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Sentinels’ Drama Reignites Hype for Halo in the Wrong Way

Competitive Halo is “back” and like every console first person shooter esport, there is drama taking place on Twitter involving top personalities.

I missed it so much.

Favorites to win this weekend’s HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh, Sentinels will be attending the event through the open bracket rather than the seed they earned through online qualifiers. Mathew “Royal2” Fiorante is barred from competing at the event due after HCS determined he was guilty of server manipulation. For context, this would be like a long-standing top baseball player popping for steroids.

But that’s only half the story.

For just over 24 hours, there was chaos in the scene. What would take place over the course of a day not only was inexcusable but also a brutal reminder of how far the scene needs to mature.

For example, don’t use Twitter when emotional.

At almost 2 PM EST on December 12th, HCS would announce their findings. Referencing the NA Kick-off Qualifier December 1st tournament, the HCS Administration would provide a strong case for malpractice by Royal2. The governing body appeared to be very open to being proven wrong however the player was unable to do so thus extending the process.

The team would immediately take to social media. More specifically, Tony “LethuL” Campbell Jr wouldn’t hold back punches. He would directly call out HCS staff members for how they handled the situation and seemingly responded to every tweet possible about the situation. Calling his outbursts unprofessional would be putting nicely. The team’s coach (and brother of Royal2) Chris “Royal1” Fiorante would also take to social media, expressing his frustration in less than appropriate language but would remove his tweets.

And the rest of the team would be much more restrained with their comments. Their restraint worked out in their favor when Royal2 would address the situation in a Twitlonger, admitting guilt.

The HCS got it right.

Defending your teammate is understandable. But attacking the governing body for their decision in the manner in which they did, it is comedic to see this outcome. Sentinels would still point a finger at the HCS for the timing of the decision. But, the investigation process does take time.

Sentinels would manage to field a replacement — temporarily signing the legend Matt “FormaL” Piper. And seemingly, everything is back to normal. Sentinels are competing, they’re still favorites and people are excited for the event and I have to prepare for traffic in downtown Raleigh.

If only it were that simple.

Sentinels are expecting to be a top representatives of the competitive Halo space. The four players have such an incredible history together and are arguably one of the greatest teams to ever play the game given their success on OpTic Gaming and Counter Logic Gaming. They’ve helped carry the esport through its weakest years. This is one of the most important groups to the future success of competitive Halo.

Not only was this event concerning from a media perspective, it was shocking to see this from this type of line-up. We wouldn’t expect veterans to act this way. We would expect veterans to act this way while representing an organization.

It isn’t a type of behavior that makes HCS completely disconnect their partnership. But it would be ignorant to ignore the fact that they’re re-evaluating their relationship for the future.

Following Sentinels was already a must watch for the weekend for their gameplay. Now, its a must watch for the potential antics that will take place.

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