Week 7 decides the North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League Fall 2016 Finals lineup

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Doug Cortez
Contributing Editor
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The final week of the North American Halo Championship Series: Pro League began with many teams uncertain about their finals standings. While teams such as Team EnVyUs, OpTic Gaming, and Team Liquid were confidently on their way to the Fall 2016 Finals in Burbank, CA, other teams like Str8 Rippin attempted a late season surge for the top four. At the bottom of the bracket, Team Allegiance and Evil Geniuses were fighting for something different altogether. These two teams entered their final week striving to avoid the relegation tournament. There were a myriad of question marks as the week began, and the final two days of the NA pro league pieced everything together.


Enigma 6 Group vs. Team Allegiance

Both Enigma 6 and Team Allegiance met in Week 7 looking to avoid relegation at the end of the season. Enigma 6 not only needed to win both of their series, but they needed to do so in sweeping fashion and still needed Luminosity to go 0-6 to make their way to the Top 4. E6 kicked off their series with a win on Fathom Capture The Flag 3-2. Game 2, The Rig Slayer, was a close one that didn’t go E6’s way. A tense finish went in favor of ALG 50-49, which tied up the series 1-1. E6 responded on Empire Strongholds with a 100-54 win, and looked poised to finish the series. Team Allegiance, as has been the norm this season, managed to force a Game 5 after winning Coliseum Capture The Flag 3-1. Game 5s have been difficult for ALG all season, but they managed to steal one away from E6 with a 43-42 win at the end of regulation time. With that, Team Allegiance won the series 3-2.

Team EnVyUs vs. OpTic Gaming

Both EnVyUs and OpTic secured a spot at Burbank, and although nV have a better record, OpTic and nV are fighting to establish themselves as the best team in North America. OG and nV met once before this match and nV walked away with a Game 5 win to take the series 3-2 in Week 3. This time around, although the games were close, the final series score was not. Team EnVyUs started the series by winning Fathom Capture The Flag 3-2. In Game 2, The Rig Slayer, Team EnVyUs won 50-49 to earn a 2-0 lead and put OpTic on the verge of being swept. OpTic fought back in Game 3, The Rig Strongholds, but it was not enough to extend the series. nV swept OpTic, making a statement as they head to Burbank to clash at the Fall 2016 Finals.

Team Liquid vs. Str8 Rippin

Str8 Rippin needed to make a miracle run in order to make it to the Fall Finals. After going 2-0 in Week 6, the newly minted squad needed to have another 2-0 week against the 3rd ranked team, Team Liquid, and Enigma 6. Much to the dismay for Str8 fans, their playoff hopes were almost thwarted in Day 1 of Week 7. Str8 started off their series strong. A win on Coliseum Capture the Flag and Regret Slayer meant that they were one win away from being a step closer to Burbank.

Then Team Liquid took Game 3. Plaza Strongholds 100-51. Game 4, Truth Capture The Flag, also went to liquid with a 3-2 scoreline. Slayer on The Rig offered yet another close match. Regulation time expired with both teams tied at 40-40. As neither team was willing to budge, both resorted to passive play that eventually went in favor of Str8, 50-44.

Luminosity Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses

Luminosity entered the week with the fourth seed heading into the tournament, but Str8 were making a run at their spot. With Str8 winning their series against Team Liquid, Luminosity  needed to win against Evil Geniuses to keep their place in Burbank. Luminosity stumbled out of the gate on Coliseum Capture The Flag with a 3-1 loss and were not able to bounce back in Game 2, Truth Slayer. Their 50-40 loss placed them on the brink of being swept and the squad had to attempt to extend the series on Empire Strongholds. Luminosity put together an impressive win 100-19 to stay alive but were not able to ride the momentum and lost Game 4, Truth Capture The Flag 3-2.


Team Allegiance vs. Team EnVyUs

Team Allegiance faced a daunting task in Day 2 of the final week in the North American regular season as they faced the top team in the standings, Team EnVyUs. With that in mind, Team Allegiance started off their series exactly as they wanted-with a 100-56 win on The Rig Strongholds.

Unfortunately, that was the last game they won. Team EnVyUs asserted their dominance over ALG with a 50-42 win on Plaza Slayer, and 3-1 win on Truth Capture The Flag, and a 100-42 win on Eden Strongholds to finish off Team Allegiance and send them to Burbank for all the wrong reasons. Now they must face off against the top teams in the Open circuit to protect their spot in the Pro League.

Enigma 6 Group vs. Str8 Rippin

The only thing that stood in the way of Str8 Rippin and an invitation to the Fall Finals was Enigma 6. They opened the series with a win on Plaza Strongholds 100-77, but E6 answered right back with a win of their own. After Game 2, Regret Slayer, went in favor of E6, the series was tied 1-1. Game 3, Truth Capture The Flag was closely contested by both teams. Str8 won the game 3-2 to take a 2-1 lead and the momentum from Game 3 was all they would need. Str8 rode that into Game 4, Empire Strongholds, to win the game 100-32 and the series 3-1.

OpTic Gaming vs. Luminosity Gaming

Luminosity entered the week needing to keep pace with Str8 to hang on to their playoff spot. They were not able to do so in Day 1 with a loss to Evil Geniuses and Day 2 provided similar results, on this time is was against the second place team in North America. Luminosity took on and won Game 1 against OpTic Gaming on Eden Strongholds 100-44. Their first win of the series did little to set the pace, and OpTic Gaming answered back with three straight wins of their own. OG won The Rig Slayer 50-38, Truth Capture The Flag 3-1, and The Rig Strongholds 100-22 to secure a 0-2 week for Luminosity and keep them from going to Burbank.

Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses

Although their ticket to Burbank was punched, Team Liquid ended their regular season on a less than ideal note. They managed to jump out to a 2-0 lead against Evil Geniuses with a 100-47 win on Plaza Strongholds and a close 50-49 win on Coliseum Slayer. Evil Geniuses showed grit to end their season by fighting back and winning Game 3, Truth Capture The Flag 3-2. EG extended the series yet again on Empire Strongholds with a 100-92 win. After being down 2-0, EG finalized the reverse sweep by winning The Rig Slayer 50-38.

Team EnVyUs, OpTic Gaming, Team Liquid, and cinderella squad Str8 Rippin are headed to Burbank as the four best teams in North America to fight for a first place prize of $75,000 and  the title of NA Fall champs. Enigma 6 Group and Team Allegiance will be fighting for their lives in the Pro League as they take on the two top amateur teams vying to take their place. This season has had some of the best Halo competition to date and the finals bring it all to culmination. The NA Fall Finals kick off on December 10th at 10AM PST and you can catch it on! For all #HCS news and updates keep your eyes on both Facebook and Twitter!