What did Acend do to assert themselves in the EU HCS Pro Series
We are still a few weeks away from the European Regional Finals staged in Valencia for Halo Infinite and the final week of the HCS Pro Series online split saw Acend state once more themselves as the top team in the region.
The grand finals put Acend’s new roster up against a pretty new team in Online Warriors, a team that now included their previous player Shaady, who had been dropped by Acend in the split’s first week following a brutal loss against Quadrant. An early lead in favor of the Online Warriors set the path for Shaady’s vengeance plan against his old team, but it was instead Acend’s comeback tour that was written in the script. Acend had never lost a series before in Europe until the crushing defeat against Quadrant, and with Respectful now fully online with the team, it looks like the powerhouse is back to their usual winning ways.
As seen in the following, that first win definitely gave Online Warriors a false sense of victory:
Game 1: Strongholds on Streets (Online Warriors win 250-225)
Game 2: Slayer on Live Fire (Acend win 50-24)
Game 3: Capture the Flag on Bazaar (Acend win 3-1)
Game 4: King of the Hill on Live Fire (Acend win 4-3)
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Despite the series ending showing what appears to be a confident walk for Acend, objective game modes were quite messy for both teams, as communication and control was thrown out the window in favor of mechanical skill. Acend only narrowly managed to prevent the best-of-five series going to a decisive game five against Online Warriors, who almost took the win in King of the Hill thanks to a SoSnakey’s incredible 30 kill performance in what would end up being the final match.
However all of these were soon to change, where a grand finals matchup that was otherwise dictated by a competitive tug of war transformed into an Acend highlight compilation. With no objective to play for and the power positions absolutely in Acend’s control, they demolished Online Warriors by over 25 kills. Lqgend and Snipedrone finished strong with 2.5 and 2.6 K/D’s respectively.
The last two victories in this and last week’s HCS Pro Series tournaments managed to send Acend in a perfect position prior to HCS Valencia. Starting soon over the weekend of July 1st to July 3rd, HCS Valencia is European Halo’s first stage to face off against one another in an actual LAN environment in a non-international setup. Four teams are looking for the coveted trophy: Acend, Quadrant, NAVI, and Online Warriors.
Respectful their newest player, announced after the grand finals victory over Online Warriors that his spot on Acend is now official, with a contract finally secured before the team flies to Valencia.
If the team manages to take home the trophy and a share of the $100,000 prize pool, they can definitely look towards the World Championship later this year with absolute confidence.