This past weekend the Top 8 teams in the Halo Championship Series made their way to a sold out ESL Studios for the Season 2 Finals. What ensued were three days of legendary Halo competition that won’t soon be forgotten. Overkills, Killing Frenzies, Exterminations and Environmentalist medals were earned as these teams duked it out for their share of $150,000 and title of Season 2 Champion.
In the first day, we saw the top teams in the tournament such as Evil Geniuses, Denial eSports, CLG and Winterfox cruise into the second round of competition as expected. In the loser’s bracket, we would see two teams be eliminated on this day. Cloud9 would send the eighth seed eXcellence home early, and the final loser’s bracket match of the day would be between Team Liquid and OpTic Gaming. Liquid came out of the gates strong and quickly took a lead in the series, catching OpTic Gaming and the audience off guard. OpTic Gaming would recover however and clawed their way back into the series sending the match into a final Game 5. In this game we saw OpTic Gaming employ a new strategy that Clete “Assault” Lorusso pitched to the team just minutes before the match started. OpTic Gaming pulled this all-new strategy off without a hitch, secured the Active Camo powerup, and opened up a 12-0 lead which included a triple kill from captain Michael “Flamesword” Chaves. Liquid would never recover, and were the second team eliminated from the tournament that night.
In day two, the action heated up as we saw three more teams eliminated. Evil Geniuses and Denial eSports, the top two teams all season long, advanced as expected sending CLG and Winterfox down to the loser’s bracket. Awaiting the teams were Cloud9 and OpTic Gaming. Cloud9, off of stellar performances by Justin “iGotUrPistola” Deese, would upset the third seed Winterfox sending them home much earlier than most anticipated.
In the other match, CLG took the lead against OpTic Gaming and never let it go, sending OpTic Gaming home in day two. One match remained and only one team moved on to Championship Sunday. CLG faced off against Cloud9 and their fire power proved to be too much to handle. In the end, it was CLG that took the series 3-1 and Cloud9 went home with fourth place.
Championship Sunday arrived and only three teams remained in the tournament. In the winner’s bracket, it was Evil Geniuses against Denial eSports. In this series, we saw what makes these two teams so special. Here’s a look at what many are calling the play of the tournament from Evil Geniuses’ captain Eric “Snip3down” Wrona.
This series would go the distance and in Game 5, it was Denial that would fall and be sent to the loser’s bracket. Awaiting them was a surging CLG, ready to pounce on Denial and gain entry into the grand finals. After Denial’s grueling match with Evil Geniuses, it appeared as though they were out of gas and CLG was able to seize the opportunity, cruising pass Denial and into the Grand Finals for a rematch of the Season 1 Finals.
In the Grand Finals, CLG came out swinging and took the first two games against Evil Geniuses. Viewers at home and in the audience wondered if CLG would be able to reset the bracket for a final best-of-5 series. They fought their way into the series to force a Game 5 and through incredible plays by Matthew “Royal 2” Fiorante, CLG were able to force a final series to decide it all.
All bets were off at this point and it was anyone’s championship to take. Evil Geniuses dominated all season long and wanted to prove in the final Halo 2: Anniversary tournament that they were the undisputed best team in the world and they did just that. The level at which EG performed in the match of the season was at a level we have not seen in Halo 2: Anniversary. With incredible slaying prowess, objective efficiency and exceptional communication, Evil Geniuses dominated Game 1, Game 2 and finally Game 3 as they would sweep CLG and be named the HCS Season 2 Champions! Winning 5 LAN tournaments in a row dating back to Season 1, there was no question that Evil Geniuses were the best Halo team in the world.
Congratulations to Evil Geniuses!
Here’s a look at the final standings:
1. Evil Geniuses – $75,000
2. Counter Logic Gaming – $30,000
3. Denial eSports – $15,000
4. Cloud9 – $12,000
5/6. OpTic Gaming – $6,000
5/6. Winterfox – $6,000
7/8. Team Liquid – $3,000
7/8. eXcellence – $3,000
The Halo Championship Series kicked off late last year with Halo 2: Anniversary, and after two unforgettable seasons this chapter has come to an end. A new chapter in HCS and competitive Halo is about to be written, however, with Halo 5: Guardians. Join us on August 7 in Cologne, Germany for the gamescom Invitational. Three of Europe’s finest will go toe to toe against North America’s OpTic Gaming in the first official Halo 5: Guardians competitive match. For all updates on Halo 5: Guardians and the Halo Championship Series, stay tuned to @Halo and HaloWaypoint.com.