Competitors Bring the Heat for the First Championship Sunday in a New ERA of Halo
North America HCS Open Series
Day 2: November 21th - 2pm ET start.
Losers Round 10 (RO16). Winners Round 7 (Quarter-Finals)
Double Elimination (BO3. Grand Finals BO5)
Our day began with Losers Round of 16 where I caught Lies (Stress, DarkMatter, Fyah Bird, Kaotic) take out Stainers (Nemmassist, Cabriel, Nebuula, P TiZyPe ZM) 2-0 in Oddball Streets and Recharge Slayer as the Bulldog Shotgun, 'C' setup and slaying power prove a powerful strategy.
Status Quo (Flamesword, Blaze, Burton, Persecute) stomp out Talentless (CreepyTrash, Monster, ToySoldier, LnessanTT); the communication and chaos sounded troublesome at first, but Flamesword's leadership towards the end prevailed! - especially at the end of their 50-47 Recharge Slayer win when he calls for calm, calculation, and no deaths!
Jumping ahead to Losers Round 11 and 12 (Losers QuarterFinals): Lies fall to Inconceivable as Bound and Snipedown run them down on Aquarious and a 14,13,12,11 Slayer Live Fire finish wrap that one up nicely. Optic Gaming (Trippy, Ola, Lucid, APG) show up to play, but not to stream. They had some thoughtful discussions after their winners round loss against the forces of Cloud9 (Renegade, Pznguin, The Eco Smith, Stellur), and whatever they changed... it's working. Optic outslayed SpaceStation 74 - 58 during a 250 - 144 Streets Strongholds domination, and kept their foot on the gas for a 50-31 Recharge Slayer victory.
Inconceivable drop out to a double-booking mishap, and Infernal - now Oxygen Esports (Common, Haines, Swish, Its Name) fall to the Kansas City Pioneers (SuperCC, Druk, SoulSnipe, Taulek), 2-1. I wish I saw that matchup; these are a couple of our favorites to look out for. I'm hoping both of them bring their hardest for the second open this afternoon.
Meanwhile in the Winners Semi-Finals Cloud9 and eUnited face off. Both teams utilize their sandbox, but Cloud9 play every situation so well, even against real disadvantage. The work proved just a bit too hard for eUnited to hold.
Winners Finals...Sentinels vs Cloud 9...The matchup we bleed for every time it presents itself - two of the most consistent rosters in recent history. Stellur and Renegade clean house in Oddball Street in game going 20/9 and 17/11 respectively in round 1. They also win the second. Slayer Recharge takes us on a roller-coaster, as Sentinels crawl back to tie it and keep it neck and neck until their final resting place at a 50-46 loss.
Losers Finals is now Optic vs Sentinels, and while the slays are much more even (with the exception of Lucid who's looking more and more like the Aries, the God of War), Ola reminds us again why we call him 'the wizard' and they rise up to meet Cloud9 in the Grand Finals.
Grand Finals. Cloud9 vs Optic Gaming. Game 1 sets the stage properly for this insane best of 5. Regulation CTF ends tied 2-2, and Cloud9 score almost effortlessly to win it 2-3. It's also a fitting juxtaposition for the final games and result, as Optic take the crown in two back-to back game 5 wins against Cloud9, bringing it all the way back from the loser's bracket - Slayers went to 50-49, Oddballs to round 3, Strongholds back and forth - This was the best possible finale to the first open of the North American HCS any of us could have expected. The intensity, the skill, the decision making, the teamwork - this matchup had it all and there's too many moments to cherry-pick without creating a full blown montage.
If you're all amped up and can't wait for the HCS NA Open 2 to start this afternoon I highly recommend re-watching that Grand Finals or checking out the highlights before 12pm ET this afternoon (Nov. 27th) after which you can tune into individual player streams as they make their way through another massive bracket, LouisVTitan's Live Broadcast on Twitch or Youtube and @LVTProductions on Twitter as we bring you near full coverage and commentary throughout the day. Everyone brought the heat last weekend; who's getting iced-out this time? See you there.
-- Taylor 'Snow' Feraco. LVT Productions
Grand Finals Reset
Game 3 Highlights