The 2022 season of competition Halo Infinite continues to look like Cloud9’s domain. Despite losing to both Optic Gaming and FaZe Clan in the second week of the HCS Pro Series, C9 was still an insurmountable opponent to close a series of head-to-head matches. Many of the group’s top contenders were the same from week one, but Optic returned from a disappointing early start last week to kick off a losing streak that sent them all the way to the grand final against the lovers. commonly suspected of C9.
The dream of a comeback story is no doubt, but C9 has other plans. As soon as the finals began, they soon ended with C9 winning 3-0 over Optic to claim the consecutive HCS Pro Series title.
Head to head earlier in the day, Optic only narrowly lost to C9 2-1, and game one of Capture The Flag on Aquarius showed how close these two teams can be. Momentum followed Optic into the grand final after their win over FaZe in the lower bracket, an early kill and first swing in their favor. But this momentum doesn’t have much of a reward, C9 seizes the first opportunity to take the flag home. C9 took a 1-0 lead within the first few minutes of the game but Optic, pushing back C9’s active base in Lucid’s hands, equalized the score 1-1. What Optic could not see coming was an attempt to limit immediate objections from Pznguin. Optic sacrificed a few shots to get the C9 flag home, and Pznguin used his advantage to drag a flag right in the middle of the map. Flag juggled all the way to their base, it only took 15 seconds for Optic’s hard-earned game to lead 2-1 to C9. There, the scoreline would stay on at the end of time and Optic missed an opportunity to run to the ground.
Game two took the teams to Live Fire for Slayer, a map on which Optic has become famous for its 100% win rate playing in tournaments. Bright flashes from the early-game Optic kept them tight, APG won one-on-one skirmishes to maintain control of the sniper rifle while his teammates used the master camo dynamic to communicate with the rotations of C9. That dazzling form began to fade as C9’s tactics began to take shape. Keeping position in an area of the map whenever Optic successfully grabs power items, Optic cannot use brief moments of control without a target to jump in. If disappointment hits, or an Optic member gets kicked out of the position, that’s all they’ll face as C9 steadily builds up a bigger and bigger lead. A 50-36 aggregate scoreline would see Optic lose their first game at home, and set up a seemingly inevitable outcome in the game ahead.
That third game will be Stronghold on the Streets, a map and mode known for relying on a team’s ability to kill and guide their enemies for maximum score control. . Stellur and Renegade will guide these efforts for C9, both of whom keep positive K/D ratios while the rest of the corridor trade the majority of their lives. By the time C9 hit 200 points on the scoreboard, Optic are facing a growing 150-point gap if they want a chance to return in the series.
Constrained by C9’s map presence, it was only when the 1st seed needed 10 points to close the tournament that Optic finally stopped the bleeding and began to turn the story around. This triple cap to triple cap, combined with uncompromising turns to each point where C9 tried to retreat, pulled Optic to within 30 points even though C9 had one leg in the way. One misstep, though, can turn into disaster, and Pznguin and Renegade finding clutch picks that will give C9 the last few points they need to claim the title again.
Once again it will be the anniversary of C9. Fnatic may have hoped to share or gain attention from them, yes officially announced their list for HCS earlier in the day. But the newly acquired Fnatic roster will ultimately fail to make the top 8 on their debut. They and their G2 Esports teammates will have to battle through the open qualifiers to advance to next week’s Pro Series matches, being eliminated by smaller teams Pioneers and BuiltByGamers. How they will rank in the coming weeks with the backing of Fnatic behind them remains to be seen, but Fnatic is optimistic given the high potential ceiling these players have.
https://dotesports.com/halo/news/resurgent-optic-fails-to-stop-cloud9-hcs-pro-series Resurgent Optic doesn’t stop Cloud9 from winning in a row in HCS Pro Series