This Day in Esports History: Final Boss Slain
On this day in 2008, legendary Halo team Final Boss was surprisingly eliminated from MLG San Diego, placing seventh. This was the first time the team did not finish in the top two of an event since forming in early 2006.
Coming into San Diego, Final Boss, consisting of Dan "OGRE 1" Ryan, Tom "OGRE 2" Ryan, Dave "Walshy" Walsh, and Michael "Strongside" Cavanaugh were the number one seed and huge favorites, having won the previous three events (Las Vegas Championship, Canadian Open, Meadowlands). Along with those events, Final Boss had been dominating the Halo scene for the better part of two years, winning 10 out of the possible 15 tournaments since forming.
They ran through their first two opponents as expected, sweeping both, setting up a third round matchup against Believe the Hype. BtH was riding strong momentum, coming off of an upset sweep over Fatal Images in round two, but they were still huge underdogs against a perrenial powerhouse such as Final Boss.
Despite the odds, Believe the Hype made history by sweeping Final Boss, and sending them to the losers bracket. This was the earliest that Final Boss had ever lost in a tournament and the first time they had been swept as well. If Final Boss wanted to keep their top two streak alive, they would have to win five straight series in the losers bracket.
In the losers bracket, they defeated Breaking Point in four games to move on to the next round, where they would lose to an up-and-coming Triggers Down team in a hard-fought five game series. The loss put them in seventh place for the event, earning a prize of $2,000.
The poor finish for Final Boss in San Diego truly marked a new era in Halo. Final Boss would not win another tournament until 2010 while Carbon, one of Final Boss' historic rivals and one of the only teams to even somewhat consistently beat Final Boss, would never win a championship again. New teams such as Triggers Down, Believe the Hype, Ambush, Instinct, and many more were given the opportunity to shine once Final Boss fell in San Diego.
Following San Diego, Final Boss struggled at MLG Orlando and finished fifth. This prompted the team to make a tough decision by releasing Walshy from the roster, replacing him with Mason "Neighbor" Cobb. Walshy had been with Final Boss since it's inception, and he had been teammates with OGRE 1 and OGRE 2 for nearly four years, dating back to when they were known as Team Domination. Even with the roster change, Final Boss could not crack into the top two, leading OGRE 1 and Strongside to leave. OGRE 1 would retire from Halo soon after and Strongside would fail to reach great success again.
Final Boss would reclaim their top spot in late 2010, winning three events, including the 2010 National Championship. However, they could not sustain their success once they switched to Halo: Reach and would eventually disband in 2011.
That is all for today’s edition, but come back tomorrow to find out what happened on June 15 in esports history.