Once again, OpTic Gaming proved why they are the best team in the world. In the opening day of the Halo World Championship, OpTic dismantled everyone in their path to the $1 million world title.
The first day of the HWC 2017 was dominated by heavy favorite OpTic Gaming. The Green Wall plowed their way through the competition Friday, defeating Supremacy and TMMT Crowd Pleasers in Group A while also humiliating European powerhouse FAB Games eSports in the upper bracket quarterfinals. OpTic destroyed their three opponents Friday, finishing the day with a combined 10-1 map count. Their sole loss came in their first game of the day in a 100-95 Strongholds nailbiter against Supremacy.
If there is one team that could give OpTic a run for their money, it’s Team Liquid. Liquid swept through Group B over Luminosity Gaming and London Conspiracy, and followed it up with a heartstopping 4-3 win over Team EnVyUs in bracket play. Despite being relatively young when next to teams such as OpTic and EnVyUs, Liquid showed that they can stay calm and finish a series against top teams. If they’re the ones to beat OpTic, they’re going to need that composure.
Str8 Rippin and Splyce were the other two teams to come out on top of their respective groups. Both teams did it fairly easily as Str8 Rippin made light work of FAB Games eSports and SoaR Gaming. The quick two defeats for SoaR showed why so many analysts worried for them coming into the tournament. Although they ran through the Latin American region, the standard in that region is still far below the level of competition that’s played in North America, Europe, and Oceania.
Str8 Rippin played Crowd Pleasers in bracket play, turning it into a screaming match by the end of it. Neither team has ever been shy about letting their opponents know what they think so the two teams did just that. It mostly started with Str8 Rippin’s Bradley “APG” Laws yelling across the stage after quickly going up 3-0, but as Crowd Pleasers made their way back, the screaming became louder and more intense by the CP side. In the end, Str8 Rippin was able to prevent the reverse sweep.
Splyce grabbed attention Group C by knocking off Team EnVyUs in the first match of the day. EnVyUs, a team consisting of legends such as Justin “iGotUrPistola” Deese and Eric “Snip3down” Wrona, were defeated in four games by the quickly-rising young American team of Splyce. Just earlier this month, EnVyUs finished third at ME Las Vegas while Splyce tied for 7th, showing that the latter has done a lot of work since the event to come ready to play. Splyce moved on to face Group B’s Luminosity Gaming next.
LG showed flashes of great play against London Conspiracy but when against Team Liquid, nothing seemed to go their way. Splyce and LG went back and forth in their series, deciding it in a game 7. LG, against expectations took the final Slayer after being defeated handedly in the previous two Slayer games in the series.
Liquid, LG, and Str8 Rippin have looked good through three matches, but none of them look like a match for defending world champions OpTic thus far. Those four teams will play in their upper bracket semifinals matches to determine which two teams will guarantee their top three spot.
The rest of the teams will battle through the lower bracket, where a match loss will mark the end of their Halo World Championship life.