Cloud9 Wins HCS Anaheim 2022

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Cloud9 Wins HCS Anaheim 2022

Cloud9 defeated a tough OpTic Gaming squad to earn their second consecutive LAN victory.

HCS Anaheim began with sixteen teams who battled through the Group Stage into the Championship Bracket, where all challengers hoped to overcome the seemingly unsolvable Cloud9 roster. C9 — composed of Renegade, StelluR, Penguin and Eco — have looked otherworldly since their December victory at HCS Raleigh.

Day three featured a Winner’s Finals showdown between Cloud9 and OpTic Gaming. Meanwhile, G2 Esports, Sentinels, eUnited and Pioneers remained alive in the lower bracket. Eventually, Cloud9 met OpTic Gaming in the Grand Finals to decide the HCS Anaheim 2022 Champion and winners of $54K USD.

Let’s see how Championship Sunday played out in Anaheim, California, as Cloud9 and OpTic Gaming encountered one another in the last series for all the glory.

Tale of the Tape: Cloud9 vs. OpTic Gaming

History repeated itself as Halo’s top two squads crossed in another marquee competition. This time, Cloud9 and OpTic both advanced out of the Group Stage without losing a series.

Cloud9’s path through the Championship Bracket included victories over FNATIC and Pioneers before dominating OpTic in the Winner’s Finals. A 3-0 win over OpTic put Cloud9 in their fifth consecutive Grand Finals dating back to HCS Raleigh.

OpTic found similar success in the upper bracket; they defeated eUnited and Sentinels before Cloud9 ended their hot streak. Pistola and company took down eUnited a second time in the Loser’s Finals to rematch Cloud9 for the Anaheim Championship.

Cloud9 Continues Unprecedented Run

C9 and OpTic stepped into the Grand Finals with unprecedented expectations. The former looked to continue their borderline perfect run that began in Raleigh two months ago while OpTic hoped to dethrone Halo’s best team.

The HCS Anaheim 2022 Grand Finals began on Live Fire Oddball, where Cloud9 started strong. Despite an untimely disconnect, C9 remained a step ahead of OpTic at all times in the first match. Their map control and trades allowed them to secure a 2-0 victory.

After taking the early lead, OpTic was already in a less-than-ideal position. Cloud9 rides momentum, unlike any other team. However, if OpTic could turn the series around, it would likely happen in Team Slayer. The two teams went to war on Slayer Streets.

Cloud9 came out the gate firing, but OpTic was unwilling to back down. OpTic came back to tie the match thanks partly to aPG’s 15-kill effort. Unfortunately for them, Renegade secured the final kill — his 17th of the game — and put his team up 2-0.

OpTic gets on the Board

OpTic was in a must-win situation heading into the third map—CTF on Bazaar. More technical delays occurred before the match began, which may have worked in OpTic’s favor. They secured a quick flag capture to open the game, and the two teams played to a virtual stalemate until the closing moments. Cloud9 answered back with a capture of their own with two minutes left.

The match went to sudden death. OpTic controlled the map and pace and secured a flag behind 29 total kills from Pistola to give a map in the series. The score stood at 2-1 in favor of Cloud9 heading into game four.

Strongholds Recharge came next in a game Cloud9 pulled away from after crossing the 100-point mark. Those 100 points swiftly turned to 250 while OpTic struggled to surpass 120. Eco compiled 18 kills to earn C9 their third match in the series, putting them just one win away from their second triumph on LAN.

OpTic Rallies Again

Despite showing signs of life, OpTic was in the wrong spot. Regardless, Aquarius Slayer gave them a chance to extend the series. The two teams remained neck-and-neck throughout the match, trading kills consistently. C9 led by four at one point, but a clutch double kill from Trippy put OpTic ahead. Ultimately, OpTic secured a 50-46 victory over C9 and sent the series to game 6.

Cloud9 Shuts the Door on OpTic

Cloud9 showed almost no emotion after losing the fifth map in this marathon series. Oddball Streets provided them a chance to put apparition away once and for all. Round one saw Renegade, Eco, StelluR and Penguin coast to victory. The same occurred in round two. OpTic attempted to keep up but folded under another strong team effort from C9.

It certainly wasn’t easy, but Cloud9 proved yet again why they are the world’s best Halo Infinite team. Their ability to not crack under pressure and work together shined through in the tough series against OpTic.

Final Results

  • 1st: Cloud9 ($54,000)
  • 2nd: OpTic Gaming ($33,000)
  • 3rd: eUnited ($16,800)
  • 4th: Sentinels ($9,360)
  • 5th-6th: Pioneers / G2 Esports ($4,620 each)
  • 7th-8th: FaZe Clan / XSET ($3,600 each)
  • 9th-12th: UYU, Esports Arena Red, Oxygen Esports, FNATIC ($3,000 each)
  • 13th-16th: Torrent, Spacestation Gaming, G1, Complexity ($2,100 each)

Competitive Halo returns to an online environment until April for the HCS event in Kansas City. We’ll have to see if Cloud9 can continue this historic run and how close they could come to Final Boss in their prime. For now, there’s no question that Cloud9 is on another level.

Be sure to check out the VOD in case you missed Sunday’s action and stay tuned to ESTNN for more Halo updates!

Featured Image: HCS

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Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.