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Upsets take center stage in Week 3 of the North America Halo Championship Series: Pro League

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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At the end of Week 3 of the North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League Summer 2016 Season, Counter Logic Gaming were sitting pretty at 6-0. Even if CLG were to lose a series or two (they did in Week 4), people understood that the question was not who would come in first place when all was said and done, but who would come in second. Team Liquid were trudging along with an 0-6 record, and it seemed relatively easy to sort out the top teams from the weaker ones.

This season, the world championship CLG roster, now playing under the banner of OpTic Gaming,already have two losses on their record. Team EnVyUs sit at the top of the standings, and no team is safe. Here’s what happened in Week 3 of the Fall 2016 Season.

DAY 1

Enigma 6 Group vs. Team Allegiance

Team Allegiance have been on the losing end of a Game 5 slayer on multiple occasions this season, suggesting that they are a better team than their record portrays. Setting out to rectify their losing streak with a win against Enigma 6 was no easy task. E6 were the first to put a win on the board in the series with a 100-34 win on The Rig Strongholds, and followed up with a second win on Plaza Slayer. Team Allegiance picked things up with a win after a tense Game 3, Coliseum Capture The Flag, but were not able to force a Game 5. Team Allegiance fell to Enigma 6 by a final score of 3-1 and found themselves with a 1-4 record heading into Day 2.

OpTic Gaming vs. Team EnVyUs

The new Team EnVyUs roster consisting of Mikwen, Pistola, Huke, and Snipedown was formed with one goal in mind: dethroning H5 juggernaut OpTic Gaming. OpTic Gaming’s season kicked off with adversity after dropping a series on the very first day of the HCS Pro League to Enigma 6, but they returned to form with a 2-0 week to set the stage for this week’s Match of the Week. OpTic looked like the powerful tandem we all know in Game 1, Eden Strongholds. Power weapon control led to a 100-57 win, and OpTic looked to force their will upon nV in Game 2, Eden Slayer.

Much to the dismay of Green Wall fans, Frosty struggled and nV capitalized on that to win the game 50-40. OpTic answered back with a wild finish on Truth Capture The Flag that ended 3-2 as time expired to give OG the 2-1 lead heading into Game 4, Empire Strongholds. It wouldn’t be a Match of the Week without both teams putting on a show, and that is exactly what happened, as nV won Game 4 to force the series into a winner-take-all Game 5 on Regret Slayer. OpTic Gaming won the early push with map and Overshield control, but both teams went toe to toe until the very end, and it was nV who emerged victorious.

LOL vs. Team Liquid

After being released by their previous organization OpTic Gaming, long time player Maniac announced that he would be leaving the team to retire. His departure made room for up-and-comer Renegade to join the team, but their road until now has been nothing if not difficult. Team Liquid on the other hand were on the rise. Gone were the memories of last season where Team Liquid struggled week in and week out. They swept nV in Week 1 and showed their new roster was no pushover.

They set the tone of the series with a 100-47 win on Eden Strongholds and LOL answered right back with a win on Truth Slayer 50-41. Team Liquid put LOL to the test with a 3-0 win in Game 3, Fathom Capture The Flag, forcing LOL to win Game 4 in order to keep the series alive. LOL did just that with a 100-56 victory on Plaza Strongholds to force a Game 5 Regret Slayer. LOL showed composure, even in light of losing an Overshield to some fancy footwork, to secure their first series win of the season.

Evil Geniuses vs. Luminosity

Evil Geniuses were the first team to hand OpTic Gaming a loss, and the roster of Lunchbox, Roy, Ninja, and Victory X looked like the one of the best candidates to hoist the trophy at the end of the Summer 2016 Season. Even after their loss to Team EnVyUs last week, EG looked to be a strong contender for a deep run in the finals at the end of the season. Luminosity went an underwhelming 0-2 after a strong start to the season, and the waters of their future seemed murky at best.

Luminosity dominated from the get go on Game 1, Plaza Strongholds, to win 100-76. Then eL TowN made a masterful push to open up Game 2, Regret Slayer. eL TowN opted to push for Plasma Caster, dropped on two unsuspecting members of EG, grabbed a quick double-kill and walked away with Overshield unscathed. That snowballed into a 50-35 in for Luminosity and a 2-0 lead in the series. Game 3 was Fathom Capture The Flag, and although EG were able to put one Flag Cap on the board, Luminosity were too much for them to handle. LG won the series 3-0.

DAY 2

Team Liquid vs. Luminosity

Luminosity came into their series against Team Liquid hot off a 3-0 sweep of Evil Geniuses, while Team Liquid were the first team to lose to LOL all season. With these events fresh on their minds, Team Liquid looked to be the better of the two teams in the first match of Day 2. Commonly dropped 21 kills in Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag and Luminosity responded with a win of their own on The Rig Slayer. Both teams traded blows for the entire series with neither team able to pull away from the other.

The pendulum swing of the series led to a deciding Plaza Slayer that was close from start to finish. Rayne had an impressive series and it was capped off in the waning moments of Game 5 when he had a sniper at his disposal. Eco tried sneaking up on him in an attempt to shift power weapon control, butRayne had other plans and led Team Liquid to the series win.

Team Allegiance vs. OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming entered Day 2 after taking a second loss to their name the night before and went up against the struggling Team Allegiance squad. The majority of the matches that ALG have played have been close, but this time around the series was anything but. Game 1, Fathom Capture The Flag posted a final score of 3-0 in favor of OpTic, but the score did not accurately reflect the fight that Team Allegiance put up. Nonetheless, OG took a 1-0 lead into Game 2, Plaza Slayer, which was more domination from the Green Wall. This paved the way for the most dominant performance of the series for OpTic, Empire Strongholds. OpTic Gaming immediately established Total Control. Frosty and the rest of OpTic were toying with Allegiance, trying plays like the one below, and cruised their way to a 3-0 sweep.

Enigma 6 Group vs. Team EnVyUs

Team EnVyUs continue to establish themselves as one of the top teams in North America. They have amassed an impressive resume with wins against Evil Geniuses, Luminosity Gaming, and OpTic Gaming. Enigma 6 have shown signs of brilliance as well throughout the season, with wins against Team Liquid and Luminosity. The star-powered roster of Team EnVyUs set the tone for what turned out to be a dominating series in Game 1, Coliseum Capture The Flag. The game quickly went in favor of nV with a 3-0 score, and nV kept control in Game 2, Regret Slayer. With a 2-0 lead, nV saved their best performance for last on Eden Strongholds. A 100-10 win was the final score that secured the humbling 3-0 sweep.

LOL vs. Evil Geniuses

APG smiled for the first time in a long while after their win over Team Liquid on Day 1, and many expected that to be the last time he and the rest of LOL would be in good spirits, at least for this week. Evil Geniuses stood in their way of their second win of the season, but EG were not standing for long. Renegade put on another impressive performance for LOL in Game 1, Coliseum Capture The Flag, that was capped off by highlights of his slaying prowess to secure the final Flag Cap with a 3-2 win. He went off yet again in Game 2, Truth Slayer, putting up a 16/8 stat line with APG was close behind with a 14/7 line of his own. LOL won convincingly 50-32, and went to Eden Strongholds to finish off Evil Geniuses 100-52 for the sweep.

COMING UP

The North American competition this season is closer than it has ever been and upcoming team changes will make the HCS Pro League matches even more unpredictable. To keep tabs on all the action stay tuned to ESL Halo on both Facebook and Twitter!