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The Halo World Championship Tour: Mexico City snapshot

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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For the last two months, hundreds of teams from around the world have fought to earn one of 16 slots to play at the Halo World Championship.  As of now, seven of those spots have been claimed by the best in the region from Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Europe. Next in line to determine their representative on Halo’s biggest stage in esports history will be one of eight teams from Latin America.

These eight squads will meet at the Halo World Championship Tour: Mexico City this weekend, and the victor will head to the World Championship. Here’s a closer look at the competing teams:

 

Team: Afterlife Gaming    
● Dark Reaper
● Gremory
● Summed
● Deco
Qualified: January 30th, 2016

Afterlife Gaming finished in second place at the third Mexico Qualifier to qualify for the Halo World Championship Tour: Mexico City. Prior to the Qualifier, Dark Reaper, Gremory, Summed, and Deco played for different teams, with mixed results throughout the season. With one last chance to succeed, they decided to leave their respective teams in the hopes of improving on their previous placements.

Fighting through an unforgiving 64 team bracket, Afterlife’s tournament road was on the verge of ending abruptly in the first round of the event as they dropped a game against Team Natural Talent, but they bounced back and rattled off ten wins in a row to make it to the Grand Finals and eventually advance to the Mexico City Regional.

Team: Chosen Legacy    
● Revan
● Hunk
● Dany Knight
● Zeus
Qualified: January 16th, 2016

Earning their spot in the first Mexico Qualifier is Chosen Legacy. The team drew a first round bye before making quick work of Team MFAM, ONIX, UNSC H5, Fatal Ambition, and Perfect Dynamic, earning them a spot in what would turn out to be an electric Best of 5 series against Los Coyotes.

Game 1 did not end well for Chosen Legacy, where they lost a tight game of Coliseum CTF 3-1. Los Coyotes scored twice in the final seconds of the game to seal the deal and set Chosen Legacy behind with a lot of Halo left to be played. But te eventual winners bounced back in dominating fashion for Game 2, winning Empire slayer 50-26. Game 3, The Rig Strongholds, help similar results for Chosen Legacy. They out-slayed and out-rotated their opponents, cruising to a 100-42 win.
Chosen Legacy took the series lead 2-1 and had Altitude Breakout standing in between them and a spot at regionals. But Los Coyotes would not go down easily, and took Game 4 5-2. Game 5 was Plaza Slayer, and with everything on the line, Chosen Legacy took care of business. They jumped out to a 14-5 lead with supreme power weapon and overshield control, and never looked back as they won the game 50-35 and the Grand Finals 3-2.

Team: Chosen Squad   
● Sebastian
● Raul
● Rinnegan
● Selioh
Qualified: January 24th, 2016

Not to be mistaken for their regional counterparts, Chosen Legacy, Chosen Squad qualified for the HWC Tour: Mexico City by being the last team standing at the second Mexico Qualifier. After losing in the semifinals against Los Coyotes by a score of 3-1, Chosen Squad entered the tournament with something to prove. They made a statement by running through the entire bracket before finally dropping a game in the semifinals against Perfect Dynamic.

Although they lost the first game of the series, Chosen Squad’s intensity showed no signs of slowing down. They would win the next three games in convincing fashion to meet Fatal Ambition in order to decide the winner of the tournament. In Game 1, Fathom CTF, Chosen Squad struck first, and won 3-0 in under four minutes behind a constant barrage of pressure.

Game 2 would not be any kinder to Fatal Ambition, as Chosen Squad won big by a final margin of 38 kills, 50-22. With one game left to qualify for the HWC Tour: Mexico City, Chosen Squad put on what some would say was their most impressive performance yet. They won Eden Strongholds 100-26 to sweep Fatal Ambition and punch their tickets to play against the best in the region for a chance at Worlds.

Team: Diversity   
● Esmagador
● Fernandes
● Dark Camus
● Alexbox
Qualified: January 16th, 2016

Faced with the daunting task of making it through the third Brazil Qualifier as the sixth seed, Team Diversity rose to the occasion and asserted themselves as one of the best in the region. Their first round matchup placed them against Trigo Suave, and Diversity outclassed their opponents in every facet of the game. Diversity quickly made a statement that would set the tone for the remainder of the series by winning Game 1 on Coliseum CTF in under three minutes.

The second game did not produce different results, as Diversity put on a Slayer clinic and won the game and series, 50-9. Their winning ways didn’t falter in round two and the Brazilian squad swept 2thegame Halo before facing not only Factory esports Halo, but also hardship for the first time of the tournament. They would drop one game, but bounced back to win the series and advance to the finals. Unfazed by the number one seed, Diversity beat 4LF4 to earn $500 and a spot among the best in Latin America.

Team: Gideon   
● Duke
● Favourablecarp
● Jellyfish
● Tasher
Qualified: January 9th, 2016

Gideon was able to qualify for HWC Tour: Mexico City at the very first Latin American South Qualifier. Although they entered the tournament as the number one seed, making it to the finals was no easy task for Gideon. The only team to represent Argentina faced their toughest task of the tournament in the semifinals when they went to Game 5 against the Chilean squad, Porotos con Rienda. Gideon would come out of the nail-biting series victorious, and advance to face Holi in a Grand Final that would also go to five games.

Game 1, The Rig Strongholds, was a great start for Gideon. They won the game 100-34 by methodically controlling basement and nest. Game 2 on Eden Slayer was as close as they come. Late in the game, Gideon held a commanding 46-32 lead and was poised to surge ahead 2-0 in the series. They had control of both the Sniper Rifle and Rocket Launcher, but managed to lose both to Holi. That would prove to be Gideon’s demise, as Holi furiously fought back to win the game 50-49.

Much to the benefit of the spectators, Game 3 featured more of the same action-packed Halo that had been on display for all of the Grand Finals. The score was tied 2-2 on Coliseum CTF in the closing seconds of the game. Gideon managed to pull the flag with 20 seconds left, and ran back to their base only to discover that Holi had pulled their flag as well. This put the game in a tense standoff with neither team wanting to make a mistake. Time eventually expired, forcing the teams into a sudden death rematch where the first squad to cap the flag would take the series lead.

It took another three minutes, but Gideon would eventually score on a close flag run to end the game and take the 2-1 lead. Holi won game four, setting the stage for an all too fitting Game 5 of Empire Slayer. As expected, it was incredibly close, but when all was said and done, Gideon won the game 48-46 and will represent the LAS region in Mexico City.

Team:Insane Onfire    
● Blessed
● Darken
● Insane Jese
● Insane Pelu
Qualified: January 23rd, 2016

Representing Colombia is team Insane Onfire. Known as one of the best teams in their respective region, Insane Onfire entered the tournament as the number one seed and held onto that spot throughout their qualifier. But their road wasn’t without hiccup, as they dropped a game in their first series of the tournament against Sharkport.

After winning Game 1 and 2, Sharkport took Game 3 on Coliseum CTF from Insane by a score of 3-0. Insane closed the door on Sharkport in Game 4, Altitude Breakout, and advance to play No Se Sabe Team in the Grand Finals. Unfortunately for No Se Sabe, Insane Onfire hit their groove and won the series handily by a final score of 3-0. Insane Onfire will look to ride that momentum this weekend.

Team: Team Callidus  
● Breicks
● Twisty
● Bravo
● Naruto
Qualified: January 2nd, 2016

Led by team captain Igor “Breicks” Freitas, Team Callidus entered the first Brazilian Qualifier as the number four seed. The team quickly dismissed their first opponents, Brs do caos, by winning back to back games of Coliseum CTF and Regret Slayer. The semifinal match would pit Callidus against Team GG, a team that would eventually qualify for HWC Tour: Mexico City in the second Brazilian qualifier.

Game 1, Plaza Strongholds, proved to be one of their stronger game-types. Callidus won the game 100-19, out-slaying their opponent by 22 kills. The second game was Truth Slayer, and if Callidus’ performance in the last game was any indication, things would go in their favor. Instead, it was close until the very end, and in an odd turn of events, one of the players on team Callidus, Naruto, stood still in the red bubble and was killed without fighting back, giving Team GG the win 50-48.

Callidus bounced back and won Game 3, Fathom CTF and Game 4, Altitude Breakout, to advance to the finals. Their opponents in the finals, 2thegame, came in as the stronger team . 2thegame ripped through the bracket, carrying with them an undefeated record, and a full head of confidence on their shoulders. Callidus had other plans, however, and swept 2thegame in the finals to win the qualifier and head to the Regional in Mexico City.

Team: Team GG    
● Kito
● Federaaa
● Insane
● Exorcista
Qualified: January 9th, 2016

Hot off the heels of a disappointing 3-1 loss against Team Callidus in the first online qualifier, Team GG played with a chip on their shoulder that showed in their performance. Proving to the world that they are one of the best in the region, Team GG swept Golden Killers 2-0 in the quarterfinals, and Bola Team 3-0 in the semifinals, setting the stage for a BO5 Grand Finals against 4LF4 team.

Game 1 had the two Brazilian juggernauts clashing on The Rig Strongholds, and Team GG was the first to strike. Showing supreme rotations between Nest and BR base, Team GG won in impressive fashion, 100-19. With Eden Slayer as the next game on the docket, Team GG wanted to keep pressure and momentum in the series. They managed to do just that, controlling the map and jumping to a 7-3 lead. 4LF4’s Doom would close the gap by controlling both power weapons on the map, but the raw skill of Team GG was too much to overcome. By winning the game 50-27, GG took a 2-0 lead and were one game away from a trip to Mexico City for the regional finals.

With their goal well within reach, they put together the most dominating game of the tournament on Coliseum CTF and swept 4LF4 3-0, leaving little doubt that they belong among the best in the region.

The teams at the Halo World Championship Tour: Mexico City have not played each other frequently, and with only one slot to available to play on Halo’s biggest stage, they will not hold anything back.

Make sure to tune in to check out all the action on Twitch starting at 8AM Pacific/10AM CST on both Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14. Follow ESL Halo on Facebook and Twitter and use #halowc for all the latest Halo World Championship news.