| Tags: Halo Infinite
| Author Matt Pryor
HCS Anaheim 2022 Preview & Predictions
ESTNN predicts which team will triumph in each pool before selecting a tournament winner.
This weekend, sixteen North American Halo Infinite teams have prepared for an intense battle in Anaheim, California. The second HCS LAN event of the season features intriguing storylines, three days of action and a whopping $125K USD prize pool. Only the best of the best earned their spot in the competition.
In December, eight teams secured their spot with a top-eight result at HCS Raleigh. The final eight teams had to battle through hundreds of challengers in the HCS Anaheim Regional Online Qualifier. All sixteen qualified teams were split evenly into four pools, where the results will determine positioning in the Championship Bracket.
With an action-packed weekend ahead, ESTNN is here with Group Stage predictions and who we believe will hoist the trophy late on Sunday evening.
HCS Anaheim Pool Predictions
Here are your Pool Play match schedules ahead of this weekend's NA Regional Finals at #HCSAnaheim2022! 👇
A – https://t.co/e5eEldZtkm
B – https://t.co/woqn3j37hC
C – https://t.co/Wy8rIt7umu
D – https://t.co/6WTe1AhA2l
A – https://t.co/zEAg7RP3Em
All – https://t.co/pChu7q04XN pic.twitter.com/v3VzyhX2yC
— Halo Esports (@HCS) February 9, 2022
- Oxygen Esports
- Esports Arena Red
Cloud9 and Sentinels are the clear favorites in Pool A. The former's last few months of dominance speaks for itself. Sentinels recently welcomed Royal2 back to the team, which could give them the boost needed to overcome the C9 onslaught. Cloud9 should comfortably advance out of Pool A into winner's round one.
- FaZe Clan
- Spacestation Gaming
FaZe Clan leads the way in Pool B, but Snip3down and company are still searching for their first marquee result. This group might be the start they're looking for at HCS Anaheim. FaZe will square up against SSG, G1 and FNATIC, most of which have not played against them often in tournament settings. Regardless, FaZe Clan is a step above these teams and might have the best chance at defeating Cloud9.
- OpTic Gaming
- G2 Esports
OpTic Gaming stands out as the overwhelming favorite in Pool C. They'll have to overcome underdogs such as G2, Complexity and UYU if they hope to earn a free pass to the winner's round two. OpTic's most significant opponent in Pool C is G2 Esports, which has given them trouble. G2 even defeated OpTic 2-0 in a recent Pro Series tournament. We'll ultimately have to see if that translates to LAN, but OpTic should clean house.
Pool D is a challenging task for all teams involved. EUnited is the top seed, and rightfully so. However, RyaNoob returns to the eU roster after a lengthy struggle with COVID-19. It's unclear if that has affected the team's ability to plan accordingly for the challenge ahead. Still, eUnited has handled Pioneers and XSET more often than not in their recent encounters. There's no reason to bet against a team that took second in Raleigh and habitually finishes top-six.
Tournament Winner: Cloud9
While it may not be the most exciting pick, Cloud9 is just that good. They have not dropped a single tournament since winning HCS Raleigh, and only a few teams have managed to take a match against them. It might be too early to call a dynasty, but Cloud9 is trending in that direction. A win at HCS Anaheim against 16 outstanding teams would add another accolade to C9's already impressive track record.
As we've seen in the past, anything can happen in a LAN environment. Regardless, Cloud9 is the overwhelming favorite; it would be foolish to pick against them during this hot streak.
Be sure to check out our other HCS Anaheim articles, including one which explains how you can earn free in-game rewards via Twitch Drops throughout the weekend.
Stay tuned to ESTNN for more Halo Infinite and HCS updates!
Featured Image: HCS