featured photo credit: Gabriel Encalada (@TheJrACE)
Dallas, Texas was host to MLG’s Gears of War pro circuit season two. This is the first time I have covered a pro Gears event, and I have to say then event definitely had a distinct vibe full of passion.
The first thing I noticed right off the bat was the rowdy hype coming from the trenches away from the main stage. The end of a series often resulted in screaming matches, some of it was definitely in good fun, and some was done to insight and provoke true conflict. I’m gonna be honest, some of it felt a little unsightly, I have covered a lot of tournaments, and I have never seen anything as rowdy as this particular crowd. I asked around and apparently this is something that has long been a part of the Gears pro culture. I suppose it compliments the brutality of the game. I was glad to see so much passion for the franchise.
An Optic Gaming victory should come as no surprise considering the Gears team is one of the most successful teams in all of console esports. However it was not guaranteed. Making a pretty serious statement was Echo Fox who came in second. They caught my attention immediately when I watched their showdown with Ronin, who played well but were ultimately taken out. Echo Fox was looking consistently strong and able to pull off long blocks of match wins. I really enjoyed the one two punch that was Praized and ToySxoldier taking turns making key plays and big slays.
On the other side of this tale was Optic, who was alternating between full on domination and falling short. Even at their worst, everyone on the roster was in fine form. Icy was back from suspension and definitely enjoying himself by making flashy plays. Per usual, Xplosive was a serious play maker, taking lots of risks and playing aggressively. Kenny was working overtime balancing slays with vital support tactics. If you wanna see the movement mechanics of Gears 4 utilized to their full potential, watch Mental. He glides across the map like a heavily armed, post apocalyptic ballerina. Despite this solid lineup, Optic had to come back from the trenches to meet Echo Fox for the finals.
The first round could have been anyone’s, both teams were giving peak performances and trading quick paced blows. Optic managed to channel their dominating nature and take it. The second and final round took a turn for the epic. Optic was down five to nothing and then something clicked in the sixth match. Optic channeled their energy and took their final form as the unstoppable force they are known to be. Every win that followed was Optic’s, many of these matches were nail biters with both teams demonstrating how badly they wanted the win. The final seconds of the last game came down to Optic’s Sumuns who ripped through Echo Fox with a string of serious kills giving Optic their trophy.
The venue was arranged well and everything ran smoothly, definitely the signature of an MLG event. It was definitely worth the trek to Dallas to watch Optic lay down another victory brick in the green wall.
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