Esports Minor League: Fall 2016 Week 1, Day 1 Recap

Missed the first night of the brand new Esports Minor League? Don't worry, we got you covered.

Welcome to the start of a new era in Halo Esports.

Eight teams of talented semi-pros have the chance to play for glory and some prize money in the first ever installment of a Halo Minor League. Platinum 5 Studios were the ones to make this happen, and the eight teams that qualified gave us a good amount of competitive Halo to keep us warm as the HCS hibernates for the winter.

Let’s recap some Halo, shall we?

Match One: Dynasty vs. PNDA Gaming

Game One: CTF – Coliseum

Well, hope you like some fast-paced gameplay.

Dynasty made quick work of PNDA in this one, blanking out their opposition in three minutes and 23 seconds. 

Hunter “BxbyJ” Schline was the first ever game MVP of the Esports Minor League (keep that for the record books, folks), with a 9-5-5 clip, proving that his solid free-for-all slaying play at LANs and in pre-HCS matches weren’t all just flash in the pan.

Also, since this game was one-sided, let me just make another statement about a certain lopsided feature in Halo that the ESML took out:


Game Final: DYN 3 – 0 PNDA

Match Score: DYN 1 – 0 PNDA

Game Two: Slayer – Regret

Despite a close battle up until the halfway point, Dynasty was able to pull away and almost get a steak dinner, led again by BxbyJ with 14 kills.

The grizzled veteran Joseph “TiZoXiC” Capetillo also dropped 14 along with nine assists, making this another easy win for Dynasty.

Game Final: DYN 50 – 34 PNDA

Match Score: DYN 2 – 0 PNDA

Game Three: Strongholds – Plaza

PNDA showed some signs of life with a strong 21-0 start, and while they were able to immediately answer a similar run by Dynasty, there were just too many triple caps for PNDA to handle.

With one final total control a fifth of the way from the end of the game, Dynasty had this in the bag with the team averaging a 1.18 K/D.

Welcome to the new Dynasty.

Game Final: DYN 100 – 70 PNDA

Match Final: DYN 3- 0 PNDA

Match Two: 3sUp vs. Most Wanted

Game One: CTF – Truth

The top two teams in the Open Circuit squared off, and the team that you expected to dominate right out of the gate surprisingly didn’t.

Most Wanted started the series with a solid 3-0, as Troy “DasTroyed” Dusman and Alex “Swift Kill” Ramirez both dropped 22 bombs to help the rest of their squad bring home the caps.

Game Final: MW 3 – 0 3sUp

Match Score: MW 1 – 0 3sUp

Game Two: Slayer – Plaza

If you like snipers, then Abel “Rammyy” Garcia was your man in this game. He had the skills to pay the Minor League bills, and sniped his way to a 16-4-9 clip.

It was a tough matchup that came down to the final five kills, but 3sUp ultimately came awy with the W.

Game Final: 3sUp 50 – 46 MW

Match Score: 3sUp 1 – 1 MW

Game Three: Strongholds – The Rig

Most Wanted got out to the early 16-0 lead, but they didn’t have enough in the tank to hold off 3sUp. After the game was tied at 40, 3sUp never looked back and took home game three.

Game Final: 3sUp 100 – 55 MW

Match Score: 3sUp 2 – 1 MW

Game Four: CTF – Fathom

MW yet again came out with the early lead, taking in a flag despite having three members down right out of the gate. 3sUp came back with the counter, and one flag trade later, it was all tied up at two.

At that point, Rammyy decided to come up clutch, as he was able to drop his flag, get a return, and allow for the series-winner.

Game Final: 3sUp 3 – 2 MW

Match Final: 3sUp 3 – 1 MW

Match Three: Abusment Park vs. Scion Esports

Well, Abusement Park wound up playing this match, but they forfeited their bonus pot (given to a team if they win a match in the league) by showing up late.

Here’s the full story on that, according to Joseph “SickStory” Ebbs:

“Yesterday, we all agreed to not play due to the fact that I didn’t have a set up and Jurizo was gonna play in the GB FFA tonight,” SickStory said. “Nobody felt like telling Dylen that we needed to forefit our matches, because we knew how invested he was into this league. So we thought we would have to tough it out, but by that time, Jurizo was already in the FFA tournament and Exemplify was already out for drinks; I also haven’t played Halo in three weeks. On top of not really playing H5 at all, we were having fun because we would of had to forefit the match either way.”

So with one teammate drunk, another invested in a Free-For-All tounament, and a third playing on a flat-screen, we were still going to get some Halo.

And as a personal aside, this entire story shows the struggle of being an amateur Halo player, and I could not help but sympathize with everyone involved here.

Anyways, let’s play some Halo.

Game One: CTF – Truth

The “trolls” of the Abusement Park came out with jokes, and had a barrel of laughs to give Scion with the 3-0 CTF win.

Joey “Juziro” Bartholomay led the way with 12 kills, and Joshua “Exemplify” Lance had some nice objective play, especially with a flag return to keep momentum going in this one.

Game Final: AP 3 – 0 SCI

Match Score: AP 1 – 0 SCI

Game Two: Slayer – Plaza

Like a Scion automobile in the middle of winter, it took a bit for Scion Esports to warm up, but it was just in time to take home a close Slayer match.

William “Will Is Sick” Lemons got one less kill than the MVP, but his headshot snipe was the exclamation point to the series tying match.

Game Final: SCI 50 – 44 AP

Match Score: SCI 1 – 1 AP

And… the stream was stalled due to some player personnel issues.

Here’s what the official Esports Minor League Twitter had to say:

If you want to know more about this situation, then I have the full breaking story here.

The TL;DR? Juziro will not be playing in the Minors until the mid-season transfer period.

But you know who is? Swish. Like Stone Cold Steve Austin’s glass shattering entrance, Swish returns to competitive Halo after a long hiatus with a bang, and came in as a sub for Abusement Park.

After tonight’s matches, he made it official:

Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas came early.

Game Three: Strongholds – Eden

The series came back online with Scion picking up where they left off, dominating the opposition 69-41 in terms of kills.

Despite that, Abusement Park had some solid objective play, but they were just not able to shake the weird funk they got after the drama past game two.

Oh, and Joseph “SickStory” Ebbs got a BXR medal in this game… I’d call that a Sick Story if I’ve ever seen one.

Game Final: SCI 100 – 86 AP

Match Score: SCI 2 – 1 AP

Game Four: CTF – Fathom

Scion started out strong with a 2-0 lead, and it all seemed like it would be a series win for this side…

Until the entire Abusement Park team lagged out after SickStory hit a triple kill.

The hits kept on coming for the Park, and with the match restarted, Scion got the final cap of the game to put an end to this series.

Game Final: SCI 3 – 0 AB

Match Final: SCI 3 – 1 AB

Unfortunately for Swish, his return to competitive Halo was overshadowed by the other events in this series, but he is definitely looking forward to his next game with his team once everyone has their sea legs back.

“I’m not worried about it,” said Swish. “Once I get back to being good again, it’ll all work out.”

Match Four: Orgless (FlySociety) vs. Solstice

Game One: Fathom – CTF

In an odd twist of events, the first game of this series wasn’t able to be streamed or spectated.

Regardless, Orgless wound up taking the W here with a golden flag cap, with the man himself Kenneth KuavoKenny Williams getting 16 kills in his ESML debut.

Game Final: ORG 3 – 2 SOL

Match Score: ORG 1 – 0 SOL

Game Two: Slayer – Regret

With the teams trading leads back and forth, and Jeremy “Stress” Shoy getting an overkill extermination, it was all tied at 45 heading into the slowest kills of any game of competitive Halo.

At that point, Orgless was able to slow things down enough to set up quality sight lines, and Andrew “x Jr2 x” Sychtysz was able to Plasma Caster spam his way to a 2-0 series lead.

Game Final: ORG 50 – 47 SOL

Match Score: ORG 2 – 0 SOL

Game Three: Strongholds – Plaza

Solstice made a strong 33-0 run to bounce back after two close losses, with Orgless answering back after rotating over to control Nest and Bottom-Mid.

The team that will eventually be known as Fly Society was then shut down with a triple-cap, but Solstice stalled right at the 62 point mark. This opened the door for Orgless to jump right back into the match, with the teams trading leads after being tied up around 65 points a piece.

Orgless kept on rolling though, and secured the series by finishing up their comeback. The series score may say otherwise, but this entire match was a nailbiter through and through.

Game Final: ORG 100 – 70 SOL

Match Final: ORG 3 – 0 SOL

After (and during) the contest, Fly Society’s owner Eddie “GPurp” Dee had nothing but support and praise for his players.

“It’s an amazing start and we are glad that our team is capable of pulling off such a dominant win,” GPurp said. “This is just beginning.”

On the ground, Jacob “Arkanum” Santos and KuavoKenny both were pleased with the sweep, and look forward to their next match with Most Wanted, al beit with two different perspectives of the night.

“It was fun and easy,” Arkanum said. “Anything other than a 3-0 wouldn’t be satisfactory to me.”

“It was an easy and satisfying win, but we definitely need to fix a couple tweaks before our match vs. MW Friday,” KuavoKenny said. “But for now, I’ll take that W.”

And to think after all of these matches and drama, we have 13 more crazy nights of Halo left to play.

Did you tune into the very first night of the Esports Minor League?

Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, and for all your Halo and esports updates, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.

James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted on Twitter –@TheJamesMattone.