It’s finally here, the last week in the HCS Pro League. The top standings are as solid as ever, but there is still room for movement lower down in the standings. With LOL now wearing the legendary title of Str8 Rippin, who knows what they’re capable of.
Here’s what to expect:
The Current Standings
Unbeaten for 11 games in the top spot is Team EnVyUs. EnVyUs is in the prime position, and have the potential to take another win from OpTic Gaming. Their consistent performance throughout the whole season has earned their place in the top spot, and there is no other team more deserving of this position. While they are guaranteed a spot in the finals, EnVyUs will want to keep their momentum going from this season into the finals, as taking down the former Counter Logic Gaming roster won’t be easy.
Still in the second spot is OpTic Gaming. The former summer 2016 winners are sure to aim for no less than the top spot, and will almost certainly make EnVyUs’s life a living hell. This week will be OpTic’s one and only chance before the finals to prove that they can take the top spot once more. Facing off against Luminosity may test OpTic, seeing as Luminosity took their last match against each other to the fifth game. If Luminosity can contest OpTic, they will need to seriously re-evaluate their play style, given how strong the opposition of EnVyUs will be. OpTic has been hot on EnVyUs’s tail for the entire season, and they aren’t looking like they’ll let up any time soon.
Third and fourth place are occupied by Team Liquid and Luminosity. Team Liquid didn’t manage to take a game from OpTic, but they still are set to go to the finals. Str8 Rippin is going to have their eyes set on getting to the finals, and will make their matchup with Team Liquid as difficult as possible. Having already lost to Str8 Rippin in week three, Team Liquid will want to make their last week as strong as possible looking towards the finals.
Luminosity will be facing OpTic Gaming this week, which is definitely set to cause them trouble, especially with Str8 Rippin hot on their tail. To completely shut out Str8 Rippin, Luminosity will need to win both games, something that would be nothing short of a miracle. This week will be the nail-biter for Luminosity, as they could very well lose their spot in the finals if they don’t play their very best.
In fifth place is the recently acquired Str8 Rippin, whose potential clearly showed through to the old school Halo organisation. This week is especially crucial for Str8 Rippin as they will need to win both of their games to secure their spot in the finals. This week’s matchups are teams that Str8 Rippin has beaten previously, so the confidence the team has will surely show. Overconfidence, however, may be their downfall. Str8 Rippin had a considerably good performance throughout the season, but will need to pull out all the stops this week to secure a spot in the playoffs.
In sixth and seventh place are Enigma6 and Evil Geniuses. Enigma6 may be able to crush Str8 Rippin’s hopes of getting to the finals, but will have a hell of a time doing so. Avoiding the bottom two positions of the standings will be their priority this week, and their match against Allegiance will play a defining roll in securing that.
EG is in a difficult position in terms of moving out of seventh, being as their matchups this week are against the third and fourth place teams in the standings. Just like Enigma6, Evil Geniuses will want out of the bottom two positions, but have a considerably hard set of matches to do so.
Finally, in last place is Allegiance. Allegiance has struggled to move at all this season, and their place in last is almost certain. If they do somehow best EnVyUs, they will at least be able to walk away with bragging rights, but doing so seems impossible. The momentum EnVyUs has carried throughout the season is immense, and has been uninterrupted for 11 games. Being underrated could be played to Allegiance’s advantage, but this just hasn’t been their season. It would be impressive if Allegiance could break free of last place, but it isn’t looking very likely.
Match One: Allegiance vs. Enigma6
Match Two: EnVyUs vs. OpTic Gaming
Match Three: Team Liquid vs. Str8 Rippin
Match Four: Luminosity vs. Evil Geniuses
Match One: Allegiance vs. EnVyUs
Match Two: Enigma6 vs Str8 Rippin
Match Three: OpTic Gaming vs. Luminosity
Match Four: Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses
Seeing as though three teams are already set for the finals, the fourth spot is really a battle that Str8 Rippin is ready for. Their past performance proves that they deserve their spot, and now wearing the name Str8 Rippin suggests they’re ready for their finals debut. EnVyUs will likely win against OpTic if their past game is anything to go on, as well as them taking no prisoners for the whole season.
Although this is the final week, and only the last spot in the finals is up for grabs, expect there to be some amazing games from teams trying to exit the season with a bang. If Allegiance takes the win from EnVyUs and stops their win streak, it could go down as the most unlikely victory in Halo history.
Who do you think will earn the last finals spot? Leave your comment down below, or tweet us @GAMURScom.
Jordan Aldridge-Payne is an esports journalist for GAMURS and can be reached on Twitter @mrjordanap.