HCS Orange County Grand Finals Breakdown
First off, congrats to both Argentina and Turkey for not winning HCS Orange County, but an entirely seperate event that has nothing to do with Halo.
Just thought I'd mention that before we got this article started.
Anyways, HCS Orange County, despite the concern of my good friend Zach, was a success in providing some quality Halo matches.
The teams that were there provided a great show, and in the end, it was OpTic Gaming who reigned supreme.
Their final matches were against Team EnVyUs, which is what most in the scene expected as the top two teams in the tournament. After taking down nV in the winners bracket finals in a 3-1 series, they had to face the boys in blue yet again in the grand finals.
The scoreline at the end of the night read 4-0, but this series was one of the most competitive ones of the event. Don't believe me? Well let's just break down game one, which is an early contender for match of the season.
OpTic Gaming vs. Team EnVyUs - Grand Finals
Game 1: CTF - Truth
EnVy got the early start on this map, with Justin "iGotUrPistola" Deese splintering Bradley "Frosty" Bergstrom in a crucial moment to get nV up 1-0. They wound up taking some great spots on Truth, securing camo at points and stopping Frosty's suicide run up mid.
OG's response would come six minutes before regulation after Mathew "Royal2" Fiorante decided to have fun with camo and a sword in nV's base. He threw out the flag for Frosty, who finally potted the equalizer. Royal2 would finish the match with a 32-19-20 clip.
nV got the counter-cap after mowing down the OpTic ranks, with Eric "Snip3down" Wrona putting his team one away from the win. Snip3down also had four perfects in this game.
All the boys in blue had to do was stop a last-ditch effort from OpTic to send the game into OT. A run straight up the gut of the map was not the most beautiful play, but nevertheless, it was two teams duking it out with the middle of the map...
And with one second left, Paul "SnakeBite" Duarte came out of the fray with the flag for OG, sending the game into OT.
SnakeBite tried to follow it up with another run, and was stopped by Snip3down in OG's base. His efforts were all for naught though, as SnakeBite's next attempt was successful.
The #GreenWall stood tall, and completed the comeback.
Game Final: OG 3 - 2 nV
Match Score OG 1 - 0 nV
Game 2: Slayer - Eden
Halo is a game of momentum, and OpTIc had it on Eden.
By the time OG was halfway to victory, nV only scraped double digits at 10. This was thanks to power weapon control, with SnakeBite hitting a cross-map rocket shot to start the game. He would finish with a game high 15 kills and 11 assists.
nV still rallied back late in the game, of course after securing the sniper rifle and popping a few heads. But even if they had power weapons, OG's early lead proved too much for them, and a battle rifle double kill by Frosty in the midst of Cuyler "Huke" Garland's sniper work was an omen for nV's doom.
Game Final: OG 50 - 39 nV
Match Score OG 2 - 0 nV
Game 3: Strongholds - Eden
You don't beat OpTic on Strongholds, where they were 5-2 throughout the season, even with Royal2 on a Canadian connection (is Rodgers not good up there?), and especially on the same map as the last game.
With several total controls, OG was able to take game three, with highlights coming from Frosty's triple kill and Tony "LethuL" Campbell Jr. getting a killing spree late into the game.
In terms of nV's chances of winning, they did have Huke in a good position for overshield after they took map control, but he didn't expect Royal2 creeping around with rockets.
OpTic was one step ahead of nV in this series after game one, and it especially showed here.
Game Final: OG 100 - 35 nV
Match Score OG 3 - 0 nV
Game 4: CTF - Fathom
Much like the first game, this CTF was one of interest, but for an entirely seperate reason; an intense flag standoff.
For what seemed like the entire match (or at least, until the last three minutes and change), both teams just couldn't get their own flags back. This was a true sign of the battle of these titans, as if and when nV gets hot, they have a shot at bringing down OG.
EnVy almost actually proved that point when Snip3down finally took down the OG flag carrier, but it was OpTic who would get the first score after countering a potential nV run.
OG immediately followed it with another cap, and nV seemed to implode before Snip3down again provided some heroics with a final stand at the OG base.
Huke got a late cap in the waning seconds, but a follow up pull couldn't be done by nV. While some may hate the spawn trap method online, OpTic used it to their full advantage to secure the win.
Game Final: OG 2 - 1 nV
Match Final: OG 4 - 0 nV
What this series meant:
If you just strictly go by the scoreline, then you'd call this domination by OpTic, but you'd be a fool to call it that.
Yes, OpTic is the best team on LAN, and they proved it here to remove any doubt, despite what has happened in their online play. However, nV gave OG a fight for the ages, and OpTic had to be crafty at times, such as with the game one last second heroics and the game four base trap, in order to secure wins.
OpTic is a beatable team, and nV did exploit weakness early in the first CTF game. Counter-capping and momentum is key against the #GreenWall, and up until the late comeback, nV did have a hold on OG.
No matter what the game is, the OG vs. nV rivalry burns bright in esports, and this LAN proved that Halo is their next battleground. Get ready to see some more fireworks at the next LAN in Las Vegas.
This is a test of a new style for recaps, and you'll see longer ones for week four games, as well as tournaments. Do you want to see more of these types of articles seperate from quick recaps? And what was your favorite series out of HCS Orange County?
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