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A Mid-Season Recap of the North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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The North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League Fall Season now has three weeks in the books, and after a two week break that included the first open event of the season, HCS Orange County, this is a perfect time to take stock of how the season has gone so far. The juggernaut roster of OpTic Gaming has more losses in three weeks than they amassed during the entirety of last season, LOL are coming off of an impressive 2-0 week, while Evil Geniuses had underwhelming results in Week 3 with an 0-2 record. The Fall 2016 Season has been full of surprises, and the top of the standings is more crowded now than it has ever been.

Team EnVyUs revamped their roster in the off season with intentions to not only hang with OpTic Gaming in the top of the standings, but to ensure that the Green Wall does not repeat their success from last season. It took three weeks for the clash between OpTic Gaming and Team EnVyUs to take place, but it met and exceeded all of the hype and expectations. nV won the series 3-2, and now sit in sole possession of first place. OpTic on the other hand, have not had the same dominant performance they had last season, which leads to the next biggest surprise. OpTic Gaming always seemed to be a step ahead of the competition, but they already have two losses to their name. This roster has always been a powerhouse on a LAN setting, however, and that was reinforced at HCS Orange County where they won the Grand Finals against none other than nV in 4-0 fashion. As good of a team as this is, the middle of the standings is currently a four team cluster for third place. Another loss to their record and they could find themselves falling behind.

Team Allegiance started off their season with a few heart-breaking losses and they have not been able to recover since. Week 1 included two Game 5 losses to Evil Geniuses and Luminosity Gaming, and Week 2 against Team Liquid added another tough Game 5 loss to their record. Had those three losses gone the other way, Team Allegiance would be sitting at 4-2 and tied for second place. Instead, they are 1-5 and struggling to figure things out at the bottom of the standings. ALG can compete with these teams, and the closeness of the series they have played so far is a testament to that. A few adjustments to their strategies on Slayer gametypes and Team Allegiance should be able to make a run towards the top of the standings in the second half of the season.

Lastly, what is arguably the most refreshing surprise of all is how LOL performed as they headed into the break. The team has dealt with their share of challenges throughout the season between being dropped from their organization, to Maniac retiring, and an 0-4 record. Before Week 3 started, LOL had only won two maps all season, which makes their performance in Week 3 all the more impressive. They clawed their way to a Game 5, which they won against Team Liquid, and then shocked the community with a clean sweep of Evil Geniuses, one of only two teams to defeat OpTic Gaming all season. LOL was considered dead to rights by many, but they seem to be on an upswing and will look to continue that as they play in Week 4.

After a two week break, the NA HCS Pro League returns! The action kicks off again today at 4:30PM Pacific on Twitch! Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for all of your HCS Pro League news!