The North American Regional Finals of the Halo Championship Series kicked off today in Anaheim, California, with pool play that will decide the state of Saturday’s championship bracket.
Pool D, featuring teams such as Pioneers and eUnited, was thought to be the pool of death ahead of the weekend, but Pool B ended up providing the most surprising results of day one. FaZe Clan continued their streak of success with a dominant 3-0 result that put them comfortably at the top of the pool. But Spacestation Gaming, who came into the weekend as the second seed of Pool B, faltered in close sets against both Fnatic and G1. They ended the day in fourth place with zero series wins.
Fnatic’s roster had the most to prove coming into HCS Anaheim. As the final partnered organization to pick up a Halo Infinite roster, initial performances during the HCS Pro Series in January did not suggest patience had paid off. Fnatic failed to qualify through the Pro Series and had to compete in the open bracket qualifiers to secure a spot at Anaheim.
Despite the lack of expectations, the roster bounced back from a quick loss to FaZe at the beginning of the day to take Spacestation through a five-game series. Both teams went into the set off the back of a loss, Spacestation having also been dealt a blow already by losing against the third seed G1 in four games. It was tightly contested throughout, but Fnatic closed out a nail-biting Slayer on Live Fire 50-48 to knock Spacestation to the bottom of the pool.
FaZe’s day through the pool was uneventful in comparison to the shifts and upsets between the three teams beneath them. Arriving at HCS Anaheim with the second seed in the tournament, pool play was expected to pull in their favor, and they delivered with a flawless day of competition. FaZe didn’t drop a single map, a 9-0 performance that was only matched by OpTic Gaming at the top of Pool C. By finishing Friday first in their pool, FaZe will start the championship bracket tomorrow in winners bracket round two, effectively getting a bye round.
Spacestation had been predicted to join FaZe in the winners bracket, but their fall to the bottom of Pool B means that they will instead have to fight through the losers bracket for a chance at a high tournament placement. Fnatic’s wins over Spacestation and G1 mean that despite being one of the lowest qualifying seeds, they will start day two at HCS Anaheim with a favorable placement in the winners bracket as well.
You can catch more of the Halo Infinite action this weekend as the teams fight through the championship bracket for a shot at the lion’s share of $150,000.