Day one of the HCS Anaheim North American Regional Finals is in the books.
The competition began with the Group Stage, where four groups of four teams battled against each other for Championship Bracket positioning. Overwhelming favorites Cloud9 led the way ahead of the tournament, while OpTic Gaming, Sentinels and FaZe Clan hoped to stop C9's reign of terror.
Let's see how day one played out across each pool as teams prepare to enter the Championship Bracket tomorrow to set up a Sunday conclusion.
C9 Overpowers Pool A
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) February 12, 2022
Cloud9 was Pool A's surefire favorites, despite Sentinels welcoming Mathew “Royal2” Fiorante back after his 60-day suspension. The HCS Raleigh Champions and four-time Pro Series winners barely missed a step in the Group Stage.
C9 handily defeated Esports Arena Red, Oxygen Esports and Sentinels while dropping just one map along the way. They'll advance directly to winner's round two and await the outcome of FNATIC vs. UYU in round one.
FaZe Clan goes Undefeated in Pool B
— #FaZeUp (@FaZeUpdate) February 12, 2022
Most competitive Halo fans penciled FaZe Clan in for an easy path through Pool B into winner's round two. That came to fruition in a truly dominant fashion. Led by Snip3down, FaZe dismantled FNATIC, G1 and Spacestation Gaming en route to an unblemished run in Pool B.
They'll face the winner of Sentinels and XSET tomorrow in the Championship Bracket.
OpTic Runs the Table in Pool C
Undefeated in groups. 9-0 map count.
— OpTic Gaming™ (@OpTic) February 12, 2022
Like FaZe Clan, OpTic Gaming was in the driver's seat before arriving in California. Their path to a first-round BYE went through Complexity, UYU and G2 Esports. Considering the status of competitive Halo, it was unlikely that the talented OpTic Gaming roster would drop a set to their Pool C opponents.
Pistola and company went undefeated in their group to secure themselves a spot in round two, where OpTic awaits the winner of eUnited and G1.
Pioneers Shine in Pool D
3-0 in Pool Play to kickoff #HCSAnaheim2022
— Pioneers (@PioneersGG) February 12, 2022
Two teams stood out in Pool D—arguably the most balanced group of the weekend. The decision ultimately came down to Pioneers and eUnited. Both teams were 2-0 heading into their prime time match on Friday evening. Pioneers started hot, winning two consecutive games and putting eUnited in a precarious position.
The eUnited squad mounted a comeback and tied the series but ultimately fell to Pioneers 3-2. Pioneers will play the winner of G2 Esports and Esports Arena Red in tomorrow's Championship Bracket.
Championship Bracket Set for Saturday
Here is a look at the bracket as it stands heading into Saturday at HCS Anaheim per the league's Twitter account:
— Halo Esports (@HCS) February 12, 2022
Tomorrow's action promises an exciting affair between North America's best Halo Infinite teams. Remember, Twitch Drops are available all weekend. Be sure to check out our guide where we explain how you can unlock the weapon skins, nameplate, emblem and celebration. It's worth noting that you'll need to watch a partnered co-streamer to secure the nameplate and emblem.
We'll be sure to keep you up to date with significant HCS Anaheim storylines as they develop throughout the weekend.
Featured Image: HCS