The Halo Championship Series: Pro League Summer 2017 Finals at DreamHack Atlanta are just hours away and the world’s best Halo teams are already gearing up for the competition. Top teams from North America and Europe have battled their way through the online regular season to make it to the DreamHack stage. Let’s take a look at the NA and EU Pro League teams that will go head-to-head for the Summer 2017 championship title.
After HCS Daytona, some questioned whether or not OpTic would continue dominating the Halo scene this season. This summer, the previous World Champions proved yet again why they are some of the best players in Halo esports. Royal 2 had an exceptional season and was a big part of the finely tuned machine that is OpTic Gaming. Despite some major competition from teams like Splyce and Team Liquid, there’s a reason that OpTic are the best Halo team in the world. Anyone who faces off with them at Finals should be prepared to take on a roster with incredible teamwork and intense focus.
Renegade shocked many Halo fans after leaving Str8 Rippin to join Splyce, who were not yet guaranteed a Pro League spot after Worlds. After making the Summer Pro League through the Last Chance Qualifier, Splyce exceeded all expectations by taking on the top NA teams to take the number two spot overall. The young roster went undefeated in their first five matches of the season, only losing once to OpTic. Splyce have continually proved that they have what it takes to play alongside the best Halo teams in the world. At Finals, they will definitely be aiming to win it all and avenge the sole loss handed to them from the current World Champions.
We saw the rise of Liquid in Week 3 of the Summer Season after the team’s acquisition of Ace. After a somewhat slow start to the season, Liquid went undefeated in their final four online matches. In their final match, they held off a reverse sweep from OpTic Gaming in a heated Bo5 series. SubZero (formerly Penguin) hit his stride this season, and the whole Team Liquid roster has been playing the kind of Halo that has made them such a huge threat. There’s no doubt that they have their eyes on the number one spot at Finals.
After winning HCS Daytona, EnVy looked poised to take the number one spot in the Summer Pro League. While EnVy were not in the top three coming out of regular season, the Fall 2016 season champions are not to be counted out heading into DreamHack. EnVy have shown us in the past that they can show up to tournaments and thrive in a live setting, especially when Snip3down has the Sniper Rifle. The top three teams will have to brace themselves for a roster that is looking to remind everyone why they are one of the best teams in Pro League.
This season, we saw some of the best Halo we’ve seen from Evil Geniuses in recent memory. EG acquired the rookie player Tapping Buttons to fill the spot left by Naded when he retired. Lunchbox and Roy seemed to benefit from the presence of Tapping Buttons as well as Falcated, who started this season with EG after leaving Splyce. Some fans were wondering how the two veterans would adjust to their two new teammates, but EG showed great chemistry and teamwork during the season. If they can maintain their momentum going into Finals, they’re sure to be a threat to the top teams.
At the start of the season, Luminosity brought on TriPPPeY from the disbanded Team Allegiance, who proved to be a deadly addition to the roster. Later on in the season, APG was also added to the team after leaving Str8 Rippin before the final week of the season began. Like many of the Pro League teams, Luminosity had a bit of a slow start to their season, but were able to pick things up towards the tail end with back to back wins against Str8 and Ronin. We saw some great plays coming out of Luminosity once they got their roster situated, and we can be sure that they’ll be looking to take down the top teams at DreamHack.
Infused dominated this season of the EU Summer Pro League and will go into Finals at DreamHack with a perfect 5-0 record. This season, Infused beat out some of the biggest names in EU Halo to earn the number one spot coming into Finals, and NA teams should recognize them as a threat. NA fans may recognize Respectul from the former FAB Games Esports roster at Worlds who confirmed that EU teams have a place in top-tier Halo. The Infused roster has had an incredible run in the EU Pro League, and will definitely be a threat to the NA teams.
This new roster came into the scene featuring Jimbo from FAB Games Esports and Qristola from London Conspiracy. Their one loss this season came from Infused. Invictus will be entering DreamHack looking to beat Infused and show the rest of the NA teams what a top EU team looks like. Two players on the roster have already shown that they can hold their own among the top NA teams, and judging by their performance in the EU Pro League, the team has what it takes to play Halo among the best.
Supremacy have put France on the Halo world map since their performance at Worlds, where they were able to put up a fight against top NA teams like OpTic, Crowd Pleasers (now Ronin), and EnVy. In this season of Pro League, Supremacy showed Halo fans yet again that they are one of the top EU teams. They will be coming into Finals looking to prove themselves once again in the NA Halo scene. As DreamHack progresses, Solar and SLG will definitely be two members on the roster to watch.
Vexed Gaming acquired the the Lads roster towards the beginning of the season. Heading into Finals, many NA fans will remember Mose and Lunny from Worlds, who played for FAB and London Conspiracy respectively. Vexed is another roster with players who have not only played, but also challenged some of the top NA teams at Worlds. This Pro League season, Vexed did not win any of their matches against the top three EU teams, and will no doubt be looking to get payback at Finals.
Be sure to tune into the first day of DreamHack Atlanta on the Halo Twitch channel or ESL Halo Facebook page starting at 9AM Pacific/12PM Eastern. For those of you at DreamHack this weekend, doors open at 10AM Eastern. Watch the action live from the showfloor or online, and follow along for highlights and additional content on the ESL Halo Twitter and Facebook.