The North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League Fall 2016 Season Finals came to a close after one of the most memorable days of professional Halo. Str8 Rippin looked to continue their cinderella run. OpTic Gaming wanted to assure the world that they were still the best of the best. Team Liquid set out to show that they belonged in the top four. Team EnVyUs wanted to prove that their performance throughout the season was not a fluke.
SWEEPS TO START
Team EnVyUs kicked off the finals with a quick 4-0 against Str8 Rippin that lasted less than an hour. nV took Str8 down on Truth Capture The Flag 3-2, Coliseum Slayer 50-39, Eden Strongholds 100-21 and Coliseum Capture The Flag 3-0.
On the other side of the bracket, a sweep for OpTic Gaming came in the form of a 3-0 win on Truth Capture The Flag, a 50-38 win on Plaza Slayer, a 100-29 win on Eden Strongholds, and a 2-0 win on Fathom Capture The Flag that required all 12 minutes of regulation time to determine a winner.
This set the stage for a clash between the two that all fans were looking forward to watching. But first, a series between Str8 Rippin and Team Liquid had to be settled. Str8 Rippin ended their season with a dangerously hot hand and a 4-0 record to show for it. They continued that streak to open their elimination series against Team Liquid with a 100-12 win on Plaza Strongholds, a 50-38 win on Regret Slayer, and a 3-2 win on Coliseum Capture The Flag.
Str8 Rippin needed one more win to advance to the loser’s bracket finals and send Team Liquid home, but Liquid stole away Game 4 with a 100-44 win on Empire Strongholds, closing the door on the sweep. Str8 Rippin still had three more chances to close out the series, but that quickly turned to two as Team Liquid won yet another game, this time Coliseum Slayer 50-45. A 3-2 series lead continued to deteriorate for Str8 as TL won yet another game to tie the series with a 3-1 win on Truth Capture The Flag. Team Liquid rode that momentum all the way through the reverse sweep and won the series, taking Str8 Rippin from triple game point to leaving the venue in last place.
OPTIC PULL AHEAD
Team EnVyUs and OpTic Gaming were next to take the stage in a series that had been highly anticipated since the inception of this new Team EnVyUs roster. nV got the better of OpTic in both their meetings during the regular season, but a LAN setting often produces different results. OpTic Gaming controlled the series from the beginning and through methodical, almost surgical play, sent Team EnVyUs to the losers bracket with a series score of 4-1.
For Team EnVyUs to dethrone OpTic, not only would they have to make it past Team Liquid to play OpTic again, but they would have to win two best-of-7 series.
Their first obstacle to a rematch with OpTic started off as well as one could hope for. Team EnVyUs jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead including a 100-38 win on Eden Strongholds and set Team Liquid up for yet another another sweep. Team Liquid put up a fight, but it was ultimately not enough and they were swept by nV 4-0 and thus were eliminated from the tournament.
Team EnVyUs had one last chance to prove to both themselves and the world that their season was not a waste, that this roster they created and the 13-1 regular season record was worthy of all the hype. Team EnVyUs started their long road to defeating OpTic with a win on Fathom Capture The Flag, followed by another on Plaza Slayer. OpTic responded with an impressive domination of nV on The Rig Strongholds 100-18. Team EnVyUs and OpTic Gaming traded wins the rest of the series, ultimately resulting in a 4-2 win for Team EnVyUs, resetting the bracket.
OpTic opened the series with a statement win on Plaza Strongholds, and as expected, Team EnVyUs responded with a potent win of their own on Regret Slayer. Like two heavyweight boxers, Team EnVyUs and OpTic Gaming spent the series taking their best shots at one another. Game after game was traded between these two sluggers: nV won Game 3, OpTic won Game 4, nV won Game 5, OpTic won Game 6. Without either team able to assert themselves over the other, the series went all the way to a winner-take-all Game 7 of Truth Slayer.
Much like the tone of the series, the score remained close until one single play shifted all momentum to the side of nV. Huke made a huge play when he likely should have died, and that infused all of nV with the confidence needed to close out the game, the series, and the season. nV won 50-36 and were crowned the Fall 2016 Season Champions.
It was an incredible weekend of Halo esports and 2017 will have even more HCS Pro League action. Thank you so much for watching and participating this season, and we’ll see you next year.