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The Importance of Play-Styles in Halo: Objective Players

Earlier this week, we covered the role of Main and Power Slayers in Halo. However, while Slayers can rack up plenty of kills, they can’t carry a series. The majority of games, whether it’s a best-of-five, or best-of-seven, are objective based. It won’t matter how many kills you have if you can’t capture a flag or protect a stronghold. So let’s take a look at the players who may not show up in the highlight reels, but are absolutely vital to any championship team.


Objective Players

Good objective players are absolutely the key to beating teams out at the highest level. The difference maker in many games is the amount of seconds that a player can shave off of a flag run. These players meld the knowledge of how to handle objectives, as well as being mindful of when to handle them.

Hamza “Commonly” Abbaali, one of the leagues best objective players. Courtesy of ESL.

Here’s an example:

Say the game mode is Capture the Flag. The vast majority of flag runs are only successful when multiple members of the enemy team are staring at the re-spawn screen. A good objective player knows this and will wait for a teammate to call out the deaths of other players (Usually the minimum to run a flag is two dead). From there, the objective player pulls the flag out of the base. This player must be aware of which part of the maps are under his team’s control and where the dead enemies will be spawning. With this knowledge, the runner moves the flag close to his team, ensuring that even if he is killed, one of his teammates is already in position to continue the run. Combined with the speed of objective runners, this often leads to a flag cap.

Now let’s consider Strongholds. A Slayer’s job is to keep the Stronghold clear of enemies and reset its capture progress if he’s in a position to do so. However, this tends to change when taking offensive actions:

Say it’s Plaza Strongholds and your team is only holding the “Yard” Stronghold. You’re not scoring and the enemy team is quickly gaining a wide lead. Your Objective player should be (under general circumstances) moving through the “Cafe” area to get to the “Nest” Stronghold. Doing so will also secure the spawns around that area, allowing the rest of your team to re-spawn at the map’s power position. This forces the other team to spawn in the “Yard” area, giving your team the upper hand.

Obviously, these roles don’t necessarily apply in every case. For example, when the current Team EnvyUs formed, we saw Eric “Snip3down” Wrona having to run flags, as every member of that team is recognized as a Slayer. This led to many lost flag runs, with nV winning the games only due to their overwhelming slaying power.

Objective players also play a very large role in Team Slayer, despite the “objective” of the mode being to get kills. One of the most important aspects of Slayer is map control, as this leads to power positions, power weapons, and power ups. All of this snowballs into gaining more kills. This is clear on a map like Rig Slayer: The interior of the map, often called “Bunker” is the superior side of the map; it offers plenty of cover, easy access to the camouflage, and gives control of the “Tower” which can look over the entirety of the map’s interior. Objective players will anchor their team’s spawns in these areas while the other post up looking for kills. This ensures positioning remains in their advantage for the long term.


Examples of Objective Players

Visal “eL ToWn” Mohanan (Luminosity Gaming):

eL ToWn, during his time with Team EnvyUs. Courtesy of ESL.

eL ToWn, since his time on Team Allegiance, has developed into one of the most underappreciated players in the HCS. Despite accepted shortcomings in movement and slaying power, he is one of the most apt objective players around. Mohanan pushes objectives at their first availability, enabling his team to often take initial leads.

Hamza “Commonly” Abbaali (Team Allegiance):

Commonly is arguable the best objective player in the league, with his CTF games being a stand-out example. He is always seen in the opposing base, waiting for the perfect opportunities to pull the flag. Once the flag’s out of the base, few can move a flag as fast as this man does.

Jason “Lunchbox” Brown (Evil Geniuses):

Lunchbox has undoubtedly become one of the most legendary players in Halo history over the course of his decade-long career. Once a map is cleared of opposition, Lunchbox is one of the first to push a flag or Stronghold.


Objective players are crucial for winning a series. The absence of a solid objective player can be remedied, but only rarely so. Even Team EnvyUs, the most successful example of substituting for a true objective player, has seen only limited success. These players, despite not receiving much praise, are instrumental to winning a series.

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