EnVyUs' enviable talent ready for HCS Summer Finals

Visal "eL TowN" Mohanan (left), Austin "Mikwen" McCleary (center) and their teammates on Team EnVyUs compete at the Halo ESL PAX East Invitational. Provided by Amy Baione/ESL

Much like the previously profiled team, Cloud9, Team EnVyUs (nV) arrive at the Halo Championship Series Summer Finals with an underwhelming performance in their rearview mirror. nV failed to make it out of group stages at the North American Regional tournament and therefore did not qualify for the Halo World Championship. Halo veterans Justin "Pistola" Deese and Tom "OGRE 2" Ryan were left to watch from home while Counter Logic Gaming hoisted the trophy and took home an impressive $1 million.

At NA Regionals, nV consisted of of Austin "Mikwen" McCleary, Pistola, OGRE 2, and Jacob "Arkanum" Santos. During the offseason, nV made roster changes that led to the departure of Arkanum and OGRE 2 and the acquisition of Visal "eL TowN" Mohanan, Timothy "Rayne" Tinkler, and coach Marcus "Elumnite" Lovejoy. The new squad saw its first action of the season at the PAX East Invitational and placed second after losing to Evil Geniuses in the finals. The team has continued to play well since then, earning a second place finish in their group at the HCS Pro League Summer Qualifier to secure a ticket to the first season of the Pro League.

With the exception of the first week when it went 1-1, Team EnVyUs has not found itself outside of the top three all season. However, its journey has not been entirely smooth sailing. Of all the teams competing at the Summer Finals, nV has the most Game 5 appearances (seven) and carries a 4-3 record in such contests, which hints that they struggle to close out series. All three of those losses in Game 5 scenarios happened against the three other teams that will be fighting for a first place finish at the tournament, which may foreshadow challenges to come.

The individual players on nV deserve as much mention as the team's record overall. Kicking off his journey into Halo esports in 2009, Mikwen has made a name for himself as an electric playmaker. He has teamed with Pistola for the entirety of Halo 5, and will now make an attempt to win his second event. His leadership this season has been evident, and for nV to have a shot at winning the tournament, he will have to put his performance at NA Regionals far behind him.

Coming off of a second place finish at the HWC with Team Allegiance, eL TowN joins the ranks of Team EnVyUs looking to improve upon his previous placing. He was acquired at the end of the season and has been an excellent addition to the powerful duo of Mikwen and Pistola. eL TowN has shared that persistence has been key to the team's success, and that persistence will be essential this weekend.

Known by the community as "The Wizard" for his play-making abilities and general knack for staying alive in situations where most others could not, Pistola is looking to bounce back from his showing at the North American Regionals. He has 15 first place finishes in his Halo career, but a 16th will not come easily. Pistola's slaying prowess will be pivotal in the success of this squad.

Rayne has had most of his success while playing H5. He was a part of the eLevate roster that impressively placed fourth at the HWC alongside Alex "Swift Kill" Ramirez, Tyler "Calm Mentality" Mozingo, and Zane "Penguin" Hearon. Rayne has a propensity to focus on the objective side of things, and has the fewest deaths on his team all season.

Team EnVyUs take on Enigma6 in their first match of the Summer Finals. Much to its dismay, nV went 0-2 overall against E6 throughout the season with a 3-6 head-to-head map record. Team EnVyUs has played CLG to close series in the past, but if it wants another shot at CLG in the winner's finals, it will have to find a way around E6 first. E6 finished the season with an overall record of 9-5 with a 35-25 map record and will not prove an easy opponent.