Revamped Acend, resurgent NAVI look to top their groups at Halo Infinite’s European regional finals in Valencia

It will be Europe's first exclusive LAN event.

Photo via HCS

HCS Valencia, Europe’s premier regional event for Halo Infinite, will be kicking off this weekend. Ahead of the start of the tournament, event organizer DreamHack has announced the pools that will make up the first day of play.

The final spot in each pool is still yet to be decided by an open bracket tournament running parallel to the main event, but many of the groups are expected to offer little in the way of underdog stories and upsets. Key contenders in the fight for the trophy such as Acend, Natus Vincere, Quadrant, and Online Warriors have each managed to avoid one another and sit allocated in different pools for day one.

With Acend’s track record in European tournaments and the newfound buzz around their newest player Respectful, replacing Shaady, Pool A is predicted to fall comfortably in their favor. The likes of Quadrant and NAVI will be hoping for similarly smooth runs through pool play, but recent results in scrims and online tournaments suggest that the rest of Europe is catching up to the previous titans of the region. Online Warriors, for example, now empowered by ex-Acend player Shaady, came in second in the final week of Pro Series split two.

Online Warriors might be expected to put up an impressive run and fight for the top step, but scrims against fellow Pool D inhabitant JLINGZ esports in recent days saw Online Warriors fall in a 7-6 set. Whether those results can be converted into a tournament setting remains to be seen, but each team will be determined to grab the top seed in their pool to secure better placement in the championship bracket.

HCS Valencia will start on July 1 and conclude with Championship Sunday on July 3. The event will feature a starting prize pool of $100,000 that can be further increased via crowdfunding. The top four European teams from these regional finals will also secure a guaranteed spot in pool play for the next HCS Major, which will be hosted in Orlando.