Richie “Heinz” Heinz is the newest member of Team Allegiance and seems to be their secret weapon. After joining, the team has been on a winning streak, moving up substantially in the standings. We talked with him about joining the Allegiance roster and the road to the North American Summer Season Finals.
ESL: Heinz, tell us a bit about how you ended up playing for Allegiance.
Heinz: After my team didn’t qualify for the Pro League through the Last Chance Qualifier, I was playing for eLevate with Randa, Danoxide, and a few other players that were swapped out through the few weeks. We were doing pretty well, but it was definitely a stressful situation. After a little less than half of the Pro League season was finished, Contra messaged me that they were interested in running games with me in place of Goofy. I knew I had to take this opportunity because Contra, Devon, and Ryan are all really good players. We ran games for a few nights and they decided that they liked playing with me, so we made it official.
ESL: Allegiance was 1-5 before you joined the team in Week 4, and since joining you've gone 4-0. What do you think has made the difference for this team?
Heinz: In the first week, Contra, Devon, and I played with a sub (Rammy) and the second week we played with our official fourth (Ryanoob). We haven’t been able to practice too much yet, but I’d say the difference has been how comfortable we all seem to be with each other inside and outside of the game. We are able to talk about gameplay maturely, and in-game our communication has been solid, plus we just seem to work well together. When we get down in a game, we realize that it does not mean the game is over and sometimes all it takes is one good push together to regain control of the map. So far, we’ve been pretty good at doing that.
ESL: "Pretty good" is a bit of an understatement! You’re fresh off of an incredible reverse sweep of Team Liquid that included a wild comeback win on Plaza Strongholds. Talk us through that series.
Heinz: The first couple of games, I personally felt a little off. Liquid did a great job Game 1 controlling all of the power weapons on Coliseum CTF. We kept it close, but it wasn’t enough. Spartan particularly did a great job controlling the sniper throughout the game. Game 2, our communication was shaky and it just seemed like we could never really get control of the map before the game was out of reach. Game 3 was close, but we did well on our rotations and controlling some of the powerups. Contra had a huge kill on Stellur to make him burn an OS late in the game that got us the chance to bring it back, which we did. Fathom CTF was another close game, but more control of power weapons and powerups helped us stay in control of the map for the win. Ryan had some sneaky flag runs, something he has been known for throughout all of the recent Halo titles. Coliseum TS was back and forth too, but shoutout to coach Phil and the team because getting the power weapons late in the game (mainly rockets) solidified the win for us. It’s always exciting completing a reverse sweep and it builds confidence in your team because you know that you’re able to stay composed and bring back a series when you’re down.
ESL: The last 4 matches of the season for you are against nV, E6, CLG, and OpTic. What will preparation look like as the end of the season draws near?
Heinz: Our next three matches are against the top three seeded teams in the league, so we know it’ll be tough, but we’re confident. OpTic will most certainly be a difficult match too, since no team is this league is a pushover, but we’re going to prepare with as much practice as possible. We are feeling confident and we know that while it’ll be tough, a spot in the Finals is definitely something within our reach.
ESL: How has Coach Phil played a role in your recent successes?
Heinz: Coach Phil has been huge for us. He’s there during vetoes, scrims, and most importantly league matches. He is always on top of times of power weapons and powerups which is really big because they can swing a game in your favor, or against you if you don’t have them.
ESL: The question we all want to know: Will Allegiance make it into the top four for the Summer Season Finals?
Heinz: I believe so!
ESL: Thanks for your time, Heinz! Anything else you'd like to add?
Heinz: Shoutout to the Ketchup Krew and shoutout to Randa.
ESL: Thanks again!
Will the revamped Team Allegiance claim one of the top four spots in the North American HCS Pro League standings? Tune in on Thursday, July 7 at 5PM PDT on the Halo Twitch channel and follow along on both Facebook and Twitter to see all the action live!