Sentinels hand Cloud9 their first LAN loss in Halo Infinite at HCS Kansas City

They send C9 to the elimination bracket in a convincing fashion.

Photo via HCS

Doubts surrounding the potential of the legendary Sentinels roster in Halo Infinite were silenced today. The team crushed Cloud9 in a convincing 3-1 series at HCS Kansas City to secure a spot in the winner’s final against OpTic Gaming.

Despite Sentinels featuring the Snakebite, Frosty, Royal2, and Lethul roster so infamous in previous Halo titles for their consistency, they’ve been off to a rocky start in Halo Infinite. December’s Raleigh Major was a missed opportunity to show their strength after Royal2 was temporarily suspended from competitive play, but their results did not drastically improve upon his return for HCS Anaheim. In fact, HCS Anaheim’s fourth-place finish for Sentinels ended the roster’s six-year streak of grand finals appearances at major Halo tournaments.

Sentinels’ earlier matchup in Kansas City’s championship bracket provoked fears for more of the same, with European underdog Quadrant taking the team through a full best-of-five set. Sentinels rallied back to take the win against Quadrant 3-2, but taking down C9 in the winner’s quarterfinals after that was expected to be too tall an order.

Sentinels instead displayed their veteran synergy and talent from the moment they took the main stage against the defending Major champions. Frosty and Royal2 were in top form throughout the set, with Frosty notably concluding the 3-1 victory with a staggering 1.48 K/D and an 18-7 performance in Slayer on Streets to shut down C9’s attempts to pull momentum in their favor.

Lethul has been a recurring topic of conversation within the Sentinels roster due to a perceived lack of performance in comparison to his teammates. While he concluded the set with a disappointing 0.8 K/D—the only negative ratio on Sentinels—Lethul also had the most assists in the lobby with 48 total. His role as a support was a major factor in the team’s narrow 4-3 Aquarius Capture The Flag win that gave them their spot in the winner’s final. Pulling the final flag, he then dove into an important melee trade with C9’s Eco bottom mid so that Snakebite could get the risky flag pull back to their base safely.

It’s the first time C9 have lost a series in a LAN tournament in Halo Infinite, showing the previously insurmountable juggernaut of North America are mortals after all. Hopes of a rematch between Optic Gaming and C9 might be short-lived unless C9 can make a major elimination bracket run to the grand finals. But with Sentinels seemingly back to a fighting form they haven’t been in since the roster’s dynasty days in Halo 5: Guardians, all previous predictions for who is taking home the trophy might be out the window.