After not losing a series in either scrims or tournament play in over six months, after being lauded by fans and pundits as one of the most dominant teams in Halo history, and after fellow pro players have all but resigned to the inevitability of their greatness, the reigning world champions Counter Logic Gaming were defeated by Enigma 6.
The loss came just one day after CLG narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of Team EnVyUs, who choked a 45-37 lead in the most whiteknuckle series Halo 5 has seen yet. Smelling blood, E6 approached CLG with the air of confidence and swagger that fans expected of them coming into Pro League. Still, not many expected CLG to fall. So how did it happen?
In all recorded scrims and Pro League matches since April, CLG are a combined 140-28 in Strongholds. The only team with a winning record in any gametype against CLG is Enigma 6. That gametype? Strongholds.
In the Pro League, alternate weeks feature two games of Strongholds rather than two games of CTF. Week 4 featured—you guessed it—two Strongholds, and CLG lost both 100-32. Game 1 was Eden Strongholds, recognized by many as one of the most strategically demanding game types, given the sheer number of advantages from which a team stands to gain in the form of overshield, camo, and rockets, all while coordinating to capture and secure Strongholds.
In Game 1, Enigma 6 proved to be more adept at managing this juggling act. With the sure shot of Huke, the artful movement of Bubu Dubu, and the steady anchoring of Shooter and Cratos, E6 is almost always at a numbers advantage (they outplayed CLG by a margin of 31 kills across both Strongholds games).
In Game 4, Rig Strongholds, which CLG has hitherto refused to veto despite losing it three times in the Pro League, Enigma 6 showed their ability to rotate faster and more wisely, allowing safe spawns for teammates and opportunities to counter cap quick enough to not be found overextended. This objective-first style of play kept E6 one step ahead and ultimately proved to be too much for CLG in the series.
If Strongholds was CLG’s ultimate cause of death, game 3 on Fathom CTF was their death knell. With an absurd 134-13 record (91% win rate) in scrims and Pro League matches, Capture the Flag is CLG’s strongest gametype. Their 32 loss to E6 on Fathom is the only blemish on their otherwise perfect CTF record in the Pro League.
Enigma 6’s improbable win came from their proper balance of aggression and composure, a combination they’ve shown only in spurts up to this point in the Pro League. If Enigma 6 can maintain this type of play on Double CTF weeks, they could continue to make headway in the standings. Rest assured, E6 doesn’t want to be known simply as the team that defeated CLG mid-season; they’ll be gunning to be the team that dethrones them at the Finals.
Next week Team EnVyUs take the stage once again against Counter Logic Gaming. Will nV be able to hand Counter Logic Gaming their second loss or will CLG get back to their winning ways? Tune in this week on Thursday 5PM PDT on the Halo Twitch channel and follow along on both Facebook and Twitter!