No one expected OpTic Gaming versus Sentinels this early in the going at Halo Infinite’s first Major of the season.
The stars aligned following Sentinels’ Pool Play forfeit and subsequent undefeated Open Bracket run. Most viewers anticipated seeing the match in the Grand Finals. Instead, it occured in round two of the Championship Bracket. Both teams were in an ideal position; OpTic and Sentinels managed undefeated records en route to their inevitable collision.
Viewership on the HCS mainstream surpassed 80K during the match. Sentinels hoped to overcome OpTic Gaming and the Green Wall with Matthew “FormaL” Piper in place of Mathew “Royal 2” Fiorante — who is currently serving a 45-day suspension following a server manipulation ruling.
On paper, the series promised to deliver a back-and-forth five-game marathon. However, it was a rather one-sided affair, and Twitter came out in droves with its reactions to the outcome.
OpTic Gaming Sweeps Sentinels 3-0
— OpTic Gaming™ (@OpTic) December 18, 2021
Two-time HCS Online Champions OpTic Gaming and Sentinels respectively had all the confidence in the world heading into their highly-anticipated showdown. However, OpTic performed on a different level. Pistola, aPG, Lucid and Trippy dismantled their worthy adversaries in only three maps.
— Halo Esports #HCS (@HCS) December 18, 2021
OpTic shut out Sentinels in match one — CTF on Aquarius — with a final score of 2-0. More of the same occurred in game two, as OpTic took down Sentinels 50-36 in Slayer on Streets. Sentinels showed signs of life in the final match of the set. However, OpTic came through in the clutch, earning a 2-0 victory and the series win in Oddball on Live Fire.
In a post-match interview, Lucid commented on OpTic’s mentality heading into the series:
“The mindset for us was to treat them [Sentinels] like any other team,” he said. “We’ve had losses in the past few weeks, and we know that if we are struggling, we are going to crumble. We’ve been working on that and staying focused. It doesn’t matter what team it is. We need to treat them all the same and do what we need to do.”
— OpTic aPG HECZ (@H3CZ) December 18, 2021
OpTic Gaming President — Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez — took to Twitter, stating simply, “OMFG,” in reaction to his team’s triumph over rival Sentinels.
Bittersweet W over @FormaL and the Sentinels crew. We know they can be stronger at full strength. Still happy the boys completed such a strong 3-0 victory. Moving on in Championship bracket. #OpTicHalo #GreenWall
— Mike Rufail (@hastr0) December 18, 2021
Co-Owner and Chief Gaming Officer Mike “hastr0” Rufail called the victory “bittersweet,” referencing FormaL’s position as an OpTic content creator. “We know they can be stronger at full strength. Still happy the boys completed such a strong 3-0 victory. Moving on in Championship bracket.”
Damn GGs OpTic they were gross, we begin our losers bracket run now let’s see what we can do
— OpTic FormaL (@FormaL) December 18, 2021
Sentinels substitute FormaL reflected on the series, stating, “Damn GGs OpTic they were gross, we begin our losers bracket run now let’s see what we can do.”
The road to Grand Finals for Sentinels just became a bit more challenging. They’ll have to make a loser’s bracket run while OpTic Gaming remains in the winner’s bracket. Anything can happen at this point in the competition, but the OpTic squad looks exceptional thus far.
Feature Image: HCS