We are three weeks into the North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League and although many of the teams are performing as expected, there have been a few surprises in the standings along the way. Teams are beginning to distance themselves from the middle of the pack and as we reach the halfway point, every game matters. Here is how all the action from the North American HCS Pro League Week 3 went down.
Last week was full of sweeps, as six of the eight matches ended in decisive 3-0 results. The first series of Week 3 was no different. Evil Geniuses kicked off their night against Team Allegiance playing Fathom Capture The Flag and both teams were deadlocked at two caps a piece as time expired. Evil Geniuses capitalized on the extended time period to score the final flag and give them the 1-0 series lead. Although Game 2, Regret Slayer, was another close game that went down to the wire, Team Allegiance was not able to bounce back and are now 1-5 (7-15) in the season.
Team EnVyUs has only faltered once this season, and that was at the hands of Enigma 6. Other than that, they have been exceptional and looked to continue their success as they matched up against Team Liquid. nV won the first game, Truth Capture The Flag, by a score of 3-0, which led to a meticulously played Game 2 of Eden Slayer. Both teams played patiently, but it was nV that emerged superior with a final score of 50-43. Although Team Liquid fought back in Game 3 of Eden Strongholds, it was not enough, and nV closed the door on the series in Game 4 of Coliseum Capture The Flag.
OpTic Gaming were the next to take the stage against the talented roster of Renegades. Truth Capture The Flag proved to be an excellent way to start the series as both teams jockeyed for map control. Renegades was too much for OpTic to handle, and RNG took Game 1 behind strong objective play.
The last two games of the series, Plaza Slayer and Plaza Strongholds, went to Renegades who won the series 3-0.
The last series of the night, which was also the Match of the Week, featured none other than Counter Logic Gaming going up against the young but talented Enigma 6 squad. Enigma 6 have shown that they are strong enough to compete with the likes of CLG, and were candidates to finally hand CLG their first loss since the X Games. Unfortunately for E6, CLG had no intentions of tainting their loss column, and made quick work of Cratos, Huke, bubu dubu, and Shooter.
Fresh off their win against E6, CLG was up first against Renegades on Friday night. Fathom Capture The Flag was the first game of the series and CLG gave Renegades little breathing room on the way to a quick 3-0 win. The Slayer game type proved to be no weaker for the CLG juggernauts and they took a 2-0 series lead after a dominating Coliseum Slayer performance. Game 3, Plaza Strongholds, was more CLG. Renegades could not find an answer and were swept 3-0. Will this team ever lose again?
Enigma 6 was the next to play against Team Liquid in what turned out to be an incredibly close five game set. E6 took the first map, Fathom Capture the Flag, by a score of 3-2 and the back and forth struggle for map control set the tone for the entire series. Game 2 decisively went in favor of Team Liquid to tie the series up 1-1, which set the stage for Game 3, Strongholds on The Rig. TL jumped out to a strong lead and E6 came roaring back at the end of the game to take a 2-1 series lead, forcing Liquid back against the ropes, but TL came out swinging in Game 4, Truth Capture the Flag, to force a Game 5. E6 completely dominated Plaza Slayer to end the series 3-2.
OpTic Gaming and Team Allegiance were the next two teams up and both had been looking to find their groove since the beginning of the season. OpTic Gaming burst out of the gates and took a 1-0 series lead after controlling Fathom Capture The Flag from start to finish. Game 2, Plaza Slayer, went down to the wire and Team Allegiance took the map by a final score of 50-48 after Str8 Sick challenged bottom lift as the final kill. OpTic Gaming quickly brushed aside that loss in Game 3, Plaza Strongholds, to take a 2-1 series lead, but Team Allegiance refused to go down without a fight and answered back in Game 4 to tie the series up. Much like the last series, Game 5 was not as close as the series score would have suggested, and OpTic Gaming won 3-2 on the back of a 50-36 win on Coliseum Slayer.
The final series of the weekend featured two talented squads. Team EnVyUs went head to head against Evil Geniuses and both rosters had a lot to prove. nV was the first to strike and took a 1-0 series lead after a 3-1 win on Truth Capture the Flag. EG looked to bounce back after their loss in Game 2, Regret Slayer and almost did so. They game came down to the final few kills and after all was said and done, nV emerged victorious to take a 2-0 series lead and leave EG on their last leg. Team EnVyUs was too strong, and with Mikwen making plays like this, nV is going to be tough to beat.
Team EnVyUs swept EG by a final score of 3-0, putting EG at 3-3 (9-10) in the season. After another week of action, this is how the standings look.
If you want to take a closer look at the teams, their rosters, and their stats, along with replays of their matches thus far, make sure to check out the official Halo Championship Series: Pro League website. The official transfer period has started, which means teams are allowed to make roster changes. For some teams, a roster change might be exactly what they need to get out of a rut and challenge for that top spot as we head into the second half of the season.