Feature Photo Credit: Gabriel Encalada @theJrACE
Dreamhack Denver enlisted a massive rodeo arena to host the buck wild, thumb tapping action of the Fall 2017 Halo Championship Series Pro League Finals. The series housed a slew of upsets, heart stopping clutch plays and even a little history was made.
Rise of the EU: Team Infused Makes Top 6
Beware the red army a.k.a Team Infused because they made a historical journey through their bracket. This is the first time a European team has made top six and they did it with solid game play that made for great entertainment. I had the pleasure of sitting next to two seasoned commentators during the main stage series for Infused; dapper bow tie aficionado Dan Gaskin and menswear fashion icon Goldenboy.
Gaskin was quick to explain to me that European teams have a notoriously tough time pulling out wins for stronghold games because they don’t play it at a fast enough pace. It was great watching with him as Infused smashed through his expectations and took a solid stronghold win. (I hope you managed to find some saline spray for yourself Dan) I want to congratulate Team Infused and I really do hope to see more EU teams make their mark in the future.
Down, But Not Out: Splyce
After pulling out a sensational win against Optic Gaming at Dreamhack Atlanta, it was all eyes on Splyce at Denver. I watched as the team seemed to be in an almost zen like state of mind as they worked their way efficiently up their bracket. Everyone was in fine form, there were flashy plays being made by Bubu Dubu and Shotzzy while Renegade and Shooter built a firm foundation of slays and map control. In my mind, the most captivating series to watch was the one between Optic and Splyce.
Myself and many others had their hearts set on seeing a repeat of the final series in Atlanta with Optic going up against Splyce once again. However, there was one team who clearly had no desire to see history repeat itself…
Team Liquid Takes Second Place from Under the Radar
With so much focus on Splyce and Optic, Team Liquid managed to elude everyone’s attention until Sunday where they threw down eight, yes, EIGHT straight wins back to back against EnVyUs and to everyone’s shock, Splyce. I first started taking notice during their series against EnVyUs where I saw all pistons were firing. I had no way of pinpointing a MVP between the four of them. They were somehow able to dissect Splyce’s strategy and rearrange it to their benefit, it was masterful. Liquid made a valiant effort in their final showdown against Optic which included a replay of CTF on Coliseum which Liquid managed to take with mere seconds left on the clock. However, it was made clear that Optic had come for the big “W.” In the final slayer match on Rig they made it known with ample tea bagging and body disrespect as they slaughtered their way to glory.
As the co-host of the Drunken Halo Podcast TheJrACE likes to say,
“When Optic is good, they’re SO good.”
When these guys find their rhythm they evolve into a sophisticated hive mind and a symphony of power plays and map domination ensues. This was a well earned win, and I can tell Optic likes being on top and intends to stay there.
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