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Halo World Championship Tour: Mexico City Recap

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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Approximately 48 hours after the first shot was fired at Halo World Championship Tour: Mexico City, one team emerged victorious from the pack. Eight squads from the Latin American region fought valiantly for a chance to represent their region at the Halo World Championship next month, and the three teams from Mexico proved to be the strongest of the bunch.

Group A sent Chosen Legacy and Afterlife Gaming in first and second place, respectively, while Group B advanced Chosen Squad and Insane Onfire to bracket play.  At the end of a close Grand Finals it was the Mexican team, Chosen Squad, who emerged victorious and will head to North America for the Finals. Here’s a look at the action from the top squads.

The Chosen Ones

Of the teams to finish first in their groups, Chosen Squad seemed the weaker of the two according to their record. After their first round bye, CS matched up against the winners of the second Brazilian qualifier, Team GG. But CS proved to be more than Team GG could handle, winning Coliseum CTF 3-0 and The Rig Slayer 50-16.

Chosen Squad cooled off in their next series against Colombian representatives Insane Onfire. Game 1 was much closer between the two teams, but Chosen Squad emerged victorious, winning Eden Strongholds 100-67. With the threat of being swept looming in the minds of Insane Onfire, they played Game 2, Regret Slayer, with a newfound aggression and confidence. That change tied up the series 1-1, as Onfire won a Slayer match 50-40, setting the stage for a Game 3 to determine the winner.

Fathom CTF is usually played in a fast paced manner, with both teams often racking up a high amount of kills in a game that is filled with flanks and countercaps. Chosen Squad and Insane Onfire both stepped up accordingly, and the game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation. Thirty seconds into overtime, Insane Onfire was able to grab the Active Camo but failed to capitalize on their advantage. The overtime period ended in a tie, forcing a replay of the match.

The second time around was equally as tense as the first, as Insane Onfire scored the great equalizer, tying the game 2-2 with 44 seconds left in regulation. Both teams quickly pulled each others flags and found themselves in another stalemate with 10 seconds remaining. Chosen Squad’s Dualitat would make a clutch flag run to score the game winning flag with just four seconds left, netting CS the series win and giving them a boost of confidence going into their final series against Black Lotus. In that series, Chosen Squad swept Black Lotus without much resistance, earning them the number one seed heading into the bracket.

Drawing their regional rivals, Afterlife Gaming, Chosen Squad fell behind early in the Best of 7 semifinal series. CS lost a close game of Strongholds on The Rig 100-83, but then rattled off four straight wins after that to take the series and claim their spot in the Grand Finals against Chosen Legacy. The Grand Finals would be a bittersweet meeting for some, as Dany Knight had previously left Chosen Squad to play for Chosen Legacy shortly before the regional event.

After lopsided wins from both squads, the two finalists would clash on Coliseum CTF and were deadlocked for half of the game before Chosen Squad broke the tie. CS found their groove after the first cap and won the game 3-0, taking a 2-1 lead in the Grand Finals. Chosen Legacy answered right back by winning their second straight Strongholds game against CS, this time on Plaza by a score of 100-89.

But lucky for Chosen Squad, Game 5 was not a Strongholds match, and they won Truth Slayer 50-46, giving them a 3-2 lead. With one win separating Chosen Squad from a seat at the World Championship, they did not not give Chosen Legacy a chance to fight back. Chosen Squad jumped out to a 2-0 lead early on in Fathom CTF and never looked back, showing overwhelming emotion as the last flag was scored. Rinnegan, the cornerstone of consistency for the HWC Tour: Mexico City winners, embraced his team and fans in tears, showing what the victory meant for this team.

The work is far from over for this team, though, as Chosen Squad are faced with the daunting task of playing the best Halo teams in the world for their share of a $2,000,000 prize pool. The team has a ton of raw skill and potential, which was put on display this weekend. With nothing to lose and the world to gain, Chosen Squad should be a lot of fun to watch at the Halo World Championship in March.