Week 5 of the North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League means the end of the season is near, and the picture of the Fall 2016 Finals lineup becomes more clear with each series played. Teams along the middle of the pack looked to create some separation amidst themselves with only three weeks left to play, while those at the bottom fought to avoid relegation. This week of play included multiple Game 5’s and plenty of upsets as the race to the end of the season heats up.
Luminosity vs. LOL
Both Luminosity and LOL are fighting for the final spot at the Fall Finals, which made for a tense matchup to start the week. Luminosity began the series in fourth place while the recently surging LOL sat close behind at fifth place. The incredible run LOL has been on has slowed down. The series started with Fathom Capture The Flag and Luminosity jumped out to a 2-0 lead. A lag out was beneficial for LOL as it led to a restart, but Luminosity closed out the game to take a 1-0 lead in the series that grew to 2-0 after a win on Regret Slayer. Luminosity closed out the series with another win on Empire Strongholds, creating some separation between themselves and the rest of the pack after one day of play.
Enigma6 have had their ups and downs this season and after a second place finish at the Summer Finals, they find themselves fighting to even qualify for this season’s playoffs. OpTic won the first game of the set, Truth CTF 3-1 pretty quickly to take a 1-0 series lead, but E6 fought back by making a HUGE comeback on Plaza Slayer to tie the series up. OpTic won another game on The Rig Strongholds, and then took Fathom CTF 2-1 to close out the series 3-1. E6 played well, but are nearing the end of their season and need to make adjustments in order to punch their tickets to Burbank.
Subjected to multiple close losses throughout the season, Team Allegiance turned to their match against Evil Geniuses with a 1-7 record and much to their dismay, things only got worse. EG stole a win from ALG in Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag, and pulled off more late game heroics to secure a 50-42 win on The Rig Slayer in the second game of the series. Team Allegiance were on the verge of getting swept, but put together a masterful three game set to pull of a reverse sweep that culminated in a 50-34 beating that was punctuated by a 16/5 stat line by Falcated.
The first time these two teams met this season Team Liquid pulled off a clean 3-0 sweep. This time around, Team EnVyUs came into the series with a 7-1 record and sole possession of first place, looking to avoid another upset. The first map, Truth Capture The Flag, set the tone for what would be the rest of the series. Team Liquid scored the first flag, and nV immediately answered. Both teams traded caps and map control until TL secured the final flag to jump out to a one game lead in the series.
The series accurately reflected the back and forth nature of the first game, as nV won Game 2, The Rig Slayer, 50-42. They won Game 3, Empire Strongholds, as well to take a 2-1 lead and place themselves one win from ending the series. Team Liquid forced a Game 5 after a late game counter cap on Coliseum Capture The Flag led to a 3-2 win, which set the stage for a winner-take-all Game 5 of Regret Slayer. Team Liquid did not pull off another upset and fell to nV 50-34 to lose the series.
Team Allegiance vs Team Liquid
Team Allegiance shocked the Halo community by taking down Evil Geniuses in Day 1 of Week 5 and looked to repeat their successes with another upset of Team Liquid. Game 1, The Rig Strongholds, went to ALG 100-16, and the series seemed like it would continue to go to ALG. Team Liquid bounced back from their loss in Game 1 and rattled off three straight maps to end any chance of a series comeback from Allegiance. Plaza Slayer finished 50-40, Fathom Capture The Flag 2-1, and finally Eden Strongholds 100-4 to close out the series and Team Liquid finished their week of play 1-1.
Team EnVyUs vs Luminosity
Luminosity entered Day 2 in fourth place with a group of teams right below them looking to take their spot for an invitation to the Fall Season Finals, while Team EnVyUs still sat atop the standings. Luminosity struck first in the series with a win on Empire Strongholds 100-21, but were not able to net another win after that. Game 2, The Rig Slayer, was a close contest that ended 50-44 with an impressive 14/7 statline by Cuyler “Huke” Garland. Truth Capture The Flag was dominated by Pistola as he captured all three flags on the way to a 3-0 win to gain a 2-1 series lead that was finished off with a tense game of Eden Strongholds. nV finished off Luminosity 100-93.
LOL vs OpTic Gaming
After a strong performance by LOL in Week 4, Week 5 was less than favorable. Day 1 ended in a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Luminosity and their matchup in Day 2 against OpTic Gaming was equally as fruitless for the once surging squad. Game 1, The Rig Strongholds, was controlled by OG from beginning to end and resulted in a final score of 100-35. Game 2, The Rig Slayer, was not any easier for LOL and ended 50-35 in favor of OpTic. The series ended on Truth Capture The Flag. LOL was able to put a flag cap on the scoreboard but it was not enough, and OpTic took the 3-1 win to complete the sweep. Ace hit a highlight no scope during the series, but it was not enough to best the titan OpTic squad.
Enigma6 Group vs Evil Geniuses
Both E6 and EG started their seasons with much promise, but have both had underwhelming performances. EG and E6 entered their series with matching 3-6 records, a result of E6 not winning a series since Day 1 of Week 3, while EG had not won a series since Week 2 Day 2 against none other than Enigma6. E6 was the first team to strike with a win on Plaza Strongholds and Evil Geniuses were quick to answer with a win of their own on Plaza Slayer 50-41. Game 3 was a slaying clinic for Enigma6 that led to a win on Coliseum CTF 3-2. EG then won Game 4, The Rig Strongholds, to force yet another Game 5. Game 5 was a flurry of action with one team creating some separation, then the opposing team clawing their way back into the game repeatedly. Enigma 6 proved to be the better team on Coliseum Slayer and won the game 50-43. As is usually the case, however, Ninja had yet another highlight moment.
For some teams, their trip to Relegation is secured while others are running out of time to make a move in the standings. Only two weeks remain in the regular season, which means every single game counts as map records may be the determining factor for a tie breaker. The end of the season will be a close race and you can keep up with all news, updates, and highlights on both Facebook and Twitter! Week 6 returns on Wednesday, November 2 at 4:30PM Pacific on the Halo Twitch channel!