As any eSport fan knows, off-seasons are full of changes, Halo being no exception. Since the ending of the first season of the Halo Championship Series, there’s been several roster moves, some expected and others surprising. These changes may have been confusing for some, especially considering that there’s a few cases of players getting picked up and then dropped a few weeks later. The following is a summary of all roster changes done up until today, divided by team.
On March 9th, just one day after the season one finals, Contra announced that he was leaving Optic Halo. To replace Contra, Optic brought in former Noble Black player Maniac on March 15th. However, this change was rather problematic. At this time Maniac still had five days on his contract and was not actually able to join Optic. At first it was unknown whether or not Maniac would be able to compete with Optic, but fortunately it was eventually confirmed that the move had gone through and that he could compete with Optic in the upcoming season. This leaves the current Optic roster as Flamesword, Ace, Assault, and now Maniac.
After the problematic departure of Maniac from Noble Black, the team was met with several other problems. On the same day that Maniac confirmed that he was able to team with Optic Gaming (March 15th) long time Halo pro A Pure Gangster (often known as APG) announced that he would be leaving as well. To deal with these gaps the team brought in former Str8 Rippin members Str8 Sick and Prototype. This change was short lived however, as the team quickly dropped Str8 Sick on March 28th to bring in the recently available Ninja, formerly of Cloud 9. After these turbulent changes the final Noble Black roster is Arkanum, Aries, Prototype, and Ninja.
Counter Logic Gaming
CLG’s squad finished strong, taking second place in the finals. The team, however, felt stagnated and decided that it was time to make a change. Dropping Heinz, they picked up Cloud, formerly of Denial eSports who had actually teamed with CLG member Snakebite together on Believe the Hype at AGL 8. With a final roster of Ogre 2, Royal 2, Snakebite, and Cloud, CLG looks towards another monstrous season.
Once Cloud left for greener pastures at CLG, the team had big shoes to fill. To do this they ended up picking up the player that Cloud replaced, Heinz. The two teams essentially traded off players. The changes don’t stop there however. On March 13th it was announced that Ryanoob was being released from the team. On March 15th it was revealed that in order to replace him, Denial would be bringing in APG, formerly of Noble Black. In the end Denial’s roster for HCS season 2 will be Mikwen, Chig, APG, and Heinz.
On March 18th it was announced on the Cloud9 website that the team had released former captain Ninja. With no replacement being announced, the roster currently sits as FearItSelf, Victory X, and Hysteria, but it is rumored that they will be joined by Halo legend Pistola.
To most, this name will seem unfamiliar. That is because it’s brand new, being founded by Randa himself and if you haven’t been following roster changes closely you would never have heard of them. Randa competed at all three open LANs for the first HCS season. The only team of note that he was apart of was Noble Black, where at UGC St. Louis 2015 he placed 9th – 14th. He was dropped from Noble right after the event. Despite not being a well known player he’s managed to assemble a team full of veterans. On March 18th it was announced that this new team would be populated by Randa himself, Contra from Optic Gaming, Naded from Str8 Rippin, and Ryanoob from Denial.
Tsquared’s historical team has unfortunately fallen apart. As stated previously Str8 Sick and Naded left to join other teams, with Str8 being silent on who they plan to join up with. Currently, the roster remains only as Tsquared and Legit.
The first HCS sanctioned tournament kicks off April 5th with the first Pre-Season Cup. Although this tournament does not provide circuit points, it will be the first competitive chance to check out all these new teams and see how they look. Following the pre-season cups, the Season 2 Opener is Iron Games Atlanta, taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. It’ll be interesting to see how well these teams perform and what other changes are made before the season starts.
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, @eSports_Cowley.