OpTic Gaming are your 2017 Halo World Champions after a highly anticipated championship in Burbank, California. After taking down Team EnVyUs on Sunday in a grand finals series that felt like a mere formality, OpTic claimed the crown and cemented themselves as the best Halo team to play the game. Let's look at the highlights of the day.
Team EnVyUs continues hot hand
The day started off with the lower bracket semifinal matchup between nV and Str8 Rippin. Although Str8 had been playing fairly well up to this point, they were simply no match for the nV juggernaut. Coming into the match, nV had won 12 straight games as they blitzed their way through the lower bracket on Saturday. Str8 did their best to try to hold off the onslaught from nV, but it was simply too much to handle.
Str8 put up the biggest fight in Game 2 Slayer, which came down to a 49-49 standoff between the teams. nV had the better strategy and teamwork in this tense situation, allowing Cuyler "Huke" Garland to secure the final kill and a 2-0 lead. In what ended up being the final game of the series, Str8 took a quick 2-0 lead in Capture the Flag before nV fired up and rattled off three insanely quick caps to secure a 4-0 sweep. Austin "Mikwen" McCleary once again proved himself to be a reliable hand, showing up in a major way just when his team needed it to push nV into the lower bracket finals.
Facing a hot Team Liquid team, nV certainly had their work cut out in this series. That was extremely evident in the Game 1 Strongholds that came down to the wire. Team Liquid exercised great control over the power weapons on the map to lock down the points and narrowly edge nV in a 100-98 victory. The teams then traded games, tying the series at two games apiece. It was at that moment that nV decided they were done playing around and were ready to take on OpTic in the grand finals. Although Game 5 Slayer was a fairly close 50-40 nV win, Game 6 Capture the Flag wasn't close, with nV taking it 3-0. It was the first time nV managed to beat Liquid in a series, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
OpTic reign supreme
While nV put together a nice lower bracket run, going 5-0 and dropping only two games the entire way, the grand finals were just another triumphant chapter in OpTic Gaming's record book.
From the start of the weekend, this tournament looked like OpTic's World Championship to lose, as it was playing on a different plane of existence than every other team at the event. The grand finals were no different, but that isn't to say that nV simply went gently into that good night during the series, taking OpTic to the limit in a few of the games.
EnVyUs had a 2-0 lead in Game 1 Capture the Flag before OpTic stormed back to force overtime and get a 3-2 win for a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 Slayer was another close bout, with nV falling short in a 50-44 OpTic win. Similar to Game 1, nV held a 63-18 lead in Game 3 Strongholds before OpTic went lights-out to finish the game with a 100-65 win. Game 4 Capture the Flag was another close one, as OpTic narrowly held on to a 1-0 lead as time expired to lock up a 4-0 sweep. All told, the entire grand finals lasted less than an hour, as OpTic overcame some commendable performances from nV to finish up their dominant run at the 2017 Halo World Championship.
It was the perfect cherry on top for what was another dominant performance from this OpTic Gaming squad. Winning two straight World Championships is no easy feat, but winning under two different banners (Counter Logic Gaming in 2016 and OpTic Gaming in 2017) is a whole different story. The past, present and future are incredibly bright for the juggernauts of OpTic Gaming.