HCS Fort Worth Major Starts this Weekend
(Gray News) - The final Major of the 2023 Halo Championship Series (HCS) starts September 1st in Fort Worth, Texas. The main 4v4 tournament has a $250,000 prize pool and a guaranteed spot at the HCS World Championship in October for any team finishing in the top eight. Those top eight teams will receive seeding for the HCS World Championship based on where they finished.
Alongside the main tournament, there is a free-for-all (FFA) tournament with a $5,000 prize pool and multiple smaller tournaments that include 2v2s in older iterations of the Halo franchise. While the smaller tournaments have less money on the line, the FFA tournament also promises travel coverage for the top six players in Forth Worth to compete for $25,000 at the FFA World Championship.
Most fans are gearing up to watch how the final chapter of the HCS regular season will go this weekend. The Open Bracket on Friday decides which four teams round out the final spots in each pool for the Pool Play round of the tournament. Pre-qualified teams have already been placed into their pool and are preparing for their initial matches on Friday.
|Spacestation Gaming (SSG)||NA|
|Natus Vincere (NAVI)||EU|
Spacestation Gaming (SSG) is the powerhouse of this pool, and it’s not even close. They finished 3rd at the Charlotte Kickoff Major and second at the Arlington Major. They most recently swept Sentinels to win in the Grand Finals at their own Global invitational in Salt Lake City. Cloud9 is the second-best in this pool, with their best result this season being a 5-6th finish at the Arlington Major. As for Natus Vincere (NAVI), they have struggled to find relevancy at a Major this season.
Sentinels have the edge in this pool due to their recent performances at the Arlinton Major, finishing fourth, and the SSG Global Invitation, finishing second. Complexity has consistently placed 7-8th at every Major so far this season, with this being the first major they won’t have to compete in the Open Bracket. Impact Team failed to make it out of Pool Play at the SSG Global Invitational, so they don’t seem to pose a significant threat, but they also pre-qualified for a Major for the first time this season.
|Native Gaming Red||NA|
FaZe Clan will likely take the top spot for Pool C, as they have been impressively consistent all season. Placing second at the Kickoff Major and winning the Arlington Major, when it comes to Majors, they usually have the sauce. Native Gaming Red missed the season’s first major, but they have recently found themselves progressively going deeper into Brackets. Alpha Esports is relatively unknown but pre-qualified based on placing first in HCS Points in the Mexico region.
OpTic should come out of this pool on top, but Quadrant is more than capable of snatching it away. OpTic started the season hot, with a victory at the Kickoff Major, but they have also found themselves falling flat as of late. A 5-6th place finish at the Arlington Major was a tough pill to swallow as the tournament took place in their backyard. Their team has proven they are an elite squad capable of greatness, but this weekend will determine if they have gotten past their rough patch.
Quadrant has been performing well in the latter part of the season, most notably, a 3rd place finish at the Arlington Major and a 5-6th at the SSG Global Invitational. Mindfreak is a dominant team in the Australia and New Zealand region (ANZ), but that hasn’t translated into an invitation to any previous Majors. It will be interesting to see how they stack up this weekend.
To fill out the four spots still available in the Pool Play round of the tournament, an Open Bracket will take place on Friday. The Open Bracket includes teams that register and travel to Fort Worth to take part. Six teams had their travel covered by the HCS based on placements to participate in the Open Bracket.
TRAVEL COVERED TEAMS
Following the Pool Play portion of the tournament, teams proceed to a Championship bracket based on how they finished in their pool. The top 2 teams from each pool will make the Upper Bracket. The team placing third in their pool will start in the Lower Bracket, while the loser of each pool will be eliminated from the tournament altogether. The Championship bracket will be played on Saturday and Sunday, with the Grand Finals on Sunday evening.
To watch all the HCS action this weekend, tune into the official HCS Youtube Broadcast or the HCS Twitch Stream. The HCS Fort Worth Major starts Friday, September 1st, and will conclude Sunday, September 3rd. Coverage will begin in the morning of each day and go all day.
Gray Television is an investor in OpTic Gaming.
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