Optic Gaming victorious over G1 at HCS NA Super

The Halo Championship Series: North America Super drew to a close on Sunday, with Optic Gaming emerging as the deserved winners after taking down Gamers First in the final. Optic have only gone from strength to strength this split, and claiming the title has been the most fitting end to a season of utter dominance. Both teams will qualify for the HCS in Orlando.

Gamers First had a rollercoaster ride to the playoffs. They slipped to the lower bracket after being beaten 3-2 by G2 Esports, but since then came surging back into the competition with back-to–back victories against EUnited, Cloud9 and Sentinel. A meteoric rise from the shadows saw them playing their first ever final in the HCS, punching well above their weight to finish as runners-up. They claimed $37,500 of the $125,000 prize pool.

Optic Halo

OpTic providing highlights throughout the event

Optic have been unbeatable this series. After close calls at the North American Regionals and Kansas City Major editions of the HCS this year, it was finally their time to shine. They topped their pool with three wins out of three and a clean sweep of all nine maps. In fact, they’ve lost just one map this entire tournament – Live Fire against the Sentinels in the Upper Bracket finals. Optic still beat them across Aquarius and twice in Recharge, forging ahead to a 3-1 victory and progressing to the Grand Final.

The final was another whitewash, as nearly all Optic’s games have been this split. Optic has been the most well-rounded, clinical unit in the split so far, with every member of their squad pulling their weight and finding opportunities to step up their game. Recharge was the first map on which the two opponents would square off, and they came out on top 2-0. Trippy, Lucid and FormaL exerted their dominance, each scoring in excess of 20 kills.

The Live Fire map has been Optic’s sole weakness, if you can call it that. It’s the only map they’ve lost so far, in the upper bracket finals against arch-rivals Sentinels. G1 began to recover their rhythm after going down in Recharge, and the scrappy fighters weren’t ready to be written off just yet. After their victories against Cloud9 and Sentinel on the way to the final, they weren’t about to lose their nerve against Optic.

They attempted a collapse against Optic while the latter led 47-44, and it took a brilliant twist from FormaL to swing the momentum back in their direction. Optic fought back to secure their lead, and won the map leading 50 to 46.

Catalyst was a similarly close-fought contest. With the game drawn 2-2 heading into its final minutes, neither was able to capture an unassailable lead. A poorly timed flag run by Bubu Dhubu drew the curtains on GI’s game, and played into the hands of FormaL who pulled off a triple kill and Optic moved in for the jugular. With the map now clear, FormaL was able to secure the deciding flag.

G1 were now staring down the barrel of a 3-0 deficit. Streets was the fourth and final map, and G1 knew they had to pull off something truly special to claw their way back into the competition. They battled hard, and even managed to secure an early lead. But OpTic have proved, time and time again, that they know how to hold their nerve in tense situations.

Once more the two found themselves on either end of a 2-2 deadlock with the clock ticking. It was Lucid this time who took the fight to G1. A late bulldog acquisition enabled him to pull off a triple kill, and Trippy did the rest.