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Halo Championship Series: Pro League PAX East recap: and then there were two

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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After a dominating performance at the Halo World Championship, Counter Logic Gaming and Team Allegiance were offered spots on the Halo Championship Series: Pro League. Team Allegiance disbanded, sending all four members to different teams vying for the very spot they chose to give away. This set the stage for the PAX East Invitational that featured Evil Geniuses, Enigma 6, Optic Gaming, and Team EnVyUs. All of the teams were brand-new or had new rosters, and with not much time to play as a unit, there was no telling which team would emerge victorious. 

Enigma 6 struggles to get something going

The PAX East Invitational served as the unveiling of Enigma 6 to the Halo esports scene. After leaving Team Allegiance, Cratos joined up with Shooter and the talented duo of Bubu Dubu and Huke with intentions of taking down the best in the world. The first round of the event pitted E6 against Optic Gaming, and the the world would quickly learn who would get first blood in the Cratos Naded rivalry.

The series started off with a back and forth struggle and the series was tied 1-1 after Truth Capture the Flag and The Rig Slayer. Both teams showed signs of dominance but it was Naded and the rest of Optic Gaming that would build off of the momentum and advance with a 3-1 series win. This sent Enigma 6 to the losers bracket to face off against Team EnVyUs and put their tournament hopes on the line.

nV was coming off of being reverse swept in the first round of the tournament against EG, and could have come into the match feeling flat. E6 stumbled out of the gate again, and nV took game 1 of The Rig Strongholds 100-79. Game 2, Regret Slayer, came down to the wire as E6 was up 45-37 with five minutes left on the clock and nV mounted a ferocious comeback that culminated in them controlling the final Overshield and securing the win. E6, down 2-0 in the series and one loss away from elimination, was able to regain their composure and dominate Fathom Capture The Flag 3-0. Huke and Shooter put up more kills than anyone else in the game and E6 showed signs of life. But those signs were short-lived as E6 would fall in the next game Eden Strongholds 100-60. and were eliminated from the tournament.

Optic Gaming shows promise, falls short.

Optic Gaming, with the recent headline signing of Naded, came out of the gates swinging and sent E6 to the losers bracket with a statement 3-1 win. That earned them a ticket to face off against EG in the Winners Bracket finals. OG fell victim to the triple cap strat and lost Game 1 100-6, but not before Naded ninja’ed an Overshield-toting Snip3down as the game ended. Things went from bad to worse for OG in Game 2, Coliseum Slayer. EG played the game to near perfection, jumping out to a commanding 22-0 lead and not looking back for the rest of the series. OG was swept 4-0 and was sent to the losers bracket to face off against the hot-handed nV squad.

Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag, was a quick 3-0 loss for OG. They put up more of a fight in Game 2, Truth Slayer, and it came down to the final few kills but it was not enough and they fell 50-47 off the back of 15 kills from the newly acquired Naded. Optic jumped out to an early 30 point lead in Game 3, Plaza Strongholds, and were poised to take a game back in the series, but nV had other plans and completed the comeback to take the game by a score of 100-88. With their backs against the ropes and one loss from elimination, Optic loaded into Coliseum Capture The Flag. nV struck first, but OG capped a flag right back to bring the game to a 1-1 tie with 4:30 left on the clock. Optic was unable to make something happen after that, and nV maintained control the rest of the way and won the game 3-1.

Team EnVyUs and Evil Geniuses meet again; Clash in the Winners Finals.

The first time these two teams met, nV had a 2-0 series lead that they watched wither away as EG completed the reverse sweep. Although the series score was different, the outcome was the same. The series started off favorably for nV as they took Game 1, Coliseum Capture The Flag, 3-0. Mikwen continued to tear through the competition and posted a game leading 18 kills to round out his 18/7/11 stat line. EG, unfazed by the 3-0 loss, quickly bounced back and took Game 2 of Plaza Slayer 50-33. The back and forth see-saw continued in Game 3 as nV took a 2-1 series lead with a 100-43 victory on Eden Strongholds.

Evil Geniuses would not relinquish control of the series again

EG rattled off two wins in a row on Fathom CTF, Regret Slayer, and capped their weekend off with a huge win on The Rig Strongholds 100-15 to qualify for the Halo Championship Series: Pro League Summer 2016 Season. They join Counter Logic Gaming as the only two teams to have qualified thus far, with six more vacant spots left to be filled.

The next four spots will be filled via the Summer Qualifier. Here, 16 teams will play in an online qualifier and the top eight teams will be invited to the ESL Studios in Burbank, CA to compete for the four spots that will be up for grabs. The picture of the Halo Pro League gets more clear with every team that qualifies and you can keep up with all of the action on Facebook and Twitter!