HCS Anaheim - will it be another Cloud9 victory?
Halo is officially returning to Anaheim! Well..mostly. While it's not the massive LAN event that HCS Raleigh was, Anaheim is still the second big event in the new and improved circuit for Halo Infinite. Oh and there's $125,000 minimum up for grabs.
I think we all know we'd be lying if we didn't expect Cloud9 to win it all, however, wilder things have happened! The team has dominated on all fronts following their victory in Raleigh and done it mostly uncontested. No, seriously, they beat OpTic 3-0 twice, FaZe 3-0, and Sentinels 3-1 in the finals of the four HCS Pro Series events.
Even with that said, Sentinels and OpTic, could still be the squads with the best shot of taking down the titans. We'd be remiss to leave out FaZe Clan though from the contenders' pool, as they certainly have some firepower and can never be counted out as was proven by their finals appearance in the third Pro Series.
The other big story is Sentinels get their chance to show what they look like with Royal2 back in the roster after the fiasco that landed FormaL on their roster for Raleigh and previous online events.
Regardless of your expectations heading into the event, Anaheim is going to provide the best Halo around and I mean, what more could you ask for?
VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers 1 could be the most competitive event yet
If you thought the VCT NA Open Qualifiers were good...you're in for a treat. All those teams that fought tooth & nail for one of the eight coveted spots available for Stage 1 Challengers 1 will now join the region's top four teams.
If you were watching the Open Qualifiers, then you know it was an absolute bloodbath. Teams were taking unexpected maps, match losses, and nothing came easy for just about any team. It was truly anyone's event and it felt like it.
Ultimately it was The Guard, NRG, Version1, XSET, Evil Geniuses, Knights, Luminosity, and Rise were able to secure their place, joining Sentinels, Envy, 100 Thieves, and Cloud9 at the main Challengers event this weekend.
In addition to the $200,000 prize pool, the top two teams will get a direct berth into the Stage 1 Masters event in April.
Before the Open Qualifiers, you'd have been best to put your money on one of the four invited teams...but now, well, we're not so sure it's so certain.
Esports to Watch
Rainbow Six Invitational
If you're a Rainbow Six fan, it's the peak of your esports year. With $3 million on the line, the Six Invitational is raging on, however, the previous champions are not. NiP are looking rather lackluster in their attempt at a back-to-back championship. DWGKIA has looked impressive, however, and may be a real contender to take the whole thing. Either way, watching the best in the world compete is something you don't want to miss. Watch.
CDL season continues into week 2
Plenty of Call of Duty action this weekend with 10 matches set to take place from Friday to Sunday. The Surge, FaZe, Rokkr, Breach, and Royal Ravens aim to keep their clean records, but it won't be possible for some. Surge will take on Rokkr on day one of week 2, meaning someone is getting a notch in the loss column. FaZe will go up against Breach on Saturday in the same situation if Boston earns a win on Friday against Paris. Find out.
LoL continues across all regions
Things are truly taking off in League of Legends as each region gets into the swing of things. With how much LoL there is going on, you can always find a match worth watching. We have to know though, will T1 finally lose? Don't miss it.