A new week begins in the Pro League, and with it brings a matchup that will leave one team with its first win of the season, as well as three matches with plenty of drama behind them.
From the OpTic Gaming and Team EnVyUs “God Squads” losing in week one, to Luminosity and EG sneaking up and going 2-0, to Team Liquid and E6 looking to find their identity, they all have something to prove tonight in their first matches of the week.
Here is a recap of what went down:
Allegiance (0-2) vs. LOL (0-2)
Game 1: Empire – Strongholds
LOL brought in Jonathan “<a href="https://twitter.com/RenegadeJW” target=”_blank”>Renegade” W to help with slaying after Renegade had a strong weekend in the open bracket, and it at least helped LOL stick with Allegiance close in the opening of this series.
Once LOL hit 20 points though, Allegiance got the first total control thanks to a nice stick from Cody “ContrA” Szczodrowski, and locked down The Pit for most of the match.
Although the ex-OpTic team tried to make things interesting, a poor rotation basically ruined any hint of a comeback, and ALG came away with the first game.
Game Final: ALG 100 – 34 LOL
Match Score: ALG 1 – 0 LOL
Game 2: Slayer – Regret
Allegiance dominated the slaying statistics in game one, leading LOL by 13 kills in that match…
But that meant nothing in the only game of Slayer in this series.
In a tightly contested match, LOL had a five kill lead with only eight kills to go, but wound up on the wrong end of an Allegiance run. A surging Michael “Falcated“ Garcia was the man to blame for the comeback, having five out of the last eight kills to bring his team up to 2-0.
Richie “Heinz“ Heinz still led all players with a 15-8-7 scoreline, but he could not carry his team long enough to prevent a blown lead by LOL.
Game Final: ALG 50 – 45 LOL
Match Score: ALG 2 – 0 LOL
Game 3: CTF – Stasis
LOL got up early on the board with a counter-cap, and Heinz followed it up with a coast-to-coast to get the 2-0 lead with over six minutes left in regulation.
Their control of shotgun side and the early lead got them in a great position for Aaron “Ace” Elam to get overshields, and it looked like LOL would get themselves the win…
Until Allegiance followed up with a counter-cap and full map run by Devon “PreDevoNatoR” Layton to bring things level.
Ace then decided to go to the overshield well one more time, and it wound up paying in spades, getting LOL the final cap and sending Allegiance’s CTF record to 0-4.
Game Final: LOL 3 – 2 ALG
Match Score: ALG 2 – 1 LOL
Game 4: Strongholds – The Rig
For ALG, CTF is their Achilles’ heel as Strongholds is to… Um… The rest of Achilles.
If OpTic only had to play Slayer in HCS, they’d win every game. The same goes for Allegiance and Strongholds.
They showed why they are one of the strongest teams in this game type, earning four total controls and shutting LOL down by over 70 points.
Although it was a group effort, Contra played out of his mind to get the final total control of the game, taking out a few at The Nest to bring Allegiance’s Strongholds record to 5-0.
Allegiance has won their first game this season, and LOL is now the only winless team in the league.
Game Final: ALG 100 – 24 LOL
Match Final: ALG 3 – 1 LOL
Team EnVyUs (1-1) vs. Evil Geniuses (2-0)
Game 1: Strongholds – Plaza
To kick off the match of the week, EnVyUs held the first lead of the game, and when EG tried to fight back, Cuyler “Huke” Garland came through with a triple magnum kill to quickly regain control. He finished the game at the top of his team with a 13-13 K/D, three captures and three defends.
The Genuises wound up clearing out the boys in blue and swung the lead with a total control, and held onto control for the win. Cameron “Victory X“ Thorlakson reverted back to his 2010 form, boasting a 18-9-8 clip with a eight man killing spree, five caps, and four defends.
Game Final: EG 100 – 55 nV
Match Score: EG 1 – 0 nV
Game 2: Slayer – Plaza
Whoever had the sniper had control of the game, and it was EnVyUs who prioritized the power weapon.
Eric “Snip3down” Wrona had solid play throughout the match, holding down the sniper with three kills to compliment 10 others. Huke was the MVP of the match with a 16-9-9 stat line, however he did have to deal with Roy giving him the business with a punch to the face.
It hurt, but you know what doesn’t? Tying up the series.
Game Final: nV 50 – 41 EG
Match Score: nV 1 – 1 EG
Game 3: CTF – Coliseum
With Justin “<a style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: #df2940; text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer;" href="http://halo.esportswikis.com/wiki/IGotUrPistola" target="blank”>iGotUrPistola” Deese securing rockets early and Austin “<a style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: #df2940; text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer;" href="http://halo.esportswikis.com/wiki/Mikwen" target="blank”>Mikwen” McCleary hitting a dirty no scope, EnVyUs got the first flag cap of the game within minutes.
After some back-and-forth action, the Geniuses were able to get three down with a double kill by Jason “Lunchbox” Brown in EnVyUs’s base, and knotted up the score at one.
Another three man clear came for EG, with Victory X taking the second cap the length of the map… But they didn’t realize Snipedown had the sniper, as he secured a hat trick to help EnVyUs start their victory drive.
Also, besides Huke going 21-11-21 with a capture, he threw a plasma grenade in the air and stuck himself.
Pros: They are just like us.
Game Final: nV 3 – 2 EG
Match Score: nV 2 – 1 EG
Game 4: Strongholds – Eden
After taking down EG in their strongest game type, EnVyUs pretty much had a must-win in this Strongholds match on Eden.
The teams traded leads and total controls, but Evil Geniuses were better in their set-up and rotations…
And then Huke mysteriously lagged out.
Nevetheless, the game restarted, with EnVyUs needing 100 points to win while EG needed only 51.
Why 100 and 51? Because HCS said so. Stone Cold stunners the Team Beyond Premium members.
(Note: Like some of the forum members, <a href="https://twitter.com/TomRyanOGRE2/status/778775018629046272?refsrc=twsrc%5Etfw” target=”blank”>OGRE2 was not happy after that game four. But thankfully, <a href="http://teambeyond.net/forum/topic/14275-hcs-pro-league-fall-2016-teams-seeds-and-discussion%E2%80%8F/page-540#entry840433" target="blank”>as reported from the Team Beyond forums, ESL Product Manager Timo said the league would look into this rule).
Anyways, the restart was all EnVyUs needed, as despite the additional points needed to win, they almost shut out the Geniuses completely in this game. They outslayed them 46-28, and had a long total control period that destroyed EG’s morale.
So… EnVyUs wins the series. Okay then.
Game Final: nV 100 – 0 EG
Match Score: nV 3 – 1 EG
Luminosity Gaming (2-0) vs. Enigma6 Group (1-1)
Game 1: Strongholds – Empire
After E6 took an early lead off strong rotations, Luminosity locked E6 down at 52 points and pulled away with a strong victory to start the series.
Almost all of Enigma6 finished with a positive K/D in this match, but slaying doesn’t matter when your team was triple capped four times.
Brett “Naded“ Leonard finished with seven caps in this game, and will most likely hold his statistical leader spot in that category after the first day of week two.
Game Final: LG 100 – 52 E6
Match Score: LG 1 – 0 E6
Game 2: Slayer – Coliseum
A tight game between both sides had E6 pulling off an early lead again, but unlike game one, they just had too much slaying power for LG to come back.
Luminosity did attempt a late run in the match, but a double kill from Braedeon “StelluR” Boettcher, including a game-ending no-scope, sealed the victory for Enigma6.
Ayden “Suspector” Hill led all players with 15 kills, including a nice killing spree that allowed his team to pull away with the win.
Game Final: E6 50 – 37 LG
Match Score: E6 1 – 1 LG
Game 3: CTF – Coliseum
Blink once, and you missed the first cap of the game by E6, who took advantage of a beautiful Suspector jump snipe to get a 1-0 lead in the first minute.
But then, Jesse “bubu dubu” Moeller lagged out of the game, resulting in our second restart of the night, with E6 now needing one capture to win and LG needing three.
On the restart, StelluR made quick work, and along with a quick return from his teammates, got the deciding capture to give his team the series lead.
Game Final: E6 3 – 0 LG
Match Score: E6 2 – 1 LG
Game 4: Strongholds – Plaza
Riding off momentum from the shutout, E6 was able to skate out to yet another lead, and it seemed like they would look to close out the series handedly. They did have to fend off a total control by Luminosity, but easily did so by fighting LG off The Yard to take back two capture points.
StelluR and bubu dubu led their team with 19 kills a piece, with dubu posting a triple double, a killing frenzy and a ridiculous K/D of 3.17.
And just like that, there were no more undefeated teams in HCS
Game Final: E6 100 – 57
Match Final: E6 3 – 1 LG
Team Liquid (1-1) vs. OpTic Gaming (1-1)
Game 1: Strongholds – Eden
After a commercial that could only be described as every Halo gun lover’s wet dream, the final match of the night started with TL taking both the overshield and rockets, earning them some early control.
But OG then made a solid counter-cap for total control, and was able to pretty much lock down the first win of the series with authority. They led in slayer stats by 21 kills, and jumped on and off capture points for five total control medals.
Side note: Look out for Allegiance to face OpTic in week three in any Strongholds game, because that may be a top-five match of the season.
Game Final: OG 100 – 19 TL
Match Score: OG 1 – 0 TL
Game 2: Slayer – Regret
Team Liquid started off well, with a full sweep of OG to grab overshield and going out to a 7-2 run.
This provided a bit of a shock to OpTic, who came in perfect in slayer matches, however they were able to wrestle the game back from TL and bring it to a close fight in the mid-game. The teams traded triple kills from Hamza “<a style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: #df2940; text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer;" href="http://halo.esportswikis.com/wiki/Commonly" target="blank”>Commonly“ Abaalli for TL and Matthew “<a href="http://halo.esportswikis.com/wiki/Royal2" target="blank”>Royal2” Fiorante for OG.
In the end of this back-and-forth affair, it came down to a one kill game right down to the last kill. At 49-49, Tyler “Spartan“ Ganza ran into the middle of the map with Commonly to take the overshield, relying on his teammate to stay alive, and secure the final kill on TJ “<a href="http://halo.esportswikis.com/wiki/LethuL" target="blank”>LethuL” Campbell. It would be his 20th kill of the match, leading the rest of his team to tie up the series.
Game Final: TL 50 – 49 OG
Match Score: TL 1 – 1 OG
Game 3: CTF – Fathom
Spartan wasted no time in the first minute of game three, as he got a clusterluck double kill and the first flag capture for Team Liquid in a highlight reel run.
He then continued to dominate in the match, providing light rifle and camo cover for flag runner Zane “Penguin“ Hearon, and ended the match with a 12-8-8 clip.
Bradley “<a href="http://halo.esportswikis.com/wiki/Frosty" target="blank”>Frosty” Bergstrom tried to bring the TL flag out, and succeeded as it was eventually passed out to Paul “<a href="http://halo.esportswikis.com/wiki/SnakeBite" target="blank”>SnakeBite” Duarte for their first capture of the game.
However, that led to a intricate counter-cap by Liquid, and in the end, Penguin got the third flag cap to bring OpTic within one game of being sent under .500.
Game Final: TL 3 – 1 OG
Match Score: TL 2 – 1 OG
Game 4: Strongholds – Empire
In a desperation game for OpTic, the Green Wall got the initial points on Empire by locking down The Pit early…
And they did not take their foots off the throats of Team Liquid after that.
Despite a generous spawn for TL, OG only gave up 11 points in this match, all coming after their 47 point run to start the match.
Frosty and Snakebite led their team with 16 and 15 kills a piece, laying down a killing spree a piece, five combined double kills and nine combined defends.
It seemed that all hopes of this night ending at 12 p.m. EDT ended here, because this series was going to game five.
Game Final: OG 100 – 11 TL
Match Score: OG 2 – 1 TL
Game 5: Slayer – The Rig
When you beat the best slaying team in the game on their best game type, you better believe they are going to come back with a vengence when it comes back up.
OG kicked off the only game five of the night with a 10-4 run, and Matthew “Royal2” Fiorante was able to secure his favorite power weapon position: the sniper on the rafters.
From that point, it was OpTic’s game to lose, but TL fought back with duel sniper play from Spartan and Commonly, with the former having a triple kill to help tie up the game at 23 all.
The Green Wall then got its act together, as they took back power weapons and their lead during an 8-1 run. This allowed LethuL to assist in closing out the series for his team, ending the game with a team high 16 kills.
OpTic flirted with early season disaster, but fended off the feisty Team Liquid to end the night.
And also, the game ended before midnight on the East Coast, making this a win for fans across the community.
Game Final: OG 50 – 42 TL
Match Final: OG 3 – 2 TL
And that will do it for the first day of week two. Do you think the nV/EG and E6/LG matches would have ended differently had there been different reset rules? What do you think are the best rules for HCS going forward?
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 by email at <a style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: #df2940; text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer;" href="mailto:[email protected]" target="blank”>[email protected] or on Twitter -<a style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: #df2940; text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer;" href="https://twitter.com/TheJamesMattone" target="blank”>@TheJamesMattone.