Today marked the first Halo Championship Series pre-season two cup and the results were surprising to say the least. It’s important to note that this tournament was only worth pre-season points that determine seeding and not actually a part of the HCS season. This write up is mainly going to cover the teams that are considered “professional” as there is no need to cover the full 33 team open tournament.The lowest placing professional teams were Optic Gaming and Cloud9, both with a 9th-16th finish. Although it might seem disappointing for such teams to be knocked out so early this can be attributed to random seeding. Optic was knocked out by last season’s champions, Evil Geniuses, in the third round. Cloud9, also knocked out in the third round, were eliminated by Denial eSports. Evil Geniuses and Denial then went on to play each other in the fourth round, with an amazing upset. Denial knocked out the former champions with a 2-1 result, moving on to the finals and leaving EG with a 7th-8th finish. It may have only been an online event but many are starting to question EG’s roster. Before this event it was assumed that they would come into season two obliterating, mainly due to the fact that they’re the only major team that doesn’t have to adjust to a new lineup. Finishing equal with EG was an unknown team called Element. The only important teams they played against were Counter Logic Gaming, getting 2-0’d, and Noble Black in the decider match for 5th-6th, where they once again lost. It’s doubtful that this team will become noteworthy but we’ll have to wait and see how they perform at IG Atlanta. Other teams that were knocked out in the third round include Noble Black and eXcellence Black. NB was knocked out by Team Randa and eX Black by Elevate. Both these teams won their decider matches against Element and Evil Geniuses respectively, giving them a 5th-6th place finish. eX Black is a clear up and coming team to watch out for based on their performance against EG and are another team I’m looking forward to seeing at IG Atlanta. This leaves us with the top four teams. Counter Logic Gaming played against Team Randa in the semi-finals, losing 2-1. On the other side of the bracket Denial lost to Elevate, leading to a final of Team Randa vs Elevate. CLG played against Denial in the third place decider match, ultimately losing. This was an interesting match up considering CLG dropped Heinz to pick up Denial’s Cloud. Heinz quickly filled the gap in Denial’s roster making this similar to that of a grudge match. As said before Denial ended up winning but no one can say who got the short end of the stick as this was only a pre-season event. The finals were played out between Team Randa and Elevate. Team Randa has come into this season with a lot of hype, being forged of players coming from several different rosters. Other pro teams have sung nothing but praise for their online play. It was through this ability that they defeated Elevate and won the first Pre-Season cup and their first event as team. The only question left on everyone’s mind is how well this team will perform on LAN. This means that the top eight results for this tournament are: 1st: Team Randa 2nd: Elevate 3rd: Denial Esports 4th: Counter Logic Gaming 5th/6th: Noble Black 5th/6th: eXcellence Black 7th/8th: Evil Geniuses 7th/8th: Element These results only make me more hyped for IG Atlanta as it appears we won’t be seeing another domination at the hands of Evil Geniuses. The next and last pre-season cup is next Sunday on April 12th and will also be used to determine IG Atlanta seeding. The full bracket for this tournament can be found here
Cowley is new to eSports writing but is looking to improve his skills. He mainly follows Halo, Starcraft and League of Legends as well as several obscure games. He can be contacted using his twitter, @ggCowley.