Sep 15 2016 - 11:22 pm
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HCS Pro League: Week 1, Day 2 Recap

Week 1 of the Fall Halo Championship Series has ended. Which teams started their season 2-0, and which ones have plenty of work to do?
Journalist for GAMURS
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If the whole OpTic switcharoo wasn't crazy enough for you, the first day of matches set the tone for what should be an interesting and exciting HCS season.

Here's how each of the four matches went tonight, with a quick preview before the match results.


Match 1: Enigma6 vs. Team Liquid

Setting the Scene:

Enigma6 is a good team, but they unfortunately had to face a newly christened OpTic Gaming, as well as connectivity issues in their first match. They were promptly 3-0'd by the ex-CLG side, and are coming in against Team Liquid, a team that many thought would be an easy win...

Except Team Liquid just destroyed the "God Squad" yesterday.

It's way too early to call the turnaround of Team Liquid, but Zane "Penguin" Hearon absolutely dominated yesterday with objective play. His heroics in CTF on Stasis, which included the go-head score after a rocket triple kill, helped his squad take down EnVyUs.

E6 and TL only played three games a piece during day one, with E6 getting swept and TL being the sweeper, but with a stable connection, E6 is primed to try and take at least one game off of TL.

However, Team Liquid showed how to swing momentum in its second and third games against EnVyUs, so any early lead taken by Enigma should be taken with caution.

Game 1: CTF - Truth

Team Liquid started things off with a shock to the E6 system, as they caught Enigma overextending and locked down two flag caps to get an early 2-0 lead.

But aparently, E6 decided to pull a Team Liquid on Team Liquid.

Off of momentum from Braedeon "StelluR" Boettcher stopping a game-ending cap as well as Ayden "Suspector" Hill hitting a triple fuel rod kill, E6 tied things up with about two minutes left in regulation. Then, Jesse "bubu dubu" Moeller pulled off his second flag cap of the game thanks to a sword misplay by Hamza "Commonly" Abaalli, and completed the 3-2 comeback.

E6's turnaround can somewhat be explained by the play of Carlos "Cratos" Ayala, who turned an abysmal four kill game all the way around to an even twenty during the comeback.

Also, for the record, Stellur had 19 magnum kills, along with 16 headshots, during this match. Yes, the man who was rumored to be leaving E6 seems to be clicking well with this team.

Game Final: E6 3 - 2 TL

Match Score: E6 1 - 0 TL

Game 2: Slayer - Eden

In a full ten minute slayer match, sniping and positioning almost helped Enigma secure a 2-0 lead, but TL surged back with some counter-play to level out the series.

To start the match, E6 set up bubu dubu with a fantastic sniping spot by the time rockets spawned. He wound up getting a killing spree in that time, and ended the game with , with Cratos trailing by one kill.

TL rotated well mid-game, fending off E6 just in time for Tyler "Spartan" Ganza to get the launcher... Where he missed a few key kill opportunites that would have pushed his team into the lead. Fortunately, Penguin pulled in for some clean-up duty, and began to lead Enigma by a few inside of two minutes. 

Penguin and StelluR both got 17 kills in this match, most of them within close quarters, with Penguin making some handy shotgun work and StelluR constantly placing himself within backstab distance to rack up some knockouts.

Game Final: TL 48 - 44 E6

Match Score: TL 1 - 1 E6

Game 3: Strongholds - Plaza

Enigma 6 does not like blowing leads.

Starting off with a 32-0 lead, E6 was able to capatilize on good set-ups to hold three total controls on Team Liquid to dominate them on Plaza.

Enigma 6 had two grenade moments, the first being a hail mary throw by bubu dubu that stuck Commonly in a pretty impressive play.

But on the other end of the sticky spectrum, Stellur stuck himself in the face by hitting a railing with his grenade... So this basically qualifies for the "Not Play of the Week" for week one.

Pros: They're just like us.

(But in serious news so Stellur doesn't come after me, he had a triple double with only four deaths. Not bad)

Game Final: E6 100 -  25 TL

Match Score: E6 2 - 1 TL

Game 4: CTF - Stasis

Penguin and bubu dubu started off this CTF with double kills, which prompted the first flag cap of the match on Team Liquid's (apparent) home turf. by way of Commonly TL pulled one back though, thanks to Spartan and Commonly annoying Enigma with a counter-pull and a distraction. 

dubu then went streaking for Team Liquid, and was covered by his teammates to hand it off to Commonly again for a 2-1 lead. He then secured another double kill while moving the flag the length of the field to try and end the game early, but were unsuccessful and eventually countered back from Spartan and Commonly again while both flags were out. Stellur had the overshield and was almost there to defend his teammates, but he was too little too late, and this game went into OT.

In overtime, it was solid back-and-forth action from both sides, with bubu dubu finishing out the game with 25 kills, 26 assists, and five flag pulls. But both teams could not secure the last cap, which means we had another free game of CTF

The replay game started with a standoff followed by two quick caps from both sides, which made it seem like this 4th match would be decided by Saturday.

Team Liquid then decided to put a stop to this one mid-way through regulation, as Timothy "Rayne"Tinkler held down his team's spawn single handedly to help his team go up 2-1. Rayne with finish with 26 kills in the replay.

That prompted a series of counter-runs, where TL ultimately won game four via Penguin taking a pass from Commonly while he sat on their team's flag.

(Also, side note again, Stellur suicided off a rocket to the ground in this match, making it two suicides in two matches. To paraphrase the great dodgeball legend White Goodman, nobody makes Stellur bleed his own blood... Except for Stellur himself.)

Game Final: E6 2 - 2 TL 1st play, TL 3 - 1 E6

Match Score: TL 2 - 2 E6

Game 5: Slayer - Regret

The first match of the night goes to game five, with Commonly kicking off the action with a killing spree to bring up TL to a 10-3 lead. However, he wound up fizzling out by the end of the game, only finishing with ten kills.

Despite the early deficit, Enigma 6 fought valiantly, and came back with a lead around 30 kills thanks to a quick and decisive battle for the power weapon. They wound up securing the win, off of some sharp magnum shooting by Suspector (12 kills) and coaxing out a passive TL for the final kills of the game.

Also, Penguin survived two grenades with no shields within a minute in this game, so I'm convinced that he may not be human.

Game Final: E6 50 - 44 TL

Match Final: E6 3 - 2 TL

As a side note, I want to make special mention of the post-game interview from Cratos, and him calling out the community for feeding into the E6 payment drama. Specifically, he shouted out his own team and said that, "No one here (in the media or community) actually knows what's going on besides us, so shut your mouth."


Match 2: Allegiance vs. Luminosity

Setting the Scene:

Yesterday, Luminosity had the privilage of playing the re-animated corpse of OpTic, and pulled off a 3-1 victory.

If you go off the statline for kills, you would wrongly believe that Brett "Naded" Leonard looked rusty in his return back from a summer hiatus. Naded actually performed great in Strongholds, where he currently holds the league lead in captures with 15 through one day.

But if KDA is your thing, look no further than the duo of Daniel "Danoxide" Terlizzi and Visal "eL TowN" Mohanan. These two averaged a 1.82 KDA thanks to a combined 131 kills and 71 assists through four games, and had a few spectacular moments thanks to some impressive triple kills and great awareness.

Meanwhile, Allegiance had the first five game series of the season, but lost to EG on any game mode that wasn't Strongholds.

Granted, when they played that game type, they did dominate, as they posted a 100-50 win over the Geniuses to start the series, and jumped out to a 39-0 lead on Plaza before winning that one by 13.

This team lived and died by Ryan "Shooter" Sondhi, who had a play of the week in game one, but the crucial error in game three that put EG ahead in map count.

If Shooter is sharp, then LG may hit .500 coming out of Week One, but if not, then Slayer and CTF need to be practiced to no end, regardless of tonight's games.

Game 1: CTF - Coliseum

If you blinked, you missed two flag caps by Luminosity. The first two caps made by Kevin "Eco" Smith and eL Town happened in 65 seconds, which sent Allegiance into a frenzy.

LG later went on to secure the third cap five minutes in, thanks to Eco hitting a triple kill to allow Naded to cruise back to their base.

Fortunately for Allegiance fans, they didn't get completely shut out, as they got one flag in while almost the entire Luminosity team was down...

But still, yikes.

Game Final: LG 3 - 1 ALG

Match Score: LG 1 - 0 ALG

Game 2: Slayer - Coliseum

It's tough to go back onto the same map that you got crushed in within five minutes, but Allegiance was able bounce back against LG in Slayer.

ALG played catch-up during the first half of play, thanks to a 12-1 run by Luminosity in the first quater of play. However, they countered with a 10-1 run to bring it within two, before Devon "PreDevoNatoR" Layton hit a eight kill streak with some nifty shots from his DMR and sniper.

That allowed Allegiance to pull ahead of Luminosity and tie up the series, with Devonator tying his teammate Cody "ContrA" Szczodrowski for 14 kills in the game.

Game Final: ALG 50 - 41 LG

Match Score: ALG 1 - 1 LG

Game 3: Strongholds - Plaza

Welp, Luminosity is in trouble.

To give some perspective to this match, Contra had 13 kills in this match, including two double kills. Meanwhile, Luminosity had 15 total.

Like game one, this one was over in just under five minutes, as ALG hit five total controls to fully swing momentum towards their side. This game was ugly for LG.

Game Final: ALG 100 - 16 LG

Match Score: ALG 2 - 1 LG

Game 4: CTF - Fathom

Luminosity took a page out of Allegiance from game one, as they seemed to come back strong after a quick loss...

But their first two caps to start the game were negated single-handedly by Contra, who brought back two flags, including one that went from flag-to-flag for a stealth cap.

This would bring Danoxide to pull some last minute heroics, as he punched out three ALG players to get the return and allow his team to get the game winning capture.

Naded had two solid triples during this match, with his first technically being an overkill since he caught a teammate in railgun fire. He finished this match with a team high 24 kills, one shy of Devonator who hit three doubles and bullied eL Town constantly.

Game Final: LG 3 - 2 ALG

Match Score: LG 2 -2 ALG

Game 5: Slayer - The Rig

The second straight five game series brought a hotly contested game of Slayer, with Luminosity pulling away by double-digits before ALG brought it back to within four with 16 kills to go. Naded showed yet again that he has returned to HCS, pulling a 2.00 K/D with 18 kills in a crucial game five.

Allegiance continued to pester LG, however Luminosity elected to trade kills and chew out the clock. Within the final seconds, LG opted to play hide-and-seek to secure a one point win, and won the series by giving ALG their second straight does of heartbreak.

Game Final: LG 45 - 44 ALG

Match Final: LG 3 - 2 ALG


Match 3: The Artists Formerly Known as OpTic Gaming vs. Team EnVyUs

Setting the Scene:

This game is disappointment central, as both of these teams are going to look to bounce back after a bad first day of play.

EnVyUs was shutout by a team that wasn't expected to be huge in Liquid, and blew two leads in two straight matches. One of them was a CTF match that went into a second full game, and the other was a game that Liquid had no business winning.

If EnVyUs wants to continue being called "The God Squad" of Halo, then they need to prove in this series that they have map awareness. In their first two games, they allowed TL to grab power weapons all too easily, which swung momentum away from EnVyUs.

But what's worse than having your "God" status questioned? Losing your team brand, specifically one of the most popular in FPS esports, and that's where LOL stands.

They are going to look to bounce back tonight after being bested by the title hungry LG, and Aaron "Ace" Elam, as well as Bradley "APG" Laws, can't be playing two-on-four. Ace and APG played great against LG, posting positive K/Ds and being solid slayers, but at that point, it falls onto Nick "MaNiaC" Kershner and Richie "Heinz" Heinz to pick up objective play. 

Specifically, Heinz looked good in game three of CTF, the only win by LOL, but otherwise failed to look up to the potential when Op... this team signed him.

The only way for both of these teams is up, but only one of them will end tonight with one in the W column.

Game 1: CTF - Fathom

EnVyUs kicked things off 45 seconds into the match with a flag cap from Cuyler "Huke" Garland, and shut down both a railgun and camo power play by LOL.

After a long run out by Eric "Snip3down" Wrona and a countercap by Justin "iGotUrPistola" Deese, EnVyUs shutout LOL in under seven minutes.

A lopsided match for LOL is not the best way to shake off a 0-3 game on the first day.

Game Final: nV 3 - 0 LOL

Match Score: nV 1 - 0 LOL

Game 2: Slayer - Truth

Well... LOL had a lead at some point in this game.

It was thanks to the play of APG, who helped his team secure camo and followed it up with a double kill, and the lead was relatively short lived for the ex-OpTic side.

All it took was for EnVyUs to get a spawn trap on LOL, and for Snipedown to work towards a killing frenzy, and this one was over before you knew it.

Game Final: nV 50 - 38 LOL

Match Score: nV 2 - 0 LOL

Game 3: Strongholds - Empire

If you give a Huke a SAW, you can expect him to turn into the incredible Huke.

He took over a base in the early goings of this one, and went on to get a killing spree later on in the match. He finished off the match with a 10-8-4 scoreline.

Surprisingly, he wasn't the kill leader for this game, as Austin "Mikwen" McCleary came through with 13 kills through three double kills during the match.

In terms of actual objective play, EnVyUs earned five total controls on LOL... And pretty much gave them their second straight shutout.

My comparison of LOL to the Lakers is holding up great so far, mostly because they aren't looking like a team that will get to the playoffs, despite having some popular talent.

Game Final: nV 100 - 14 LOL

Match Final: nV 3 - 0 LOL


Match 4: OpTic Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses

Setting the Scene:

No, you didn't just enter a dimension-warp into X Games Anaheim 2014, but it will feel like you are in a Call of Duty Twitch chat when these two teams end week one of the HCS. Simply put, it didn't matter whether you call the best team in Halo OpTic Gaming or CLG because they will still dominate the scene.

They did just that over Enigma6, with Paul "Snakebite" Duarte, Matthew "Royal2" Fiorante and Bradley "Frosty" Bergstrom all posting K/D's above two overall, with TJ "Lethul" Campbell hitting a meager 1.58. Granted, Lethul led his team in kills during Slayer, so we'll give him a pass.

Evil Geniuses, meanwhile, pulled off a ridiculous five game series over Allegiance, earmarked by Justin "Roy" Brown, whose killing spree in game five put EG towards winning that slayer match. He finished the entire series with 87 kills to go with a 2.19 KDA.

OG is looking like Bill Goldberg circa WCW when he maintained a ridiculous winning streak, although EG will probably need a taser to stun this beast of a team.

Game 1: CTF - Fathom

OpTic took the first score of the game after much seesawing thanks to a pull by Snakebite, who ended the first game off with over 30 kills. However, EG was persistent despite two straight stops by Royal 2 late in the round, and Roy pulled off the game-tying capture. He also was the team leader in kills, ending the round with 29.

Overtime came, and it went after neither team could break the tie at one, so this one went into a replay. On the restart, OG immediately shut down a rush play by EG, and countered with a capture mere minutes into the game. But yet again, the Genuises came back and knotted the score up at one.

A second overtime started as Lethul was pulling back a flag while his team was slaying EG, and put the flag in prime position to give OpTic the go-ahead score... Until it was ultimately countered by Roy who sat in OG's base and allowed Cameron "Victory X" Thorlakson to come in with the tying score.

Snakebite had another great game on the restart, dropping 33 kills (including 21 pistol whips) despite having a huge flag throw fail that could have ended the game for OpTic before OT.

So, the longest game of the season thus far went into a sudden death round, and it was a heavily defensive affair. That is, until EG had a 1v3 opportunity against Snakebite thanks to a double kill from Roy, and were able to sneak the flag to their base.

38 plus minutes of CTF were played until a winner was crowned, and the game ended just as the East Coast went into Friday morning.

Game Final: EG 1 - 1 OG 1st play, EG 2 - 2 OG 2nd play, EG 1 - 0 OG

Match Score: EG 1 - 0 OG

Game 2: Slayer (THANK GOD) - Plaza

Unlike CTF, Slayer is thankfully a gametype that usually decides a game in less than 30+ minutes, and still provided a stage for the veteran twins and company to fight ex-CLG.

OpTic jumped out to a quick 14-3 lead 90 seconds into the game, which extended to 21-5 courtesy of Royal 2 earning a killing frenzy. He ended the game with a total of 17 kills, tying teammate Frosty who was also keen with the sniper.

Despite a late 8-1 run by EG, it proved to be too little too late, and OG bounced-back with what they do best: slaying. 

Game Final: OG 50 - 42 EG

Match Score: OG 1 - 1 EG

Game 3: Strongholds - Empire

In a game of momentum swings, Evil Geniuses kicked things off with a 20-0 run, and by locking OG down in The Pit, they were able to sandwich the #GreenWall.

EG rotated well enough throughout the game to not have their lead threatened, and were led by Jason "Lunchbox" Brown, who racked up 20 kills and seven captures as the team's slayer/traffic cop.

OpTic actually led in kills during this game, 69 to 68, which speaks to how powerful they are at killing teams. But not every match is Slayer, and OG dropped their second straight objective mode of the night.

The Geniuses were now one game away from handing OG, formerly CLG, their first season loss since Enigma6 took them down on June 24.

Game Final: EG 100 - 73 OG

Match Score: EG 2 - 1 OG

Game 4: CTF - Truth

The moment of truth was here for EG, and they came through in the first few minutes with a cap from Tyler "Ninja" Blevins.

Ninja would follow up with another cap after OpTic brought the game to one all, as he went coast-to-coast with his lanes cleared thanks to three straight kills from VictoryX. OG found themselves with a second game-tying cap, taking back their flag easily for the score.

Then, for the final point of the match, EG engineered a solid drive the length of the map, picking off OG players who desperately tried to force a game five, and the flag was fittingly taken in by VictoryX.

The #GreenWall has fallen.

Game Final: EG 3 - 2 OG

Match Final: EG 3 - 1 OG  


And that will do it for week one of the Halo Championship Series.

Now for a bit of a special request: If you have gotten down to this point in the article, please send me your biggest overreaction from the first week of play (i.e. "NV WILL GO 0-14 AND BE RELEGATED"). Hint hint: I may be using it in an upcoming article.

You can leave your response, or anything really, in the comments below or tweet @GAMURScom and @TheJamesMattone.

For all your Halo and esports updates, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.

James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted by email at jamestmattone@gmail.com or on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.

(Image Credit: Halo Waypoint)

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