This week, the journey to the Halo Championship Series: Pro League Summer 2017 Finals at DreamHack Atlanta began. Eight of North America’s best professional Halo teams kicked off the Summer Season with two action-packed days of competition. Team OpTic just barely defended their pride against Team EnVyUs and Splyce swept their way to the front of pack, side-by-side in the standings with the world champions.
After making it to Worlds and coming through in the most recent Last Chance Qualifier, Splyce proved once again that they are a top team in their first series of the Summer 2017 Season. We also saw OpTic Gaming silence any doubts fans might have had after HCS Daytona in their first matchups.
Tapping Buttons made his debut with the Evil Geniuses roster, and the rookie player showed great teamwork, solidifying himself as a player to watch as this season progresses.
OpTic Gaming v. Ronin Esports
Day 1 kicked off with the revamped Ronin roster up against OpTic in the first match of the season. In Game 1, OpTic dominated on Plaza Strongholds and plowed through Ronin to finish it out 100-32. Ronin amped up the pressure in Game 2 on Eden Slayer. They managed to keep it fairly close for a good part of the game, but as the clock ticked down, OpTic began winning their 1v1s and controlling the map. Ronin’s momentum slowed considerably as OpTic steadily began racking up the slays to take Game 2 of the series 50-41.
After losing two straight games to the world champions, Ronin seemed to turn things around in Game 3 on Truth CTF, maintaining a 1-0 lead for the first eight minutes of the game. Ronin held onto map control and good positioning, even with OpTic displaying great communication and teamwork on their end. Everything came down to the last two minutes of the game as Ronin missed a flag cap opportunity, which allowed OpTic to build momentum after their first flag cap at the two-minute mark. With the score 2-1 and less than a minute left on the clock, OpTic held off Ronin for the last seconds of the game to win the series 3-0 and start the season off with a sweep.
Splyce v. Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses came out strong in the second series of Day 1 and took a commanding lead in the first minutes of the game. They managed to fight a comeback from Splyce to take Game 1 on Plaza Strongholds 100-74. In Game 2 on Eden Slayer, Splyce were in their element as they out-slayed EG to win the game 50-18 and tie the series 1-1. Game 3 on Truth CTF was intense as both teams traded control of the map and the spawn cycles. The game remained tied at 2-2 as both teams fought to stay alive and execute plays until Shotzzy capped the last flag at the start of the second half to bring the series 2-1 in favor of Splyce.
EG were looking to take the series to a Bo5 in Game 4 as they launched an aggressive campaign on Rig Strongholds led by the veteran player, Roy. Even though Splyce controlled the power weapons, EG held the map from the start of the game and kept Splyce from regrouping to win Game 4 100-22 and tie the series 2-2. The pressure was on both teams in Game 5 on Coliseum Slayer. Bubu dubu was deadly with the rockets as Splyce took the lead in the second half of the game. Splyce suppressed a last-minute comeback attempt from EG with impressive teamwork and aggression to win the game 50-43 and take the series 3-2.
The action ramped up in Day 2 as we saw both Team Liquid and Str8 Rippin in their first matches of the season. TL ended the day with a loss against Splyce in the first series and a 3-1 win against Str8 in the last. Ronin Esports logged their first win of the season against Str8 after losing to OpTic in Day 1.
The highlight of the day was definitely the series between OpTic and EnVyUs as the two teams met for the first time since EnVy’s win at HCS Daytona. The matchup won the title of “Match of the Week” before it even began in anticipation for OpTic’s response to the loss at Daytona against the rival team.
Match of the Week: OpTic Gaming v Team EnVyUs
The rivalry between these two teams was palpable in Game 1 on Truth CTF as EnVy started the series off with three consecutive flag caps in the first five minutes of the game to set the tone. Snip3down started Game 2 on Plaza Slayer by getting the Sniper Rifle as EnVy took a slim lead at the start of the game. OpTic managed to keep it close, but in the second half of the game EnVy took control of the map to win the game 50-40 and bring the series to 2-0. In Game 3 on Eden Strongholds, OpTic proved that no one sweeps the world champions as they took the lead right from the start. Both teams seemed to be evenly matched when it came to control of the power weapons. OpTic’s timing and strategy proved to be too much as they won Game 3 100-81 to bring the series 2-1 in favor of EnVy.
OpTic increased the pressure in Game 4 on Fathom CTF as they trapped EnVy in their base for the first half of the game and took control of the map and power weapons. EnVy came back to tie the game in the second half as Pistola got the Camo and the Rail Gun. Everything came down to the last two minutes of the game when two members of EnVy died and OpTic saw the opportunity to run their last flag to win Game 4 and take the series to Game 5. OpTic looked to secure the reverse sweep in Game 5 on Coliseum Slayer as they maintained a solid lead in the first half of the game. Huke tried to close the gap with a killing spree but couldn’t quite rake in the points. Royal 2 came in at the end of the game to take the last kill and secure the reverse sweep for OpTic.
Will Splyce be able to remain undefeated throughout the season? Will EnVy show up next week against Evil Geniuses or will Tapping Buttons and his team take down the Fall 2016 champions? You can watch Week 2 of the NA HCS Pro League Summer 2017 broadcasts on the Halo Twitch channel and ESL Halo Facebook page on June 1! Be sure to follow the ESL Halo Twitter and Facebook for updates as we continue the #HCS Pro League Summer 2017 Season.