Who Can Topple the Titans of Halo 5?
Over the last fifteen years in the world of Halo Esports, a handful of teams have risen through the ranks to complete domination. Players shuddered at the thought of facing off against Gandhi's trash talk on Carbon, the Ogre twins on Final Boss, or the Roy/Box duo of Evil Geniuses. Becoming a Halo legend isn’t as easy as just winning however, you have to win with style.
Fifteen years after the launch of Halo: Combat Evolved, we have a new sheriff in town. While the CLG team is youthful in the world of Halo legends, it's safe to say that they’re here to stay. After narrowly missing the Gold at the X-Games in Aspen, CLG went on to shred the competition at the first ever Halo World Championship. Winning the tournament secured $1,000,000 in prize money and the ultimate bragging rights as the most dominant team in the world. Since the Halo World Championship, Counter Logic Gaming has yet to lose a series against any team. Let’s break down the current Halo top eight, make some mid-season predictions, and get the thoughts of a few professional Halo players on how they would take down Counter Logic Gaming.
Current Standings in the Halo Pro League:
|1st||Counter Logic Gaming||Snakebite, Lethul, Royal2, Frosty|
|1st||Evil Geniuses||Snip3down, Roy, Lunchbox, Suspector|
|3rd||Renegades||Ninja, Victory X, Penguin, Commonly|
|4th||EnvyUs||El Town, Rayne, Mikwen, iGotUrPistola|
|5th||Enigma 6||Cratos, Huke, Shooter, Bubu Dubu|
|6th||Allegiance||Ryanoob, Goofy, Contra, PreDevoNatoR|
|6th||Liquid||Assault, Spartan, StelluR, Eco|
|6th||Optic Gaming||Ace, MaNiaC, Str8 Sick, APG|
The team most likely to contest Counter Logic Gaming this year is the Evil Geniuses. Although plagued by turmoil over the last few months, the team seems to always come in clutch when it counts. After getting little to no practice in, they managed to secure an identical record and map win percentage with rival CLG after week one. The EG team consists of some of the most talented players in Halo… but it feels as though it's not being utilized to its full potential. Reportedly not practicing significantly since the Pro League started, the team could find themselves going 0-2 during the second week of Pro League as they face off against CLG and Enigma 6.
Mid-Season Prediction: 2nd
Coming in holding a three-way tie with CLG and EG after week one of the Halo Pro League is the Renegades. Consisting of two veterans and two young guns, the RNG squad has shown time and time again that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Taking down Enigma 6 and Allegiance this week the team has shown a scary slaying prowess, but a chink in their armor when it comes to objective game-types. One of the most recognizable issues with the Renegades is that their inconsistency and ability to tilt causing them to perform in streaks. When I asked Renegades player “Penguin” what had to be done to topple Counter Logic Gaming he said, “We need to up our consistency and communication I think is the biggest thing. We definitely have the individual skill to take on CLG just need to make the teamwork and consistency.”
In my opinion, the Renegades are a team that can match and compete with anybody in the Halo Pro League, but only when they’re “on”. During week one of the Halo Pro League we saw RNG take down ALG by a 30 kill differential in slayers, but barely take the series in a final 3-2 score. While their ability to dominate when hot is clear cut, so is their inconsistency.
Mid-Season Prediction: 3rd
After a rocky week one including a reverse sweep, EnVyUs sits in the middle of the pack with a 1-1 record. While the reverse sweep was disheartening, EnVyUs fans can take solace in the fact that the team is moving to a team house in North Carolina within the next few weeks. The drastic move to play side-by-side with storied player and coach, Elumnite, behind them should help improve their overall performance in the league. This is a team I’m going to watch out for because I expect improvements in leaps and bounds providing us with some nail biting matches. While I have high hopes for this team, I see them hanging around the middle of the leaderboard in the 4th-6th range.
Mid-Season Prediction: 5th
If there were ever a team considered the villains of Halo 5, it's Enigma 6. Perhaps it's the illuminati style logo, or the self-acclaimed “best player in the game” Cratos, but the team manages to stay in the limelight no matter the situation. The Enigma squad has two players from the Denial roster that took the Halo World Championship by storm last season, and one from the 2nd place Allegiance team. Oh, and one who didn't even qualify for the Halo World Championship. But there’s more...Huke? He was a Call of Duty pro who switched over after the release of Halo 5. I can't quite put my finger on why this team is as strong as they are, but one thing is certain, their matches are always exciting. Whether the chat is throwing shade at Cratos (who bathes in the hate of his enemies) or asking for “Bubu take my dubu,” E6 manages to battle through situations other teams would crumble in. While I think they lack the team chemistry that CLG has, I think any team looking to breach the top 3 will have to go through E6 first.
Mid-Season Prediction: 4th
After an incredible performance through 2015 including an amazing World Championship run, Allegiance found themselves with no team after internal issues broke the team apart. One short hiatus later, ALG picked up their new roster featuring two well-known but separate duos. Contra and Predevonator seeked out the support and guidance from Halo veterans Goofy and Ryanoob to form the rest of the lineup. Unfortunately due to a lack of practice, the team found themselves at the bottom of the ladder after week one. While they were able to contest the Renegades in objective game types, their slayers left much to be desired. This is a team with plenty of potential, but they’re seemingly struggling to tap into it. In order to contest the other pro teams of the league, Allegiance needs to improve their slaying capabilities. Allegiance needs to step up, isolate their issues, and solve them fast if they want to contend with the best and earn back their status of last year.
Mid-Season Prediction: 7th
Liquid is a hit or miss team that I’m confident will hit their stride heading into the middle to later stages of the Halo Pro League. While the team sits with an 0-2 record after week one, I’ll be watching closely to see if this team is able to fix their flaws and compete with the middle to high tier Halo pro teams. If there was a team in the Pro League to pull off unexpected upsets, it would be Liquid. Regarding Liquids potential, CLG captain Snakebite had this to say, “I think Liquid has the biggest chance to surprise people. They made it in through the LCQ so they are viewed as the 7/8th team but I think they can easily be competing with every team.”
While I’m confident CLG will stand victorious over Liquid the next time they meet, Liquid managed to take a game and kept the other two close in their best-of-five versus CLG proving they could hang with the best of them.
Mid-Season Prediction: 6th
After a dismal and erratic first season in Halo, it felt like the organization was on its last leg in Halo Esports. Given an extra life the team qualified for the Halo Pro League during its Last Chance Qualifiers. While the team is 0-2 after week one, they put up a fight when matched against Counter Logic Gaming and took a game from the World Champions. Unfortunately for Optic, the team has undergone team changes as recently as last week so I think it’ll be a little while before we see Optic at their full potential. This could be the best Optic roster we’ve seen in Halo for two years, but I’m skeptical that it’s too little, too late.
Mid-Season Prediction: 8th
When it's all said and done, predictions and analysis are just that. Any team that's made its way into the Pro League features some of the most talented Halo players in the world and cannot be overlooked. Counter Logic Gaming is the king of the hill and while it doesn't look like that is going to change any time soon, only time will tell. Team Liquid Console Analyst Tiberius Audley says, “With most teams, it’s like "talent, attitude, composure, chemistry, and consistency... pick three. CLG have it all.”
But being the best means wearing the biggest target on your back, and teams like the Evil Geniuses, Enigma 6, and the Renegades will be looking to be the first to remove the crown. Be sure to tune in every Thursday and Friday at 8:00pm EST on Twitch.tv/Halo to cheer on your Counter Logic Gaming team as they defend their title as the undisputed kings of Halo 5.
Who knows...we could be witnessing the next Halo dynasty.
Written by FlizzyFletch (@FlizzyFletch)