HCS Raleigh Recap

Competitive Halo is finally back. With potentially one of the best Halos to hit the market, Halo Infinite has players from the past, present, and future excited to play again. With the new game announced, there were rosters formed immediately, and the first LAN tournament was scheduled.

December 17th-19th was one of the first Halo events since 2017. While the odds and scores are no longer available, let’s recap how the weekend went.

How Did Raleigh Work

Over the weekend, over 200 teams competed at the chance to win $350,000. The way the tournament was set up, there were 16 teams that were in the group stage and the rest of the teams competed in the open bracket. The 16 teams competing in the group stage were the top 16 teams that had competed in the online qualifiers to earn that ranking.

Once the Open Bracket got started, the top 16 finishing teams joined the pool play teams to compete in a double-elimination bracket. The double-elimination bracket started Saturday afternoon and lasted the night and all of Sunday as well.

Tournament Hiccups

While there were not many outlandish things that happened over the weekend, there were some minor issues that occurred at the start of the event. Because Halo is being played on PC this season, with the players using controllers, there were some immediate connection issues. In fact, the first day saw several map restarts because of players lagging out or not being able to connect.

Similar to one of the competing franchises, Call of Duty, Halo is in its first year of using PCs to run the game instead of bringing in several different gaming systems such as XBOX or Playstation. While it was assumed there would be a few issues, the first day was rather taxing on players having to rework the schedule several times due to games lasting much longer than expected.

The tournament ran much smoother Saturday and Sunday. The gameplay was much more responsive and the tournament was able to run smoothly for the rest of the weekend.

Tournament Results

Sunday saw the top six teams competing for the major monetary placings. Optic Gaming, Pioneer Gaming, the Sentinels, Faze Clan, Eunited, and Cloud 9 gaming were the last six that were competing.

The Pioneers and Optic Gaming were the first two eliminated on Sunday. With the 5-6 placings, the teams collected a payout of $9,800 for each team. Coming in fourth place, the Sentinels. One of the biggest storylines coming into this tournament was the Sentinels having to play with a replacement player, Matthew “Formal” Piper, however, that did not slow them down and they were able to capture$19.600 as a team.

Faze Clan, predominantly known for Call of Duty, had a great Halo weekend. Coming into the tournament, the team was expected to play well, but finding a way to finish in third place was much better than expected. The team was able to collect $39,200.

With Faze Clan out, the Grand Finals were set up between EUnited and Cloud 9. The Grand Finals were set up with a best of seven to take place. Cloud 9 did not take very long making quick work of EUnited and winning the series by a score of 4-1.

These two teams were able to win an amazing purse. EUnited was able to take home $84,000 in winnings for coming in second place. The Grand Champions, Cloud 9, took home $140,000.

Looking to the Future

The next tournament is not scheduled until the beginning of February when the teams will head to Anaheim to compete in Dreamhack. The biggest storyline is going to be the Sentinels playing with their full roster. While Cloud 9 and EUnited had great showings over the first competitive weekend, a full roster for the Sentinels has to make them the favorites going forward.


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