HCS Pro League: Week 3, Day 1 Recap
One team went from the front of the pack to just above the relegation line. Another team of "leftovers" is now a top-three team. And yet another is still reeling after OpTic left them.
Welcome to week three, where the only thing that can shake up this season even more is Frosty actually being on for a post-game interview.
Let's go to the matches:
Match 1: Enigma6 vs. Allegiance
Game 1: Strongholds - The Rig
The night kicked off with some dominance by Enigma6, as they out-slayed and outpaced Allegiance to get the first win of the night.
Led by Braedeon "StelluR" Boettcher with 11 kills and two caps, E6 was in total control three times throughout the match, and kept Allegiance's moral down as they struggled to get points on the board.
Also, Devon "PreDevoNatoR" Layton suicided off of a splinter grenade. Pros: they are just like us.
Game Final: E6 100 - 34 ALG
Match Score: E6 1 - 0 ALG
Game 2: Slayer - Plaza
Allegiance tried to come out for a bounce-back game, heading out to a 5-2 run, but E6 answered with some sniper play from Jesse "bubu dubu" Moeller. He would end the game with 14 kills, four with the sniper.
After taking the lead, Enigma6 would not let go of it for the rest of the match, and handedly took game two.
Game Final: E6 50 - 39 ALG
Match Score: E6 2 - 0 ALG
Game 3: CTF - Coliseum
It was do or die for ALG, who traded leads with E6 before dropping into a 2-1 hole.
That set up some heroics from Cody "ContrA" Szczodrowski, who grabbed the rockets and allowed his team to take the game tying and game winning capture off of covering fire.
ContrA and Ryan "Shooter" Sondhi ended the game with 25 kills a piece, and proved that this team can win CTF games.
Game Final: E6 2 - 3 ALG
Match Score: E6 2 - 1 ALG
Game 4: Strongholds - Empire
The good news is that ALG didn't have to fight in another game five.
The bad news is that they still did not win, with E6 fending off a comeback effort late in the game to seal Allegiance's fate in the bottom two of the league.
Granted, they did have a comeback north of 50 points, thanks to some clutch moments from Devon with a double kill to squeeze out a few more points.
But it just wasn't enough to take down Enigma6, who are now over .500
Game Final: E6 100 - 92 ALG
Match Final: E6 3 - 1 ALG
Match 2: OpTic Gaming vs. Team EnVyUs, AKA "El Classico"
Game 1: Strongholds - Eden
The match of the week brought the two "God Squads" (and fan favorites) of the league: OG and nV.
OpTic jumped out to a commanding lead early on, capitalizing on two total controls to bleed out the boys in blue.
The #GreenWall continued to steamroll through this game, with Paul "SnakeBite" Duarte grabbing rockets and snuffing out efforts for nV to get back in the game.
... but his team would be stalled at 99, with nV locking down blue bend at the last second by way of Cuyler "Huke" Garland.
After the OG fanbase had collective heart attacks, OpTic quickly took blue bend before nV took Catwalk, and that was it for the first game in the series.
Game Final: OG 100 - 57 nV
Match Score: OG 1 - 0 nV
Game 2: Slayer - Eden
The two teams traded kills to kick off the second straight meeting on Eden, but nV was the one to get the lead and key up on rocket control.
Huke led his team with a 16-8-11 clip, and stuck to the rocket spawn to pick off straglers and those running to try and take away the power weapon.
Justin "iGotUrPistola" Deese was not too far behind Huke with 15 kills, thanks to a killing spree that iced the match for nV.
What's interesting in these past two games was OpTic's lack of ability to hold down blue bend, and it may be of interest to not only teams who want to find flaws in OpTic's play, but OG themselves, who may want to key up on Eden bans.
Game Final: OG 40 - 50 nV
Match Score: OG 1 - 1 nV
Game 3: CTF - Truth
Game three began with a stalemate, with both teams trading kills and pulls, but were unable to get points on the board for the first half.
nV responded a few minutes later with Pistola taking a cap, and he followed it up with a back stab and headshot to take another pulled flag for the lead.
But that lead was short lived, as OpTic answered with Bradley "Frosty" Bergstrom taking a flag home for the tie in the final quarter of regulation, and ending the game with a killing spree for the final cap.
Game Final: OG 3 - 2 nV
Match Score: OG 2 - 1 nV
Game 4: Strongholds - Empire
As the live viewer count scraped 1,000 outside of 15,000 (which would unofficially make this the most viewed Pro League match ever), the first match point for OG began with nV taking total control and trapping OpTic in the tower.
That triple cap lasted for 44 straight points. Needless to say, that set up what could have been a shutout of OpTic, but OG pulled in a triple cap after being down 65-0.
This sparked a comeback for OpTic, who reigned back 49 points before handing back control over to nV. The boys in blue then handedly ended the match, and brought this series to game five.
Game Final: OG 49 - 100 nV
Match Score: OG 2 - 2 nV
Game 5 - Slayer - Regret
The "match of the week" delivered as this series went to its fifth game, where OG skated out to an early 6-2 run with three kills by Royal2. He would end this game with 12 kills and eight assists.
The two teams then kept it close for the duration of the match, right down to the final few kills, where nV came back with five straight kills to win the game. Pistola, despite going negative in this match, was clutch with two out of the last three kills with a plasma caster double kill.
The "God Squad" completed their mission: take down the "unbeatable" team that dominated the scene for so long, and become the team to beat in this league.
Game Final: OG 47 - 50 nV
Match Final: OG 2 - 3 nV
Side note: The stream apparently hit 15k viewers, the first time that the HCS Pro League has ever reached this mark. Of course, it would come off of an nV/OG match.
Match 3: LOL vs. Golden State/Washington/Orlando Liquid
Game 1: Strongholds - Eden
Under new management, Team Liquid started the first game by rotating bases heavily with LOL.
After being briefly triple capped and tying the game up at 8-8, TL almost made it to 50 before LOL took overshields and control back.
LOL's control was limited though, as TL followed it up with total control and essentially secured their victory thanks to Timothy "Rayne"Tinkler playing well with rockets. He ended the match with 12 kills, two from the launcher.
Game Final: LOL 47 - 100 TL
Match Score: LOL 0 - 1 TL
Game 2: Slayer - Truth
LOL looked strong in the early goings of game two, with Aaron "Ace" Elam picking up power weapons to allow his team to get a 15 kill lead. He would end the game with 11 kills, which is the same amount that teammate Richie "Heinz" Heinz got with a battle rifle. He finished with 19 kills and a killing frenzy.
Despite some fight from Team Liquid, LOL pulled out a win in familiar territory, and against a side that shutout nV just a week prior.
Game Final: LOL 50 - 41 TL
Match Score: LOL 1 - 1 TL
Game 3: CTF - Fathom
TL grabbed the first capture of the game, with a second one following minutes after from Tyler "Spartan" Ganza.
Hamza "Commonly" Abaalli then had a solid cost-to-cost run, narrowingly avoiding death and allowing Spartan to put in the game ending cap.
Game Final: LOL 0 - 3 TL
Match Score: LOL 1 - 2 TL
Game 4: Strongholds - Plaza
Looking to close out the series, Team Liquid earned the first 15 points of the match before LOL rotated hard to get control and a few points.
But then, there was a connnection issue, which means that a reset was in order.
After a long break, TL only needed 78 points to close out the series, and the restart started with total control trades.
LOL took the early advantage, pulling away while Liquid was held at 18, but had a response once they crossed 50.
In the end, LOL were able to get total control, and despite a disadvantage on the reset, they were going to head to their first game five of the season.
Game Final: LOL 100 - 56 TL (Restart)
Match Score: LOL 2 - 2 TL
Game 5: Slayer - Regret
LOL came out with a 13-7 lead, and were able to kick things into cruise control over Team Liquid, albeit with a few bumps in the road.
TL brought things close in the final minutes, bringing the game to within two kills right at the 40 kill mark, but LOL was determined to take home thier first W. This was especially true for Ace, whose 15 kills led his team for that crucial game five.
And finally, the circle of parity in HCS is complete with LOL getting their first match win of the season.
Game Final: LOL 50 - 42 TL
Match Final: LOL 3 - 2 TL
Match 4: Evil Geniuses vs. Luminosity Gaming
Game 1: Strongholds - Plaza
With a double kill from Jason "Lunchbox" Brown, EG started the match with control over the Yard, but a rotation by Luminosity began the see-sawing in this tightly contested match.
LG took home the first game though, off of Kevin "Eco" Smith getting himself two nice killing sprees to go with a game high 20 kills.
Game Final: EG 76 - 100 LG
Match Score: EG 0 - 1 LG
Game 2: Slayer - Regret
If you are looking for the perfect route for the start of a Slayer match on Regret, look at what Visal "eL Town" Mohanan did to start this game. He immediately ran towards the plasma caster, hit a double kill, and then ran straight for overshields while half the enemy team was down.
He would continue to go on for his nine kill spree, and a game high 17 kills, to lead his team to victory.
Game Final: EG 35 - 50 LG
Match Score: EG 0 - 2 LG
Game 3: CTF - Fathom
Although game two was supposed to be the momentum match for Luminosity, EG started game three with a crucial cap in the first two minutes.
The Geniuses start was short lived though, as eL Town then went coast-to-coast for the response, and set up Brett "Naded" Leonard for the lead.
Poor Naded had to be shown on stream after, as he struggled with the railgun and promptly naded himself. Pros: they are just like (Oh wait, I already used this joke once).
LG got the game-winning cap via Eco off of covering fire by Naded, and swept EG off of the top of the leaderboard.
Game Final: EG 1 - 3 LG
Match Final: EG 0 - 3 LG
And that will do it for Wednesday night for this third week of the Halo Championship Series Fall Season.
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James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted by email at email@example.com or on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.
(Image Credit: Halo Waypoint)