Halo Infinite: Sentinels Reset Bracket, Defeat OpTic Gaming In HCS Kick-Off Qualifier Finals

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Halo Infinite: Sentinels Reset Bracket, Defeat OpTic Gaming In HCS Kick-Off Qualifier Finals

Sentinels take down two-time winners OpTic Gaming in the HCS Kick-Off Grand Finals.

Two long days of competition have ended in the Halo Championship Series (HCS) Kick-Off Qualifier ahead of the first LAN event in Raleigh. Through three weeks of competition, OpTic Gaming appeared borderline unstoppable. The four-person squad with Lunchbox handling coaching duties won the two most significant Halo events in history cleanly.

Online event number three occurred in the middle of the week, with 330 teams registering to compete. The stakes this time were much higher—pool play positions were on the line for the Raleigh event, as were travel expenses for ten teams.

Many were expecting an OpTic vs. Cloud9 match in the Grand Finals again. However, OpTic and the surging Sentinels roster would meet to decide the winner of the HCS Kick-Off Qualifier.

Tale of the Tape: OpTic vs. Sentinels

OpTic Gaming ventured through the entire upper bracket for the second straight week, knocking teams such as XSET and eUnited down to the elimination bracket. Their efforts ultimately set up an upper bracket finals showdown between OpTic and the Snip3down-led Inconceivable roster. OpTic defeated Inconceivable 3-1 and secured a third-straight Grand Finals appearance.

Sentinels had to battle through adversity in the lower bracket following a winner's round seven loss to eUnited. They defeated XSET, Cloud9, eUnited and Inconceivable to earn a chance to take down the seemingly untouchable OpTic roster.

OpTic vs. Sentinels in Finals

Much like OpTic in week one, Sentinels had the tall task of winning two best-of-five series if they hoped to win the tournament. The matchup opened with a dominant OpTic win, shutting out Sentinels 2-0 in Oddball on Live Fire. OpTic carried that momentum into Slayer on Recharge, where they convincingly took down Sentinels 50-30. As they have the last two weeks, Trippy, Lucid, aPG and Pistola looked flawless.

Sentinels had a last-ditch effort to make the series competitive in game three—Strongholds on Streets. The match went back-and-forth with both trading points. Sentinels ultimately triumphed on the shoulders of Frosty's 30-kill performance. They took game three 250-231, and it was the spark Sentinels needed to crawl back into the competition.

Snakebite, Royal2, LethuL and Frosty won a nail-biter 1-0 victory in game five—Capture the Flag on Bazaar. Just like that, the tables turned. OpTic had one more chance to close out Sentinels in Slayer on Aquarius. Otherwise, the two teams would head to another best-of-five. Sentinels rode that wave of momentum, claiming a 50-44 victory over OpTic to reset the bracket. The two teams were headed to a decisive best-of-five bracket reset.

Sentinels Rally From Deficit to Win Bracket Reset

Sentinels overtook the driver's seat and had the reigning two-time HCS Qualifier Champs against the ropes. Game one of the bracket rest — Strongholds on Recharge — saw Sentinels capture victory with a narrow score of 250-247. It seemed OpTic were out of it, but they battled back in game two — Slayer on Live Fire — securing a 50-47 win.

The two teams were even, and it seemed we were on our way to another marathon finish ala OpTic vs. Cloud9 in week one. However, that did not come to fruition. Sentinels turned a corner, winning their Capture the Flag on Aquarius of the Finals, this time 4-2. OpTic was now facing elimination after looking untouchable. Sentinels slammed the door shut in game four with a score of 2-0 on Oddball Streets.

Sentinels and OpTic battled until the earlier hours of the morning. It was a series we've come to expect out of two marquee teams in Halo Infinite that delivered on the anticipation. With the win, Sentinels secured a spot in Pool Play at HCS Raleigh in a few weeks, and they figure to be one of the favorites.

Final Scoreboard

Grand Finals

  • Oddball on Live Fire: OpTic over Sentinels 2-0
  • Slayer on Recharge: OpTic over Sentinels 50-30
  • Strongholds on Streets: Sentinels over OpTic 250-231
  • CTF on Bazaar: Sentinels over OpTic 1-0

Bracket Reset

  • Strongholds on Streets: Sentinels over OpTic 250-247
  • Slayer on Live Fire: OpTic over Sentinels 50-47
  • CTF on Aquarius: Sentinels over OpTic 4-2
  • Oddball on Streets: Sentinels over OpTic 2-0

A tournament plagued by delays concluded with an exciting series between two remarkable teams. Now, the focus turns to HCS Raleigh, where amateur and professional teams will compete for a piece of the $250K USD prize pool. Nothing beats the LAN environment, and we'll see precisely who the best team is in just two weeks.

Feature 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.