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Breaking down the Halo World Championship: Group D

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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The moment that the Halo esports community has been anxiously awaiting is just three days away. The sixteen of the top Halo teams from regions around the world converge at the Halo World Championship 2016 in Hollywood, California for the chance to become World Champions, and to earn a share of the $2.5 million prize pool. We've been taking a deep dive into each of the four groups to see what lies ahead. Click here for a much larger version of the above group image. Rounding out our HaloWC Group coverage is Group D. Let's breakdown what the final group has to offer.

GROUP D

COUNTER LOGIC GAMING

  • Snake Bite
  • Lethul
  • Royal 2
  • Frosty
  • Coach: Clutch

Fielding what may be the most vicious love-hate relationship in Halo history is none other than Counter Logic Gaming. They are considered by many to be a favorite to win the tournament, and there is good reason to believe the hype. CLG dropped just three maps the entire weekend at the HaloWC Tour: Columbus, eliminating rival team Evil Geniuses and making it look easy along the way. It is difficult to find a weakness for this team, and they seem to get better every time they are on stage. The addition of Lethul to the roster in place of Ogre 2 had mixed results initially,but  the lineup looks rock solid right now. CLG was outslayed in all three of their losses in Columbus, and if they can make some minor adjustments, they could very well make it to the Grand Finals without dropping a map.

TEAM SKYFIRE

  • Axis
  • Avenger
  • Blaqkrow
  • Mobius
  • Coach: Bizz

Originally under the name “Aftermath”, Team Skyfire qualified for the Halo World Championship 2016 by sweeping Equinox in the Grand Finals of the HaloWC Tour: Hong Kong. In doing so, Blaqkrow became the first player to ever qualify for both a Call of Duty and Halo World Championship event. On February 10th, it was announced that Aftermath would be acquired by Oceanic organization Team Skyfire. This also included the addition of Australian coach Bizz to the roster. The Asian team has no Halo 5 tournament exposure to other regions this season, and that may prove to hurt them over the weekend. But they have nothing to lose and the world to gain. As daunting as a group this may be, their roster does not lack talent.

EPSILON ESPORTS

  • BUK20
  • BUK57
  • Jimbo
  • Snipedrone
  • Coach: Flamez

The European juggernaut Epsilon eSports comes to Hollywood off of a less than ideal performance at the HaloWC Tour: Cologne. Epsilon made their way through the group stages and the first round of bracket play, but were then eliminated by Team Infused. A recent interview with Jimbo shows that there were a few factors that contributed to their finish, and those problems are being addressed while they prepare. The twins, BUK20 and BUK57, are both incredibly talented but will have to make adjustments to their gameplay in order for the team to perform better than they did in Cologne. Snipedrone and Jimbo had a KDA of 1.83 and 1.51, respectively, while BUK20 and BUK57 had a 1.21 and 1.03. Damage-wise, the trend continues. Jimbo averaged 2159.5 DPG, Snipedrone averaged 2384.4 DPG, BUK20 averaged 1969.7 DPG and lastly, BUK57 averaged 1709.5 DPG. Something worth noting is that the twins die just as much as Jimbo does, so the issue is not deaths. Statistically, BUK20 and BUK57 simply did not deal as much damage, and did not kill as much as their teammates did. Epsilon has become a household name in the European Halo scene and they have a chance to leave their mark on the world this weekend. But if the twins do not improve upon their performance from Cologne, Epsilon may not make it out of group stages.

CLOUD 9

  • Cloud
  • Hysteria
  • Danoxide
  • Assault
  • Coach: Randa

Formerly known as Triggers Pound, Cloud 9 rolls into Hollywood fresh off a newly signed contract with the world-class Cloud 9 organization. History has a tendency to repeat itself, and if C9’s performance at HaloWC: Columbus is any indication of things to come, then the team has reason for optimism. C9 went 7-4 in group play with a tight series against Team Allegiance along the way. Hysteria is known for his incredible play while on LAN, and although they certainly want to beat CLG as well, they only have to beat Epsilon and Skyfire to make it into the bracket stages. Assuming they make it out of groups, the rest of their success is wholly dependent upon their bracket draw. In Columbus, the draw unfortunately had C9 play EG in the first round and C9 was properly dismantled in every aspect of play. If C9 can avoid a top four team early on, they can make a late run into the bracket.

Is this the "Group of Death?" We'll find out when the matches start this Friday. Make sure you tune in to the Halo World Championship 2016 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.