The stage is set for an exciting finale at HCS Anaheim 2022.
Day two of the action pitted more of North America’s top Halo Infinite teams against one another. Following Friday’s Group Stage, highly ranked teams such as Cloud9, FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming found themselves in round two of the upper bracket. All three finished pool play with the best record in their four-team group.
Those results granted C9, FaZe, OpTic and Pioneers the opportunity to survey the competition on day two. Bracket play produced upsets galore and some truly competitive matches. Let’s see how the second day of HCS Anaheim played out as we get ready for Championship Sunday.
Cloud9 and OpTic Reach Winner’s Finals
As fate would have it, C9 and OpTic began the Championship Bracket on separate sides. Both teams had to overcome stiff competition if they hoped to meet in the winner's finals. On that note, Cloud9 took care of business against FNATIC in a surprisingly close 3-2 series before sending Pioneers to the lower bracket 3-1.
Meanwhile, OpTic had the challenging task of defeating eUnited and Sentinels in back-to-back series. OpTic defeated eUnited 3-1 and went to a decisive game five against Sentinels, where OpTic narrowly escaped. In a matchup most fans anticipated, OpTic will once again look to overcome the juggernaut that is Cloud9. The winner will secure a spot in Grand Finals and at least a top-two finish.
FaZe Clan Sent Home in Loser’s Round Three
FaZe Clan was unquestionably one of the favorites to run the table in Anaheim based on their recent performances. Their 4-0 record in the Group Stage reinstilled that notion. However, Snip3down and company struggled on day two; FaZe fell to Sentinels 3-2 in a close series before rebounding against UYU in their first loser’s bracket match.
Unfortunately, that was the only positive outcome for FaZe Clan on day two. They faced eUnited in losers' round three, dropping another close 3-2 series. FaZe heads back to the drawing board with a top-eight finish and $3.6K USD.
Pioneers vs. eUnited and Sentinels vs. G2 Esports Set for Sunday Loser’s Bracket Action
A Pool D rematch between Pioneers and eUnited opens Championship Sunday tomorrow. Last time out, Pioneers defeated eUnited in a razor thin series. The latter has the chance to avenge that loss and advance to the loser’s semi-finals.
On the other side, Sentinels and G2 Esports will square off with the same goal in mind. Sentinels are the favorites, but G2 has performed extremely well the entire weekend. Their run thus far included a win over Esports Arena Red, Oxygen Esports, and XSET—all of which were 3-0 victories. G2’s only blemish in bracket play occurred against Pioneers, who took them to a game five.
An Exciting Finish Lies Ahead
Cloud9 is still firmly in the driver’s seat despite small bouts of mortality. They’ve dropped only four matches the entire weekend and have defeated OpTic in every tournament meeting this year. OpTic could be the one to dethrone Cloud9, but that result requires near-perfection.
The loser’s bracket will be a show worth watching. Many talented teams are remaining, and every one of them wants the $54K USD grand prize.
Be sure to tune into Championship Sunday at HCS Anaheim tomorrow beginning at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET on Halo’s Twitch channel. Remember, Twitch Drops are still active, so check out our article explaining how to unlock free in-game Halo Infinite rewards.
Featured Image: HCS