The first event of the Halo Championship Series Summer Season takes place this weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida. With several major roster shake-ups occurring since the Halo World Championship, pro teams are eager to display their new forms, and take their shots at the $75,000 prize pool.
Coming into the event, OpTic Gaming looks as strong as ever, not slowing down in performance since their dominant HWC performance. Rounding out the top 3 are EnVyUs and Team Liquid, maintaining their HWC Rosters. EnVy looks to build from their burgeoning late-season success last year, and finally topple OpTic. In their way stands Team Liquid, a squad of young-gun contenders, who have maintained consistency since forming.
The rest of the top 8 has undergone major changes since the Halo World Championship. HCS Daytona will serve as an opportunity for each team to establish their place in the rankings. In this article, I’ll analyze the Pro Groups, and make predictions for the Championship Bracket.
Top 8 Pro Rosters
Here are the teams and rosters making up the top 8. You can view the round-by-round gametypes here.
OpTic Gaming- Paul “SnakeBite” Duarte, T.J. “Lethul” Campbell, Matt “Royal2” Fiorante, Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom
Team EnVyUs- Austin “Mikwen” McCleary, Justin “iGotUrPistola” Deese, Eric “Snip3down” Wrona, Cuyler “Huke” Garland
Team Liquid- Tim “Rayne” Tinkler, Zane “Penguin” Hearon, Braedon “StelluR” Boettcher, Kevin “Eco” Smith
Str8 Rippin- Aaron “Ace” Elam, Bradley “APG” Laws, Richie “Heinz” Heinz, Dan “Danoxide” Terlizzi
Luminosity Gaming- Cameron “Victory X” Thorlakson, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Tommy “Saiyan” Wilson, Joe “TriPPPeY” Taylor
Splyce- Jesse “bubu dubu” Moeller, Ryan “Shooter” Sondhi, Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, Jon “Renegade” Willette
Ronin Esports- Carlos “Cratos” Ayala, Cory “Str8 SicK” Sloss, Tyler “Spartan” Ganza, Ayden “Suspector” Hill
Evil Geniuses- Justin “Roy” Brown, Jason “Lunchbox” Brown, Brett “Naded” Leonard, Michael “Falcated” Garcia
Teams: OpTic Gaming, Evil Geniuses, Str8 Rippin, Luminosity Gaming
The first two matchups of Group A are between OpTic Gaming/EG, and Str8/Luminosity. Evil Geniuses has largely changed in the offseason, replacing Cody “ContrA” Szczodrowski and Tom “Ogre2” Ryan with Naded and Falcated. The RoyBox twins adding a veteran in Naded will surely benefit the team, but they are too new to stand a chance against the behemoth that is OpTic Gaming. OpTic wins this series 3-0.
Str8 Rippin lost Renegade to Splyce after worlds, and have added Danoxide in his place. They will face Luminosity Gaming, who has looked solid in scrimmages since the HWC. Although Danoxide is a powerful player, he can’t replace the pure firepower that Renegade brought to Str8. Luminosity Gaming takes the series 3-2.
The final Winners Bracket matchup of Group A will be between OpTic and Luminosity. While I think OG far outclass Luminosity in objective play, LG may scratch out a win in Game 2 Regret Slayer. OpTic Gaming wins this series 3-1, and secures first place in Group A.
Losers Bracket: Str8 Rippin 3-1 Evil Geniuses, Luminosity Gaming 3-1 Str8 Rippin
Final Group A Standings:
- OpTic Gaming
- Str8 Rippin
- Evil Geniuses
Teams: EnVyUs, Ronin Esports, Liquid, Splyce
Following their wins at HCS Las Vegas and the HCS Pro League Finals, EnVyUs struggled to reach the top. They came closest to reclaiming victory at HWC 2017, but were shut down by OpTic Gaming in the grand finals. Envy will want to come out of the gates hot at HCS Daytona, and their first victim will be Ronin Esports. Formerly known as Crowd Pleasers, Cratos and friends will have a very hard time handling the long-lasting expertise of a team like EnVyUs. This series will be a quick one, as EnVy takes it 3-0.
The second matchup in round one of Group B will be interesting, as Team Liquid faces Splyce. Following the acquisition of Renegade from Str8 Rippin, Splyce has performed incredibly online, winning the second online placement cup. This one may be too close to call, but I see Splyce catching Liquid off-guard, and taking the series 3-2.
In the final Winners Bracket matchup of Group B, Team EnVyUs will pit themselves against Splyce. Although Splyce has boosted their slaying ability with Renegade, Envy has the advantage of roster continuity and chemistry. As a result, they will operate like a well-oiled machine against the aggressive young-guns. Splyce may be able to pull out a win on Eden Strongholds in Game 3, but this matchup plays to Envy’s favor. Envy takes the series 3-1.
Losers Bracket: Team Liquid 3-2 Ronin Esports, Splyce 3-1 Team Liquid
Final Group B Standings:
- Team EnVyUs
- Team Liquid
- Ronin Esports
Featuring several new rosters, and brand new competitive settings, HCS Daytona will not be an event to skip over. Check out all the action this weekend live on twitch.tv/Halo.
Do you agree with the predictions? Do you think OpTic Gaming is poised for another win? Let me know in the comments!
Featured image by Twitter.com/HCS
You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Garrett! Get in touch with Garrett personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @gbSTATUS!