock my predictions completely by taking home the Open Circuit Final and making a run on Sunday.

Predicted Final Placement: Third in Open Circuit Finals, Ninth-12th in Championship Bracket


What two teams do you see making the relegation tournament out of the Open Circuit?

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 on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.

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