Things began to heat up in the second week of the HCS Pro League as rosters settled in and established teams polished up their game as the weeks draw closer to DreamHack Denver. This week was the last chance to move up in the ranks before the first break in the season as well as the roster change period, and every team wanted to finish on a good note. With so much on the line, rivalries intensified and teams became more aggressive as we progress into this season.
In the first match of the day, Ronin Esports took their first series win against Naventic 3-1, leaving Naventic 0 for 3 this season. Team EnVyUs handed Luminosity Gaming their second loss of the season, allowing EnVy to move forward with a 3-0 record at a perfect 100% map win percentage.
In the matchup between Splyce and Team Liquid, fans wanted to see if both teams were able to recover from their somewhat slow starts to the season. In a hard fought series between two great teams, Liquid came out on top with a 3-1 win over Splyce to take their second win of the season.
To close out the day, OpTic Gaming swept Evil Geniuses in a brutal series. At the end of Day 1, OpTic and EnVy remained tied for the number one spot with flawless records.
Match of the Week: OpTic Gaming v Team EnVyUs
The first match of Day 2 was a grudge match between two Halo behemoths––EnVyUs and OpTic––and only one team would emerge undefeated. Both teams went into the series with 3-0 scores with 100% map win percentage. Any other time, OpTic might have been the favorite to win, but EnVy have returned to this Fall Season with near perfect communication and teamwork, which is exactly what they needed to beat OpTic.
OpTic started off Game 1 with a convincing lead on Empire Strongholds, but EnVy managed to come back and put points on the board. EnVy pushed ahead and managed to stop OpTic from taking the pit. Despite some clutch plays from LethuL, EnVy were able to win the first game in the series at 100-61.
Game 2 on Plaza Slayer seemed very evenly matched, as both teams remained basically tied throughout the game. Suddenly, all four members of OpTic collapsed on Cafe in a 4v2 against Huke and Snip3down. Huke landed a Triple Kill for EnVy while Snip3down dropped the last player for OpTic. With all four OpTic members down, EnVy were able to take the biggest lead of the game and stretch it to a 50-33 win, bringing the series 2-0 in favor of EnVy.
EnVy were looking to end the series on Truth CTF and secure another perfect 3-0 win. However, OpTic had no intention of giving the series over to EnVy in Game 3. OpTic were playing an incredible defensive game and led 2-1 up until the last two minutes. In an aggressive push, EnVy dropped three OpTic members in the last few minutes of the game and was eventually able to cap their second flag to tie the game with one minute and 30 seconds on the clock. Bodies dropped as the last seconds ticked down, bringing the game into Overtime. Despite some clutch plays from both teams, Snakebite was able to cap the last flag for OpTic and bring them back into the series.
After taking their first game loss of the season, EnVy came into Game 4 with a vengeance, almost immediately taking a 50 point lead at the start of Plaza Strongholds. OpTic, struggling to put points on the board, managed to take Nest and start to close the gap. With three dead for EnVy, OpTic managed to take the lead as they took Bottom Middle control. The push from OpTic was enough to win the game 100-77, handing EnVy their second loss of the season and bringing the series into a Game 5.
Both teams came out cautiously in Game 5 on Eden Slayer, neither wanting to provoke an assault from the other team. EnVy made the first move, taking a commanding lead and managing to drop all four members of OpTic early on in the game. The game slowed down around the seven minute mark as Snip3down picked off OpTic one by one with a Sniper Rifle. With EnVy in the lead, each team traded kills until LethuL came in with a Sniper to try to close the gap for OpTic. Despite strong objective plays from OpTic, EnVy continued to put kills on the board. Both teams’ scores were steadily climbing––OpTic unable to gain traction––until EnVy hit the final 50 kill mark to win the series 3-2, putting them in the number one spot this season.
In the second match of Day 2, Naventic sought to win their first series of the season against Liquid. However, Liquid had a different plan in mind as they took a quick sweep against the newcomers.
With Ronin coming off of their first win and Luminosity recovering from a harsh loss against EnVy, both teams were fighting to earn their second win this season. Ronin were combative, but in the end, Luminosity took a 3-0 win against Ronin to put themselves at 2-2 for the season.
The last series of the week pitted Splyce against Evil Geniuses. Both teams wanted a second win to end Week 2, but only one would be able to rise up in the rankings. EG have been playing some great Halo lately, but Splyce seemed to come into this match with a renewed desire to win. In a hard fought series, Splyce swept EG to close out this week of Pro League.
Will Team EnVyUs remain undefeated? Who will emerge victorious when Splyce and Luminosity Gaming face off? As we head into the roster change period, what will change? You can watch Week 3 of the NA HCS Pro League Fall 2017 broadcasts on the Halo Twitch channel and ESL Halo Facebook page on Sept 20! Be sure to follow the ESL Halo Twitter and Facebook for updates as we continue the #HCS Pro League Fall 2017 Season.