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The stage is set for the North American HCS Pro League Summer Season Finals!

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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For the top three teams in the North American HCS Pro League, Week 7 was more of a formality than anything else. Counter Logic Gaming, Enigma6, and Team EnVyUs knew heading into the deciding week of the regular season that their performances had already earned them a trip to the Summer Finals. It was the fourth and final spot that was undetermined. Renegades held the fourth place spot going into Week 7, but Evil Geniuses were close behind. It wasn’t until the last match of the entire season that we knew who would be attending the finals, and you can catch up on all the action below.

DAY 1

Regardless of how the weekend played out, Team Liquid was headed to the Relegation tournament, but plenty was still on the line in the first match of Week 7. The top seeded team at Relegations has the luxury of deciding which of the top two amateur teams they have to play to defend their spot in the HCS Pro League. With that in mind, Team Liquid kicked off their weekend against Team EnVyUs and did not cower from the pressure of the situation.

Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag, was a close game that went the full 12 minutes. nV walked away with a 2-1 win and Spartan responded with a dominating performance in Game 2, Truth Slayer. Spartan went +10 and flaunted an impressive 17/7 scoreline to tie the series 1-1 and carried that momentum into Game 3. TL were down in Eden Strongholds in the waning moments of the game, but put together an impressive comeback to take a 2-1 series lead. nV fought back and forced a Game 5 after winning Truth Capture The Flag, leaving the series to be determined on Coliseum Slayer. Liquid could not defeat nV, who took the game 50-38 to win the series 3-2.

The NA frontrunners Counter Logic Gaming went up against Team Allegiance on Day 1 of Week 7. The first time these two teams met, the Allegiance roster was different, with Goofy in place of Heinz, and CLG won 3-0. Their second meeting was no different. CLG took on Team Allegiance and made quick work of their opponents. Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag, was controlled by CLG from beginning to end, which led to a 3-0 win. Game 2 also went to CLG with seven unanswered kills at the end of Plaza Slayer to give them a 2-0 series lead. Game 3, Plaza Strongholds, was a much closer contest. Team Allegiance kept the game close up until the end, but CLG once again showed why they are considered the best in the world. CLG pulled away late, netting the 100-93 win and a 3-0 series sweep.

The match of the week was a top four matchup between Enigma6 and Renegades, and the series reflected the talent of both squads. Stasis Capture The Flag was the first game of the series, and Renegades controlled the pace and map for its entirety. With a little over a minute left on the clock, Renegades capped the third flag to take the first point. Huke was a man on a mission in Game 2, putting up a staggering 19 kills on Coliseum Slayer to tie the series 1-1.

Game 3, Eden Strongholds, also went to E6 in a commanding fashion. The 100-62 win in Game 3 gave E6 an advantage they were not able to capitalize on in Game 4. Coliseum Capture The Flag narrowly went to Renegades, which forced a Game 5. Huke once again went off and Cratos put up an impressive statline himself to lead their team to a 50-45 win and a 3-2 series victory.

Closing out Day 1, Evil Geniuses went up against OpTic Gaming, and both teams needed wins to keep pace in the standings. EG needed a win to keep their hopes of going to the playoffs alive, while OpTic needed the win to stay ahead of Team Liquid in Relegation. EG struck first, heavily outslaying OpTic by 22 kills on their way to a 3-1 win on Truth Slayer. The slaying prowess of EG continued in Game 2, The Rig Slayer, as they handily won the game 50-24. Although the slaying was much closer between these two teams in Game 3, Plaza Strongholds, the final score was not. EG won 100-56 and swept the outmatched OpTic Gaming.

DAY 2

The final day of the NA HCS Pro League started off with the picture of the final four still unclear. Renegades played first against Team Liquid and needed to win the series to punch their ticket to Los Angeles. If not, their fate rested in the hands of the final series of the night, EG vs. CLG. Team Liquid quickly took Game 1, Truth Capture The Flag, 3-2. The pressure began to mount on Renegades as they loaded into Game 2, Regret Slayer. Team Liquid went toe-to-toe with Renegades and the game went down to the wire as RNG closed out the game with a 50-48 win.

The next two games of the series, Eden Strongholds and Fathom Capture The Flag, both went to Team Liquid to complete the upset. After their loss, Renegades could do nothing but sit and wait for the outcome of the EG vs. CLG series. If EG won, Renegades would be left on the outside looking in. If CLG won, their season would continue.

Team Allegiance took on OpTic Gaming in the second series of the day, and the match was over as quickly as it began. ALG took Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag, by a close score of 3-2 and went on to win Game 2, Truth Slayer. The final score was 50-42 and ALG’s Ryanoob was responsible for 18 of the 50 Game 2 kills. Game 3 was not as close as the first two games of the series, but still went to Team Allegiance to complete their 3-0 sweep.

Enigma6 took on Team EnVyUs in match three for a fight between the second and third ranked teams. nV took a close Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag, 3-2. Unfortunately for nV fans, that was their last win of the series. Cratos led the way with highlight snipes on Plaza Slayer, and Huke followed suit with ninjas on Coliseum Capture The Flag to give E6 the 3-1 series win.

In a fashion fitting for the long history between the two teams, the final series of the season featured Evil Geniuses up against Counter Logic Gaming. This series meant infinitely more for EG than it did for CLG, as the North American frontrunners and world champions were the only thing standing in the way between EG and a trip to Los Angeles for the Summer Season Finals.

Game 1, Coliseum Capture The Flag, was over in the blink of an eye. CLG put together a flurry of captures and quickly won 3-0 to go up one point. Game 2, Plaza Slayer, was a tightly contested map that put EG back against the ropes. CLG took Game 2 50-46 and left EG with one more chance to extend both the series, and their season. CLG had no intentions of having the series go on any longer than it had to, and won the third game 100-72.

Both Renegades and their fans alike exhaled a collective sigh of relief as their spot was confirmed at the Summer Finals, and here is where they placed along with the rest of the teams in the NA HCS Pro League.

You can watch all of the Summer Finals action in person by grabbing tickets to the tournament, which takes place at L.A. Live on the weekend of July 30!

Thanks for hanging out with us during the North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League 2016 Summer Season. We hope to see you in Los Angeles!