The Halo Championship Series (HCS) has just crowned its newest champion: TOX Gaming! The veteran squad took home the trophy and the $60,000 prize after defeating long-time rivals and former champions Splyce in an action-packed match in London, capping off the largest open Halo tournament in European history.
Let’s recap how this epic day unfolded!
Match 1: Excelerate vs Trifecta
Championship Sunday had a strong start when Excelerate proved to be just too good for Trifecta and swept the first series with a decisive 3-0 victory.
Match 2: Splyce vs Elevate
After a shocking loss to Reciprocity on Saturday, Splyce came to their first Sunday match-up ready to prove that the previous day’s shake-up had been nothing but a fluke. With a smooth triple kill by Eco, the champions reminded the entire competition why they are considered by many to be the best Halo team in the world, winning their first series in the Elimination Bracket with a 3-0 victory.
Match 3: Renegades vs Excelerate
In a highly competitive series that saw both teams shine and show off their respective prowess, the five-game battle saw intense slaying action and well-matched skill. The young Renegades roster was able to take the upper hand in the final match and closed the curtain on Excelerate 3-2.
Match 4: Renegades vs Splyce
Splyce continued their run through the Elimination bracket and found themselves facing a formidable foe in Renegades. Renegades would match Splyce on wins with an impressive Game Two push, however they could not go the distance. Splyce picked up the pace in the third game and delivered on two overkills which ultimately closed the series with a Splyce win, 3-1.
It was the end of the run for Renegades, but the promising roster had picked up a game against Splyce and left their mark at HCS London.
Match 5: Reciprocity vs TOX
The first Sunday match of the Championship bracket, and an impressive best-of-seven game, this was one for the record books.
Reciprocity was looking strong straight out of the gate, drawing first blood and a solid 2-0 start that was impressive against two-time world champs TOX Gaming. However, TOX was not to be outdone, and their counteroffensive in the next two games saw them equalize the score at 2-2. This momentum would ultimately carry them even further as TOX picked up another win to set them up for a climactic clash in Game Six, Oddball.
Trading the ball back and forth, this final game would remind everyone why these two teams both deserve to be in the Championship bracket. At the end, TOX would emerge victorious and secure their place in the Grand Finals.
Reciprocity, battered but not broken, would still have a chance to stay in the competition if they could win their next match against Splyce, a team they had already beaten once before.
Unfortunately for them, Splyce was looking for revenge…
Match 6: Reciprocity vs Splyce
The grudge match that no one had expected going into HCS London, this second meeting would ask Splyce to prove that their upset had been nothing more than a fluke. They responded with a decisive and dominating 4-0 win that reminded everyone of the skill of their talented roster. And this time, not even the talent of Snip3down & company could stop them.
Still, Reciprocity’s HCS legacy would remain, and for those who had questioned their abilities coming out of HCS New Orleans, the solid third-place end would prove that Team Reciprocity was a solid contender at the top-most levels of competitive Halo.
For Splyce, their win meant they would once more be in the finals of an HCS facing their longtime rivals, TOX.
Grand Finals: TOX vs Splyce
Splyce versus TOX, the two best Halo teams once more found themselves destined to be the finalists of HCS London. And what a final it was!
It was the match-up that many had expected, and yet no one could have predicted how different the journey would be for these two teams. For TOX, their placement in the Champ bracket meant that they only needed to win one series to be crowned champions. If Splyce wanted the win, they would need to work hard and lock down a two-series win to take the crown for themselves.
Splyce arrived at the match with the confidence of their previous wins, and the momentum to push through a stunningly dominant display of skill. The first series was snapped up quickly in a 4-0 Splyce victory that seemed to have TOX on the back-foot.
It appeared that history would repeat itself again and Splyce would defeat TOX on the finals once again. But nothing could have prepared anyone for what was about to come. Series 2 saw a revitalized TOX enter the arena. They took game one and immediately got the crowd on their side. Their energy built from there, and with each successive win, the intensity grew.
But their wins would continue to be hard-fought as Splyce maintained their pressure. Game two was by far the most tense and competitive and saw both teams down to the wire, only one kill away from victory. It was a well place shot from TOX that once again closed the match in their favor.
Game three was similarly tight, but TOX kept their composure and, working as a team, were able to best the champions, 3-0.
By then the atmosphere at the Gfinity arena had gone from simmering intensity to crazy wild.
Game Four, Capture the Flag on Refuge, would be the landscape for this most final of Finals. With snipers going into the hands of Royal2 and Frosty early in the game, the tone was set almost from the beginning. With each successful snipe, the crowd would begin to cheer, and the energy only seemed to bolster TOX’s talent. Frosty had what was perhaps the most perfect run of Halo ever seen in competitive play, and his insane cross-map headshots not only meant his team could land the important second flag capture, but his awareness of teamplay also meant that when he was needed, he could lend a hand to move the flag across the map.
In the end, with one minute to go on the clock, it was Snakebite’s final push that landed the third flag capture and secured Tox’s victory over Splyce. And for the first time in many competitions, it was TOX Gaming who was HCS Champion!
After many second-place finishes they had overcome what seemed to be the impossible, and for TOX and its players; Lethul, Frosty, Snakebite, Royal 2 & Chris Royal this victory was them returning to their days as champions, stepping out of Splyce’s shadow.
And so the stage is set: HCS London is now finished, a new team wears the winner’s crown, and the competitive Halo scene heads to Atlanta for the HCS Finals. Who knows what other surprises lie for us there?