HCS Orange County Pro Bracket Preview

After three weeks of competitive play, the eight pro league sides will square off in their first LAN tournament of the fall season. Who will reign supreme?

This weekend, six out of the eight pro league teams, along with a few open bracket qualifiers, will fight for a nice $7,000 payday out in Santa Ana, California for HCS Orange County.

The pro teams will be seeded by the current pro league fall season standings, and include everyone but LOL and Evil Geniuses.

For the pro bracket, the top two teams will get the top two seeds, and a bye on Championship Sunday. The other four teams will be seeded three through six based on placement.

Here’s a look at each of the squads going into Esports Arena this weekend. And as a reminder, you can click here for stats and standings so far this season.

Team EnVyUs (5-1, 15-7)

So Far This Season:

The team that was supposed to be the “God Squad” had a rocky start to the pro league season, being swept by Team Liquid 3-0 in the very first game.

The “Boys in Blue” then put together five straight wins, and sit at not only the top of the league table, but will have the top pro bracket seed in this tournament.

Three of nV’s players, Cuyler “Huke” Garland, Justin “Pistola” Deese and Eric Snip3down Wrona all have KDA’s above 2.0, and along with Austin “Mikwen” McCleary, they have beat teams in record time. 


Look, I know OpTic is the best team on LAN, but I’m going to be that new Halo beat writer and pick nV to win this event.

Team nV showed that they beat OG online, and while that does not 100 percent  show what these two teams are capable on a LAN, there are still instances in scrims where OG lost.

They have the talent that they’ve shown in the Pro League, so why not come home with a title from Santa Ana?

Pro Bracket Finish: Second

Championship Sunday Finish: First

OpTic Gaming (4-2, 15-8)

So Far This Season:

The world’s most dominant esports brand bought out CLG’s side moments before the start of HCS, and that changed the whole dynamic of the season.

It also seemed as if it changed something to this team, as this squad lost two games this season so far, one more than last season.

Nevertheless, this team still is dominant, and with Mathew “Royal2” Fiorante leading the way with a top-five KDA in the league, this #GreenWall won’t look to crumble.


Yep, second place on Sunday.

I would not be surprised at all if OpTic wins this event, and they should, quite frankly. I completely agree with a few posts on the forums and say that, with one of their players still up in Canada, it really is unfair for OpTic Gaming to be judged during an online season.

But just to be the contrarian, and to ride off of the nV hype train, I believe this team will dominate everything in its path, but somehow fall to nV in two series out of three.

Pro Bracket Finish: First

Championship Sunday Finish: Second

Team Liquid (3-3, 15-13)

So Far This Season:

A solid team this season, Team Liquid has shown they are the best CTF team on paper, having a +/- of nine flags captured against teams.

It seems like one member of this team is constantly going off, with Zane “Penguin” Hearon being an unstoppable OBJ player at times, or Tyler “Spartan” Ganza going on power weapon streaks for days.

Locked in a four way tie, but in third, in the league, Team Liquid wants to use this tournament as momentum to secure the third place spot during the season.


It’s tough to pick between TL, LG, and E6 who will grab third place, but I predict Liquid will somehow get tripped up and have to fight their way through the losers bracket in this tournament.

Granted, I can see this team ending CTF games in three minutes flat, however I fear the day when not one of these players goes out of their mind and leads their squad to victory.

There has to be a team who gets the short end of the stick in a pile of above average squads, and unfortunately for me, that has to be Team Liquid.

Pro Bracket Finish: Fifth

Championship Sunday Finish: Top-six

Luminosity Gaming (3-3, 12-12)

So Far This Season:



A strong start followed by an abrupt crash describes this team’s season, as they stabilized on a 1-1 record this past week coming into this tournament.

Brett “Naded” Leonard and Visal “eL TowN” Mohanan are two fantastic veterans who pulled in two young guns to win a title, but have turned into an exact average team in the league, going a perfect .500 so far this season.

They are the worst team in terms of K/D, but with such a veteran presence, their skill lies in their ability to PTFO.


They have yet to beat a team (besides ALG) in this tournament in the pro league, but I think this is the best time for this team to kick themselves back into gear.

With an emphasis on their CTF play, they may just beat teams like Team Liquid who they lost to in September.

It’s a new month and a new day for Luminosity, and I feel like they can come out of California finishing top-four.

Pro Bracket Finish: Third

Championship Sunday Finish: Fourth

Enigma6 Group (3-3. 11-13)

So Far This Season:

Amid enough controversy to be the forums’ least favorite team, Enigma6 has coasted in the Pro League, and heads into their first LAN without the variable of disconnects.

Enigma6 is led by Carlos “Cratos” Ayala, a man who I do not feel needs an appositive to describe him, along with the sharpshooting Braedon “StelluR” Boettcher, who currently is fourth in the league for perfects per game.

E6 has, like the three previous teams, ended up pretty average at each game type, but they seem to do a bit better in Strongholds than any other mode.


Although many don’t like them, Enigma6 is going to be the arch-villain of this season, sort of like the Houston Rockets, with Cratos as their James Harden.

They are a talented bunch who will scrap to get the job done, and have taken down three teams not named OG and nV this season who are in this tournament.

With the LAN as the equalizer, they could shock the losers bracket, knock out a few favorites, and finish third when nV or OpTic comes back to bite them.

Pro Bracket Finish: Fourth

Championship Sunday Finish: Third

Team Allegiance (1-5, 10-16)



So Far This Season:

Many will be upset that LOL, a team that surged this past week, or Evil Geniuses won’t be in the pro bracket, and instead it will be last place Team Allegiance.

Allegiance had only one win so far this season, off of former last place team LOL, and has three game five losses.

In terms of strengths, Ryan “Shooter” Sondhi at least has a KDA above 1.8, and the team is just over .500 in Strongholds this season. This means they can get out to a great start in round one of the championship bracket, but may lose some moral in round two where they won’t see that game type until game three on Empire.


After their performance this week, many people in the community have discounted Allegiance, and I consider myself one of them.

There are a lot of young, scrapy and hungry teams, such as 3sUp and JusTus, that will not throw away their shot (#HamiltonReference) against pro league sides, and ALG has built up a reputation as “game five droppers.”

Let this be bulletin board material for Allegiance: I will put my first GAMURS paycheck towards an Allegiance hoodie if this team finishes in the top-four this weekend… Even though it is a win-win because their logo and color scheme is fresh to death.

(Also, I’m sorry I have to do this to you, HCS Stats. While I’m here though, thanks for the most accurate stats in the league).

Pro Bracket Finish: Sixth

Championship Sunday Finish: top-12

And of course, for all of you to get mad, here is my full bracket prediction for HCS Orange County (I’ll be profiling 3sUp, EGO, JusTus and Chatt Shade in the open bracket preview, and used the top-eight in pro points in filling out the bracket):

Who is your favorite pro team to win HCS Orange County?

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

James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted by email at [email protected] or on Twitter –@TheJamesMattone.