North America’s Halo dominance is being challenged by Europe's third seed.
Halo Infinites second Major tournament has begun in Kansas City, with pool play deciding which of the top teams will start tomorrows championship run in the winners bracket.
In Pool C, North American rosters eUnited and G2 Esports were predicted to take the top two spots in their pool and qualify for that winners bracket, but the all-French Quadrant roster had other ideas. In Pool Cs first match of the day, Quadrant confidently took down G2 in a convincing 3-1 best-of-five set.
Halo has long been a franchise where its competitive scene has been dictated by its North American region, but day ones pool play at HCS Kansas City has shown that Europes representatives are closing the gap. With G2 defeated, Quadrant has a high chance of stealing away a top-two finish in Pool C and giving themselves a better chance for a strong showing tomorrow with the unlikely cushion of a start in the winners bracket.
The set was a tale of contrasting fortunes for G2, with a standout performance from Sabinater ultimately held back by the rest of the team struggling. But when it began, Strongholds on Streets for game one looked to set up an easy series win for G2. The North American sides objective efficiency gave them a lead that Quadrant could never claw back from, with a plethora of triple caps and spawn rotations preventing Quadrant from building a setup of their own. Sabinater led the lobby with 19 kills to his name, while Fragxr and SLGs respective six and eight kills on the side of Quadrant show the French teams struggles to get on the board.
G2s good fortunes in game one proved to be an outlier, though. The momentum was quickly shifted in Quadrants favor in game two, as they took Slayer on Live Fire in a confident 50-35 fashion. CTF on Aquarius and Oddball on Live Fire were similar stories of success for Quadrant. Whatever objective efficiency or aggression they had lacked in Strongholds came into fruition following their Slayer win, with Capture The Flag falling their way 3-1 and G2 offering little contest to Quadrants 2-0 Oddball performance that secured them the set win.
Despite difficulties on the first map in the slaying department, Quadrants ability to push as a team and catch G2 players out on rotations was key to their dominance in the rest of the set. Sabinater continued to put up good numbers for his team despite the heavy losses, finishing the set with a 1.19 K/D overall, but Str8 Sicks -2.33 KDA and Tusks -3.33 KDA showed the challenges G2 faced in converting kills as a unit.
Quadrant did not have a standout player in the same fashion, instead of taking the set win behind equivalently strong performances from all four players. Shaady was the only player to finish with a slightly negative K/D at 0.98, and only Fragxr held a K/D higher than G2s Sabinater after their victory with a 1.2, but the rosters 153 assists overshadowed G2s by almost 40 and showed the importance of team synergy to take the win.
Speaking to LVT Productions following the match, Quadrants SLG said they were “quite underestimated by most of the teams” and that they were “pretty confident against G2. He also pointed to the Kansas City Pioneers’ recent tournament bootcamp, held at the Kauffman Stadium, as a key part of where that confidence came from.
The KCP bootcamp helped us a lot, especially because we got to practice against OpTic, FaZe, KCP it was really good practice and gave us time to adapt to the jetlag as well, SLG said.