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Playoff spots remain up for grabs with one week left in 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 2016 Season is headed into its final week of competition and Week 6 left many questions unanswered. Evil Geniuses are on the cusp of having to play through relegation, the third and fourth spots at the Fall 2016 Finals are yet to be determined, and the newly-minted Str8 Rippin squad is attempting to rip their way to the playoffs. Here’s what happened in Week 6 of the NA HCS Pro League:

DAY 1

LOL vs. Team Allegiance

Week 6 was a similar story for the struggling Team Allegiance. Before their series on Day 1, Team Allegiance appeared in four Game 5’s in the HCS Pro League. Their record in those deciding games was 1-3. ALG jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead against LOL, but then began to falter. A loss in Game 3 on Eden Strongholds quickly turned into a loss in Game 4 on Fathom CTF. Game 5, The Rig Slayer, was an ugly loss for Team Allegiance that concluded with a 50-27 Steaktacular. With this loss, Team Allegiance are now 1-4 in Game 5 appearances with losses to LOL, Team Liquid, Luminosity, and Evil Geniuses. LOL took sole possession of 6th place in the standings with this victory.

Luminosity vs. Enigma6 Group

Clinging to the fourth place spot in the standings, Luminosity entered their series against the polarizing Enigma6 with a 5-5 record. Game 1, Coliseum Capture The Flag, was a closely contested matched that ended 3-2 in favor of Luminosity thanks to some fancy flag work with less than three minutes on the clock. Another visit to Coliseum, this time on Slayer, once again went to Luminosity in a close game that ended 50-43. E6 took Games 3 and 4, Plaza Strongholds and Fathom Capture The Flag, to force a Game 5 on Truth Slayer. Danoxide went off with a 18/11/8 scoreline to stop the E6 comeback and secure the series win by a final tally of 3-2.

Evil Geniuses vs. Team EnVyUs

Evil Geniuses were once known as a powerhouse in competitive Halo, but have struggled to reassert themselves since Lethul left for what was then known as CLG. Last season, EG failed to make the playoffs, but managed to avoid relegation, something that does not seem as certain as the Fall 2016 Season dwindles to an end. With that in mind EG faced the number one team in the standings on Truth Capture The Flag for Game 1. Evil Geniuses started off strong but eventually fell to Team EnVyUs 3-2. Coliseum Slayer was an equally close match that went to Team EnVyUs by a final score of 50-43, putting EG one map away from being swept. EG rose to the occasion and answered back on Plaza Strongholds with a 100-64 win, but the comeback was short lived. Game 4 CTF was tense, with both teams making seemingly impossible flag returns to keep the team alive. Eventually nV put the final cap in to win 3-2 and the series 3-1.

OpTic Gaming vs. Team Liquid

OpTic Gaming continued their run to the playoffs in Week 6 against the talented Team Liquid squad. Team Liquid once again showed that they are a strong Capture The Flag team in Game 1 by stealing a close game against one of the best in the world on Truth. OpTic Gaming regained composure and went back to their winning ways for the rest of the series. Game 2, Regret Slayer, went down to the wire as the score was 47-45 with a little under four minutes left in favor of the Green Wall. Liquid fought until the end, but OpTic emerged with a 50-48 win. Eden Strongholds was not nearly as close of a game and OpTic took the win 100-65. Game 4, Fathom Capture The Flag, required a full replay as both teams ended in a draw after both full regulation time and overtime. The replay was not nearly as close, and OpTic won 3-0.

DAY 2

OpTic Gaming vs. Team Allegiance

After a win against Team Liquid in Day 1, OpTic Gaming turned their attention to Team Allegiance. OpTic wasted no time establishing themselves as the better team and did so by taking Game 1, Plaza Slayer 100-10. ALG managed to steal a game of their own to extend the series on Plaza Slayer with an impressive 50-35 win, but OpTic answered right back on Truth Capture The Flag. OpTic outslayed their way to a 3-1 win and rode that momentum to another win on Empire Strongholds. Once again besting Team Allegiance in the slaying department, OpTic won Empire Strongholds 100-53 to secure the 3-1 series win.

Team EnVyUs vs. Enigma6 Group

The number one team in North America took on the struggling Enigma6 squad in Day 2 of Week 6. nV played true to their place in the standings by winning Game 1 on The Rig Strongholds 100-17. E6 turned around with a huge game of their own on Truth Slayer. They jumped out to an early lead that cascaded into a 50-33 win driven by a 15/8 statline by Shooter. Coliseum Capture The Flag is known as one of the stronger gametypes for E6, and it showed as they went on to win Game 3 3-1. Team EnVyUs went on to win Empire Strongholds by a staggering score of 100-0 in Game 4 and Coliseum Slayer 50-37 to win the series 3-2. Pistola put on a clinic in Game 5 by going 18-4 and capping it off with a Running Riot!

Luminosity vs. Team Liquid

Team Liquid and Luminosity both sit in third and fourth place, and at least for now, seem to be headed to the Fall Finals. The question left to answer, if standings remain the way they are now, is which team will have the daunting task of playing the first place team as opposed to the second place team. Luminosity fell behind early in Game 1, The Rig Strongholds, but managed to pull off a late-game surge and take the win 100-82. Regret Slayer was a struggle for Overshield the entire game, which is ironic considering how the game ended. With the score 47-45, Victory X had a fresh new OS and was poised to make a play to win the game. Instead, his teammates died before he could make the winning play, and Luminosity lost 50-46. Team Liquid heavily outslayed LG in Game 3 and used the 21 kill difference between the squads to control the map and win Fathom Capture The Flag 3-1. Game 4, Plaza Strongholds, was the last game TL needed to close the series. Once again ahead in slays, Liquid controlled the map from beginning to end for a 100-60 win and a 3-1 series victory.

Evil Geniuses vs. Str8 Rippin

Day 2 marked the return of one of the most storied organizations in Halo history to the competitive scene. Str8 Rippin, made famous by the likes of Tsquared and Elamite themselves, joined the fray after picking up the LOL roster. Game 1, Plaza Strongholds, was close until halfway through the game the newly-minted Str8 Rippin squad ran away with a 100-58 score. Regret Slayer also went to Str8 50-42, and it looked like Str8 was going to debut with a sweep. Evil Geniuses had other plans and rattled off two dominating wins on Fathom Capture The Flag and The Rig Strongholds. Evil Geniuses and Str8 Rippin met on Plaza for a methodical and slow Game 5 Slayer. The game stayed close until the very end. EG’s final push went poorly and Str8 capped off the series win with a 50-45 victory. Eco went on a tear with the series on the line and posted a 20/5/9 stat line.

There is only one week left in the regular season of the NA HCS Pro League! Next week will decide the top four teams who will clash at the Fall 2016 Finals in in Burbank, California. With $75,000 in prizing for first place, these teams will look to play at nothing but their best.

All news for the HCS Pro League can be found on both Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you catch the end of the season next week on the Halo Twitch channel!