The moment that the Halo esports community has been anxiously awaiting has finally arrived. The 16 teams have been drawn into four groups, and in just two weeks the best Halo players in the world will converge upon the Halo World Championship in Hollywood, California for the chance to become World Champions, and to earn a share of the $2.5 million prize pool. We'll be taking a deep dive into each of the four groups to see what lies ahead, and you can click here for a much larger image of the above group image. Let's start things out with Group A.
- Dany Knight
- Coach: Windragon
After an emotional culmination to their weekend in Mexico City, Chosen Squad announced that Rinnegan will not be attending the Halo World Championships and Dany Knight, from rival squad Chosen Legacy, will be taking his place. Although late in the season, Chosen Squad should be able to invest the time required to establish chemistry as they head to Hollywood. The biggest question for this Mexican squad will be how the addition of Dany Knight strengthens the team’s vulnerabilities. In the Halo World Championship Tour: Mexico City Grand Finals, Chosen Squad lost three of their last four Strongholds gametypes, and two of those losses came at the hands of Dany’s former team.
Furthermore, Chosen Squad lost a total of 4 games all weekend and three of the losses were in Strongholds. If this team wants to compete with the best in the world, they will have to adjust accordingly. Their strength in other gametypes matches up well against the weaker CTF play of exceL and Slayer play of Allegiance. Chosen Squad’s road will not be an easy one, but their recent roster change may prove to be the ace this team needs in order to surprise a few teams along the way.
- Coach: Prsma
Following up their victory at the EMEA Last Chance Qualifier with a second place finish at the Halo World Championship Tour: Cologne, exceL eSports hopes to continue shocking the world and proving their worth. In order to do so, they will have to finish second in their group, and beat one of, or both, Allegiance and Team Liquid in the process. They had an impressive 4-1 (11-5) record in Cologne, and their strength lies in their slaying prowess. Snakey led the team in both kills (226) and KD (1.15), while Lunny was not far behind (202, and 1.14). The team went 4-1 and averaged 8:21 per game in slayer gametypes, but struggled in CTF. With the exception of Fathom (3-1), exceL posted a losing record in all other CTF maps played, and they tend to play at a much slower pace in CTF than they do in all other gametypes.
The one Slayer game they lost came at the hands of the eventual first place team at Cologne, Team Infused. The score was close, 50-43, but the thing to note is that the length of the game exceeded the average time of exceL's Slayer games. exceL thrives in fast paced scenarios, which explains their success on Fathom and Slayer gametypes in general. They will need to control the pace of the game in order to perform well against the teams in their group. Moreover, Snakey is clearly their main damage dealer. He leads the team in both kills and assists, but he also dies more than anyone else by a significant margin. If left unchecked, this could prove to be the achilles heel of this talented team.
- eL ToWn
- Coach: Burton
“Can Naded win an event?” That's a question that has followed Team Allegiance for the entirety of the season, and is now on the minds of thousands as the squad prepares for Hollywood. Allegiance took care of business during the group stages of the Halo World Championship Tour: Columbus, but faltered against Cinderella sensation Denial Esports. Denial topped them in Game 7 of the semifinals, leaving Allegiance on the outside looking in as CLG took first place. Allegiance has placed top four in both live events this year, along with winning two of the five online qualifiers and are a force to be reckoned with. The squad has the skill and knowledge to outperform the pack, but must make some adjustments as they head into the Championship.
Allegiance dominated the CTF games they played with a 6-1 record but went even in their Slayer and Strongholds gametypes in Columbus, posting a 3-3 record in both. Additionally, Naded has often been criticized for his performance under the bright lights, and the data backs it up. His KDA in Columbus before their semifinals match against Denial was an impressive 3.47. His KDA against Denial? 0.67. For Allegiance to advance to the finals, Naded must perform well when it matters most, and the team as a whole must fine-tune their Slayer and Strongholds play. If they can make those changes in the following weeks, Allegiance could be a terrifying opponent.
- Coach: Elamite
After an underwhelming performance in Aspen, Team Liquid was able to bounce back in the group stages at the Halo World Championship Tour: Columbus and qualify for the World Championship in convincing fashion. They also added another page to the rivalry with Renegades by sweeping them along the way to bracket play before falling at the hands Denial Esports. After managing to go through the first half of the tournament without dropping a single game, Liquid lost both CTF games against Denial while being outslayed by a margin of 10.5 kills.
Team Liquid is a very good team, which is evident in how they can steal objective wins from teams without outslaying their opponents. But when the team is firing on all cylinders, they are extremely fun to watch. Like in the series against Renegades where Liquid posted a team KDA of 22.22(!). Liquid is a better squad than their performance at Columbus portrays, and they will have a chance to prove that in this group. The last time Allegiance and Team Liquid clashed, Allegiance nearly swept them, finishing 3-1. Liquid got revenge against Renegades, but can they do the same against Allegiance?
This group is loaded with talent and no one is safe from being upset. Make sure you tune in to the Halo World Championship March 18 through March 20 to catch all the action live, and follow along with us on Twitter and Facebook. These are the best teams in the world and you won’t want to miss any of it.