OpTic Gaming continued its spree of domination this weekend at the HCS Orlando Major. Between the 23rd and the 25th of September, the best Halo teams in the world descended upon Orlando, Florida to fight it out for the share of the $350,000 prize pool. By the time the dust had settled, OpTic Gaming had effortlessly claimed the top prize, going through the entire tournament with a near-perfect record.
It was a performance worthy of the $140k first-place prize, with OpTic almost refusing to drop a map in the Group Stage. If that wasn’t enough, the team then pushed into the upper bracket of the Championship, beating Oxygen, eUnited, FaZe Clan, and Cloud9 back-to-back, dropping just two maps. This marks OpTic’s first major victory of the season, despite the team playing phenomenally well thus far.
At the start of the tournament, there were forty-eight teams stepping up to the plate. This tournament structure essentially empowers amateur organizations to step into an environment riddled with competitive potential. It’s almost unique to the Halo Championship Series, and it gives these low-tier organizations the chance, no matter how small, to compete against names like Natus Vincere, OpTic Gaming, Sentinels, and FaZe Clan.
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However, at the HCS Orlando Major, none of these lower-tier organizations made it out of the open bracket. When the Pool Play stage descended upon the event, the only teams that remained in the competition were made up of the greatest Halo players in the world, and OpTic Gaming quickly pushed to the top of that pile.
While every team that topped its respective group resulted in a 4 – 0 record, like OpTic, it was in the Championship Bracket that the team really outshone the competition.
Although, going 250 – 0 against Chiefs during a Strongholds fixture in the Pool Play stage was certainly something to write home about.
In the final bracket, OpTic Gaming beat Oxygen, eUnited, FaZe Clan, and finally, Cloud9, all in a very convincing fashion. It was a remarkable performance worthy of the history books, and it easily secured OpTic Gaming a place in the Halo World Championship 2022 event.
What is coming next for the HCS?
If you’re a fan of Halo, the next event is by far and wide the most important one of the year. Between the 20th and the 23rd of October, the Halo World Championship 2022 tournament will take place, determining which organization boasts the greatest Halo team in the business. There are high expectations for OpTic Gaming to place highly at this event, perhaps going so far as to win the $400k grand prize.
As we push towards that $1 million tournament, all the teams involved are working hard to prepare. There are no more events in the HCS calendar between then and now, meaning it’s time to knuckle down and practice, this is the first Halo World Championship event since 2018. It’ll be a monumental moment for whichever team is left standing in first place at the end of the weekend.