Halo: World Championship 2016
21st March 2016
This weekend saw the world’s greatest Halo players come together in Los Angeles to compete for one of the largest prize pools that console eSports has seen. The Halo World Championships saw teams with a global reach battle it out for over $2.5 million in prize money and we were privileged to have a talented young team representing our brand at the competition.
Our team consisted of Arkel ‘Snakey’ Brown, Casey ‘Lunny’ Lunn, Max ‘Riotz’ NAME and Kyle ‘CreepeazY’ Thompson, coached by the fantastic Leuis ‘Prsma’ Charles. The team qualified through the EMEA finals held at the ESL studios in Cologne, Germany earlier this year, where they registered a 2nd place finish losing only to Team Infused in the Grand Final. An impressive achievement in itself, considering the team had been formed less than a month and only qualified for the EMEA tournament after the ‘Last Chance Qualifier’ held online and hosted by Gfinity. Our previous team, still containing Snakey and Lunny, had attended the Halo UK Championships at the Gfinity studios in London, however a 4th place finish wasn’t enough to qualify for EMEA and it was at this point the team changes were made ahead of that all-important last chance qualifier.
Having been drawn in the same group as Chosen Squad (#1 LATAM), Team Allegiance (#4 NA) and Team Liquid (#8 NA), a tough set of matches was to be expected. The tournament began on the Friday, only a day after the players arriving and that may have contributed to the team’s starting match against the North Americans, Team Liquid.
Kicking off day 1, our first match came against Team Liquid, a team of veteran Halo players who came out the blocks flying taking Fathom Capture the Flag 3-0. Team Liquid continued into map 2 - Coliseum Team Slayer - just as they had finished map one, coming out convincing winners 50-24. Despite the team’s efforts, Team Liquid’s veteran squad proved to be too much for exceL.Halo who fell 100-3 on Eden Strongholds and ultimately losing the first series 3-0.
With little time to dwell on the series loss to Liquid, exceL.Halo came out in the first map strong against Chosen Squad seeming to have shaken off the issues from the first match up. Despite heavy power weapon control for parts of the game, the team were unable to capitalise and fell 3-1 on Coliseum CTF. Rallying together, exceL.Halo managed to take Team Slayer on The Rig 50-43 despite a few nervy moments whilst waiting on the final few kills they managed to close it out and secure their first map win of the Halo World Championships. Having gained some confidence, they pushed on a took Eden Strongholds 100-55 with [Insert player name] coming up with a triple kill for the play of the game! With a chance to round out the series, the teams took to Truth Capture the Flag with exceL taking a commanding 2-0 lead. Running what was thought to be the third and final flag to wrap up a 3-0 CTF win, Chosen took over the blue base and stopped the flag a stone's throw away to extend the map further even getting a counter capture to bring themselves back into the game. With both the series and the map well positioned at 2-1 in exceL’s favour, the team managed to pull of the final vital kills and allow for [Insert player name] to bring home the final flag to round off the map -and the series - 3-1. Rounding off day 1 with a 1-1 record we were tied alongside Team Allegiance for 2nd place in the group leaving things finely poised for the match up to come on day 2.
With qualification still possible, we took on Team Allegiance with the victor moving into bracket play. Day 2 got off to a similar start as the previous day but having put up much more of a fight, exceL still dropped the first map - Rig Strongholds - 100-59. Team slayer did not go much better for the team as they fell just short of taking map 2 and in turn getting themselves back into the series. Fathom CTF presented exceL.Halo’s last chance to get back into the best of 5 series, but despite putting up a valiant effort, Allegiance proved too strong taking the map 3 flags to 1. That result sealed our fate and sent the team out of the tournament only managing to get 3rd place in our group with an overall record of 1-2.
The culmination of this tournament marks the end of an intense and emotional journey for exceL.Halo, originally formed only weeks before the qualifiers for the UK Championships. We have thoroughly enjoyed supporting our team(s) through the Halo Championship Series competitions and look forward to continuing our presence in European competitive Halo. Thank you to all of our partners for their continued support and for enabling us to support such a fantastic team. Stay tuned to this website and all of our social media channels for continued updates on all matters concerning exceL eSports!