We, the staff here at Beyond Entertainment, are back once again for our predictions for this weekends Iron Games event in Columbus, Ohio. Just like the old days, team changes have been in abundance since the ESL launch weekend event for the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection at the beginning of November in which Believe The Hype came out of nowhere to win the event, with Str8 Rippin coming in 2nd place.
This weekend’s tournament will have even more top teams in attendance, and incredible matches are guaranteed throughout the weekend. Here are the Top 8 predictions from everyone here at Beyond Entertainment:
Wild Card Team: Annex Halo – Arkanum, Killrelevant, OmegAisBetter, Shooter
Annex Halo will be one of the wild card teams to watch this weekend. Not much is known about this team but with players such as Arkanum, who has placed pro in multiple events in the past, this team could easily be overlooked and surprise a lot of people.
8. Dynasty – Destin, Tizoxic, Reliable, Goofy
Dynasty could be said to be another wild card team heading into this event. Goofy has already showed some good placing’s in the few H2A tournaments held, and has solidified his position as an all around solid player. The rest of the Dynasty lineup is where the team comes into question. The Destin and Tizoxic duo was very successful in the Halo 3 and Halo: Reach tournaments back in 2010 and 2011, and being back together could bring back some of the power they once had. With Reliable rounding out the team, Dynasty has the pieces in place to finish well this weekend, but that will come down to how well Tizoxic can play and if he can bring back some of the pure slaying prowess he once had.
7. OpTic Halo – Flamesword, Ace, Assault, Aries
OpTic Halo is coming into this weekend with a new but somewhat old lineup. Snipedown and Pistola left OpTic Halo after the ESL launch event to join Roy and Lunchbox on Evil Geniuses, so Flamesword and Ace decided to bring back an old friend as the third player on the roster. Assault, one of the members of the famous Status Quo lineup of 2010 and 2011, is back on the team to hopefully bring back some of the magic and the well known “Quo bracket” the original lineup had back in the day. The new fourth player to the team, Aries, has not truly proven himself yet as a top player and is brand new to the team.
OpTic Halo could be in store for a long weekend, but just like Status Quo back in the day, they always seem to have that magic in the back of their pockets where they go on a run through the brackets and place Top 4 seemingly out of nowhere. Only time will tell if that will happen this weekend.
6. Denial – Mikwen, Chig, Cloud, Ryanoob
Out of all the teams who could surprise people this weekend, Denial might just be at the top of that list. A mix of old and new players, Denial has everything in place and could be poised for a great weekend. Mikwen and Chig are both very well rounded players, paired with a well-known slayer in Cloud and a player like Ryanoob who can do anything at any point in the game, the pieces are there, but it will come down to whether or not all those pieces work together. The ultimate question with this team – will the Ryanoob curse live on once again this weekend?
5. Cloud 9 – Ninja, Victory X, Hysteria, FearItSelf
Formerly known as The Agency, Ninja and friends now find themselves under the team name of sponsor Cloud 9, a large eSports organization known for its League of Legends and Counter Strike teams. Cloud 9 is one of only two team coming into this weekend with the same lineup as they had at the ESL launch tournament back in December, which could certainly play into their favor. Building team chemistry over time has proven to be very successful in not just Halo but any team based competitive games. With continued team chemistry building as well as the motivation of a new sponsor, Cloud 9 could be a force to be reckoned with this weekend if things go their way.
4. Str8 Rippin – Tsquared, Prototype, Str8 Sick, Naded
Str8 Rippin came out nowhere at the ESL launch event tournament to place 2nd with the unlikely lineup of Tsquared, Str8 Sick, Roy, and Ryanoob. Roy and Str8 Sick both had incredible weekends, and for this weekend, Str8 Sick is reunited with his old friend from team Classic, Prototype. This duo proved themselves to be quite formidable in 2011, both in 4v4 and FFA competitions. In all of this discussion of duos, Naded and Tsquared are once again back together under the Str8 Rippin name. T2 and Naded have been playing together dating all the back to 2007, and have always found ways to be successful when everyone has counted them out. This team is stacked with slaying power, and Naded has always been known to come out swinging at events in which he placed poorly the previous event. Watch out for Str8 Rippin this weekend, as they could make a lot of noise just as they did at the beginning of November at ESL.
3. CLG – Ogre 2, Heinz, SnakeBite, Royal 2
CLG could have one of the longest roads this weekend in Columbus, after online qualifying did not go as intended for the newly sponsored team. No matter where they fall in the bracket, CLG should easily find themselves in the Top 8, and we believe the Top 3, by the end of the weekend. Online streams of their scrims and tournament play have shown much improvement for this lineup, and they find themselves in a similar situation as Cloud 9. A new major team sponsorship, improved team chemistry since the Master Chief Collection has been released, and overall more fundamental and sound play, CLG could easily break into the Top 2 if they play their cards correctly this weekend.
One thing to also remember – the event is taking place in none other than Columbus, Ohio, which some say is the birthplace of competitive Halo. It is also known by another name – Ogre City. Some say they don’t believe in home field advantage. However, Ogre 2 has shown time and time again he truly rises to the occasion when he plays in front of his hometown and the hometown fans.
2. Believe the Hype – Lethul, APG, Maniac, Legit
Not many believed in Believe the Hype going into the ESL launch event. Many knew that the team would do well, but no one knew how well. Lethul and Maniac have always been ones to try and make the fans “believe” and after ESL it is hard to argue against them. Believe the Hype had an incredible tournament that no one expected, which is no surprise to a team who did the same thing back at the 2009 MLG National Championhips, granted it was with a different lineup.
Coming into this weekend, Believe the Hype has kept the core 3 of Lethul, APG, and Maniac, and has added Legit to replace Formal. While Legit may not be on the same level of pure slaying as Formal, he is a player who can truly never be overlooked. When Legit gets into his comfort zone, with the American flag headband on his head, he can take over a game by himself. If Legit goes into his infamous “Beast Mode” and the rest of BtH plays as well as they did at the ESL launch tournament, Believe the Hype could win their second straight Master Chief Collection tournament.
1. Evil Geniuses – Snipedown, Pistola, Roy, Lunchbox
Finally, we come to the team who we believe will take home the championship of the first sanctioned HCS event of the 2014 – 2015 year. After the ESL launch event, Snipedown and Pistola left OpTic Halo and rumors began swirling of what their next move might be. Roy was in a similar position with his future unknown, and Lunchbox was said to not be coming back to competitive gaming and rather focusing on his future in real life. Not too long after, it was announced that Evil Geniuses, one of the largest competitive gaming teams and brands in the world, had picked up the four players to form their first ever competitive Halo team.
With three members of the famed Halo Reach “God squad” combined with a Halo legend in Snipedown, many are calling this one of the most well rounded and skilled lineups Halo has ever seen. It is hard to argue against these claims, as on paper this team is comprised of the some of the most skilled Halo players to have ever played the game. In the few weeks they have played together, the team is looking extremely poised to win this weekend.
With these predictions – there is always one thing to remember that goes for not just Halo, but competitive gaming as a whole – ANYTHING can happen on any given day. No matter what happens this weekend, the teams in attendance combined with the talent lineup should provide non stop entertainment all weekend long.
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