OpTic Gaming - 2022 Halo World Champions
(Gray News) - The Halo Championship Series (HCS) concluded Sunday evening, with OpTic Gaming winning the Halo World Championship Grand Finals. The inaugural Halo Infinite 2022 Halo World Championship took place in Seattle from October 21-23.
The OpTic Gaming championship team members are players Bradley ‘aPG’ Laws, Matt ‘FormaL’ Piper, Tommy ‘Lucid’ Wilson, and Joey ‘Trippy’ Taylor, with Jason ‘Lunchbox’ Brown taking the role of coach. Their performance was nothing short of dominant as they sought to cement their legacy in the world of professional Halo. But like any championship squad, there was adversity to overcome.
From the beginning of the season, Justin ‘iGotUrPistola’ Deese was on the active four-person roster with Wilson, Taylor, and Laws. OpTic Gaming started the HCS regular season commanding online play. They won the first two events in the HCS North American Pro Series and placed second in the Raleigh Major Qualifier. No one could question their ability until the time came for the first LAN event. Local Area Network (LAN) is a technical term that’s abbreviation was adopted by the gaming world to reference competitive events occurring in person at a single location, not over the internet.
In the December HCS Raleigh Major, OpTic placed 5-6. A result that didn’t reflect the level of play they had achieved in online events.
During this tournament, Piper left retirement and reentered competitive Halo joining Sentinels as a temporary substitute, replacing Mathew ‘Royal2′ Fiorante on the starting four-person roster.
After Raleigh, OpTic still demonstrated strength in online play, gaining several second-place finishes. They even managed to take second in HCS Anaheim, which was the second LAN event of the season. But as often happens with the flexibility of esports rosters, there is always a temptation to test a team’s true potential.
When Fiorante returned to Sentinels from suspension and Piper was released from his temporary substitute position on Sentinels, OpTic’s opportunity for a shift presented itself. On February 18th, OpTic announced they would move Deese into a substitute position and Piper onto the active four-person roster. A shock to many, given OpTic had just placed second in Anaheim five days earlier, and Deese was an adept Halo professional. OpTic now had to prove that they had made the right call.
The HCS Kansas City Major was the first LAN tournament OpTic competed in since the roster change. OpTic cruised through the group stage, a round-robin best-of-five series, without dropping a single map. They moved through the winner’s bracket, making it to Winner’s Finals, where they lost 2-3 to Sentinels. Falling to Loser’s Finals, the situation worsened when they didn’t win a single map against Cloud9, finishing 3rd overall. Seeds of doubt started to grow as OpTic seemingly couldn’t make it over the finish line in a Major LAN event.
OpTic pushed past the fan’s doubts about their LAN ability and continued their high level of online play, placing first in all but one of the remaining HCS North America Pro Series. The one they failed to win, they got second, falling once again to Cloud9.
The HCS Major Orlando, the season’s final Major, came in September. OpTic Gaming was ready. Once again, they breezed through the Group Stage. They dictated the level of play throughout the winner’s bracket, only dropping one map on their way to the Grand Finals. There they met Cloud9 again, and this time they wouldn’t falter. Finishing the best-of-seven with a 4-1 record, they took home their first Major of the season.
Piper joined rarified air, having earned a Major win in two separate Esports Leagues (HCS and Call of Duty World League). Wilson and Taylor gained their first win in a Major, and Laws further cemented his legacy in competitive Halo.
This may seem like an adequate stopping point and a notable enough accomplishment. Ask OpTic; the words ‘adequate’ and ‘enough’ appear to be missing from their lexicon.
The Halo World Championship was the last opportunity for Sentinels, FaZe Clan, and Cloud9 to dethrone the newly minted champion in OpTic. The Group Stage again came and went for OpTic with minimal resistance, only dropping one map to Native Gaming Red.
The Winner’s Bracket came, and OpTic remained unblemished. In each best of five, they claimed a 3-0 victory. They took down Gamers First in round 1, Sentinels in round 3, and Native Gaming Red in round 5. During their Winner’s bracket run, Tommy ‘Lucid’ Wilson was awarded Main Slayer on top of being the regular season MVP.
Grand Finals arrived, and all eyes were on OpTic and Cloud9. Could Cloud9 pull off a comeback from the Losers Bracket? They would have to beat OpTic in two best-of-sevens to claim a successful upset and the title of World Champion. OpTic pulled ahead first with a win on map one. Cloud9 quickly retaliated, winning four maps in a row and taking the first best-of-seven.
OpTic remained composed going into the Grand Final Reset. One best-of-seven was left to decide who would lift the Halo World Championship trophy. Map one looked close as Cloud9 fought back to push a round 3 in Oddball. Map two OpTic earned a Steaktacular, an achievement gained by outscoring an opponent by 60% or more in the game mode Slayer. At this point, the writing was on the wall. Map three saw OpTic fight to a 250-173 win in Strongholds. Map four OpTic held on and won 3-2 in King of the Hill even after they prematurely celebrated when time ran out, thinking the round had ended.
OpTic Gaming are your 2022 Halo World Champions, and it’s safe to say they show up to command play online or at LAN.
Your next chance to watch them play live will be during the OpTic Halo Invitational this December 10-11. The offseason event will be at Esports Stadium Arlington. Tickets are now on sale.
Gray Television is an investor in OpTic Gaming.
Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.