By Official HCS -
This weekend, the world tuned in as we took one more step towards the completing the puzzle of the North American and European Halo Championship Series: Pro League lineups. When the dust had settled, Allegiance, Team EnVyUs, Enigma 6, and Renegades secured the four available North American spots, while the two available European openings were claimed by X-MEN and Online Warriors. Let’s look at how it all played out…
At the ESL Studios in beautiful Burbank, California, eight teams entered the day competing for four guaranteed spots in the NA HCS Pro League. The day started off with Group B, featuring Allegiance, Team Liquid, Team EnVyUs, and Soul Red. Allegiance would make an immediate statement by opening their day with a 3-0 sweep of Soul Red. From there they never looked back, taking down EnVyUs 4-1 to win the Winners Bracket final and claim the day’s first NA HCS Pro League spot. EnVyUs would bounce back themselves though, and take down Liquid in dominating fashion to win the Losers Bracket and secure the second spot of the day.
In Group A, fans saw a fierce competition between Enigma 6, OpTic Gaming, Renegades, and Denial Esports. OpTic Gaming took down Renegades to open the Group A action, but fell to Enigma 6 in the Winners Bracket finals, who as a result claimed the third available NA HCS Pro League spot. This meant that OpTic Gaming would have to rematch with Renegades in the Losers Bracket finals – a team that had pushed OpTic to the brink in the opening round. In the end, it would be Renegades who flipped the script as they rolled though OpTic in the Losers Bracket finals, leaving no doubt on their way to sealing up the qualifier’s fourth and final available spot. The loss means that OpTic Gaming’s chances for NA HCS Pro League qualification are running out – despite having a star-studded lineup that includes the Halo World Championship MVP in Brett “Naded” Leonard and Halo 4 Global Champion Aaron “Ace” Elam.
Earlier in the day across the pond, another set of eight teams were selected – based on their performance in the Halo World Championship – to battle it out for two coveted spots in the EU HCS Pro League. In the end it would be X-MEN and Online Warriors who would punch their ticket, thanks to some incredible teamwork and slaying prowess.
The X-MEN have only recently come on to the scene, with Tufoxy and Chalkie having left Infused to join forces with new teammates Jimbo and Snipedrone. X-MEN would qualify in the top spot for the EU HCS Pro League by taking out the Online Warriors in the Winners Bracket final. The fearsome foursome from Online Warriors however would come right back, as Snakey, Mose, Kimbo, and Respectful would take the Losers Bracket final from Movement to claim the second spot.
With the Summer Qualifier events in the books, teams on the outside looking in are focusing all efforts on their final opportunities to stake their own claims to an HCS Pro League spot. Here’s what’s coming up on the horizon for those still fighting…
Open Qualifiers – May 14 & 15: These tournaments will be open to all competitors, and will identify the top teams who will advance to the Last Chance Qualifier.
Last Chance Qualifier – May 21-22: This multi-stage online tournament will be the last chance for teams to qualify for HCS Pro League, and winners from the Open Qualifiers 1 & 2 will duke it out against the bottom 12 teams from the Invitational Qualifier. The LCQ will award the last two spots in the HCS Pro League.