While many new names had established themselves in the frenzy that was the Meadowlands event, one thing stayed the same - Final Boss was on top. Over the next two months, many teams would change their rosters in an effort to adapt to the new competition. While the three biggest names from the Halo 2 era - Final Boss, Str8 Rippin and Carbon - stuck together, as well as Classic, who got 2nd at the Meadowlands, the rest of the top teams looked to bolster their rosters. The biggest change came when Victory X opted to leave Instinct to join Triggers Down, replacing Lowkin. Rather than picking up an established veteran, Instinct sought the talents of Snipedown, a new face who had just played at his first major event as a part of Ambush. Ambush opted to replace Snipedown with Halo 2 FFA phenom iGotUrPistola, and built on this by replacing SsSilent with MudVayne. Silent in turn filled the gap Mudvayne left on Believe the Hype. Fatal Images looked to improve their roster by replacing the inexperienced Woooly with the veteran Foulacy.
As the Championship Bracket came to a start, no major upsets occurred in the opening round. The first big upset took place when Believe the Hype took out Fatal Images in the second round. In the third round however, the unthinkable happened. In an absolute shocker, Final Boss was swept out of the Winners' Bracket by Believe the Hype, the earliest they had ever lost in a tournament and the first time they had ever been swept. Meanwhile, Str8 Rippin had an undefeated run going, and kept it alive against Triggers Down, sweeping them out of the Winners' Bracket. Instinct took Carbon out while Classic defeated Ambush.
In the Losers' Bracket, Fatal Images were in a tight spot, needing to go on quite the run if they wanted to salvage a repeat top 8 finish. They showed poise as they took out Zone 6, MoB Deep and upset the 7th seeded Ambush in 5 games, earning themselves a top 8 finish and the chance for even more. Meanwhile, a shaky Final Boss took out Breaking Point, needing four games to do so. Triggers Down destroyed XiT Woundz, setting up a match with Final Boss, while Carbon rolled through High Life to set up a match against Fatal Images for top 6. In the following round, Triggers Down made history as the first team ever to eliminate Final Boss before the finals, doing so in 5 games and sending Final Boss home with a shocking top 8 finish. On the other side of the bracket, Carbon took a close series against Fatal Images 3-2, ensuring a top 6 finish.
In the Winners' Semifinals, Str8 kept their perfect record alive, sweeping BtH, while Instinct and Classic had a nailbiter of a series, with Classic taking the first two games and Instinct battling back to take 3 straight games and the series. Triggers Down made short work of Classic, sweeping them 3-0, while Carbon won another close series, this time against BtH with a score of 3-2. Carbon's night ended with a 3-1 loss to Triggers Down in the following round and a fourth place finish. In the Winners' Finals, Instinct managed to end Str8's bid for a perfect event, but could only take one game from the dominant squad and lost the series 3-1. To earn a rematch, Instinct defeated Triggers Down 3-1, but could not take another game from Str8 in the finals, ultimately losing 6-1 as Str8 Rippin won their first event of Halo 3 in dominant fashion, dropping only a single game.
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