Cloud9 Win Halo Infinite Kickoff Major Trophy

Cloud9 Win Halo Infinite Kickoff Major Trophy

Cloud9 defeated eUnited with a score of 4-1 to secure the first trophy of the new Halo: Infinite competitive series.

Cloud9 defeated eUnited in Halo Championship Series Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021’s grand finals to secure the first trophy of the new Halo: Infinite competitive series.

Favourites Slip, Underdogs Shine

The Halo Championship Series returned with the HCS Raleigh Kickoff Major 2021 last week, featuring some of the best Halo esports teams in the world who competed for the coveted title and the lion’s share of the $250,000 prize pool. The tournament kicked off on December 17 and concluded on December 19, with the grand finals between eUnited and Cloud9.

The first Halo: Infinite LAN tournament was one to remember, providing the fans with the ultimate experience. As one of the most anticipated esports tournaments, the Raleigh Major saw six-figure viewership over the weekend and sold-out venues as thousands of fans watched the world’s best Halo teams compete for the title.

It all began with a 200+ team Open Bracket, which quickly dwindled to 32-team Championship Bracket. The field included teams from Europe, North America, and Australia, who fought their way through the double-elimination bracket.

All the eyes were on the veteran lineups of OpTic, Sentinels, and FaZe Clan. But despite their recognition and championship-caliber roster, neither managed to deliver to the expectations.

OpTic, Sentinels, and FaZe Clan all exited the tournament with a top-six finish, leaving the doors wide open for the outsiders to make some noise.

As one of the underdogs, Cloud9, grabbed the opportunity with both hands and paved their way to the grand finals, where they rounded up their quest for the title with a clean 4-1 victory over eUnited.

A Near-Perfect Run

Cloud9 started their journey to the HCS Kickoff Major title in Group D, alongside Spacestation Gaming, Acend, and XSET. And it quickly became evident that Cloud9 mean business.

The boys in blue ended the group stage with a perfect 3-0 record and a 9-2 map differential, as they faced little to no resistance from their opponents. And they did not show any signs of stopping in the playoffs.

In the second round of the Winners Bracket, Cloud9 stomped Team War with 3-0. To that, they added another convincing 3-1 win against Quadrant in the third round to book a meeting with OpTic Gaming.

Expected to struggle against the veteran lineup of OpTic, Cloud9 proved all the doubters wrong and edged out a 3-2 victory. With that, Cloud9 advanced into the Winners Finals, where they met with eUnited, who, like OpTic, stood no chance.

Cloud9 defeated eUnited 3-1 and reached the grand finals of the Kickoff Major.

Despite the painful loss against C9 in the Winner’s Bracket, eUnited dusted themselves off and delivered in the Losers Finals. They edged past FaZe Clan with 3-2, denied one of the favorites a spot on the big stage, and booked a rematch with Cloud9.

Unfortunately, eUnited were unable to improve upon their showings in the Winners Finals.

Cloud9 Take Home The Trophy

The best-of-seven (Bo7) HCS Kickoff Major finals saw Cloud9 set the tone early, with a commanding Oddball win on Streets, to take a 1-0 series lead. Slayer on Recharge proved much closer, but C9 again proved their quality as they edged out a 46-45 win.

Cloud9 entered Strongholds on Live Fire with the wind in their sails, taking a quick 60 points lead, which eUnited eventually managed to catch up to. But they couldn’t close it out, as eUnited had to admit defeat to Cloud9, who closed it out 250-157.

At this point, the situation seemed doomed for eUnited, who needed four straight maps to steal the title. However, against all the odds, eUnited found some traction on CTF on Aquarius, where they won their first map of the series.

Unfortunately, it was too late, too little. The grand finals came down to Slayer on Bazaar, where Cloud9 produced an awe-inspiring performance.

They stomped eUnited with 50-36 and closed out the deal in style to win their first Halo esports trophy with a commanding 4-1 grand finals victory.

Cloud9 ended the HCS Kickoff Major with a phenomenal 7-0 series record while dropping only six maps across the entire tournament. Their performances earned C9 the inaugural Halo: Infinite Major trophy and $140,000 in tournament winnings, while eUnited got sent home with an $84,000 consolation prize.

The next Major of the HCS 2021/22 season is the HCS Major Kansas City 2022, slated for April 29 – May 1 in Kansas City, United States. Like the inaugural Major, it will be held on LAN, with a $250,000 prize pool.