FABe were definitely the favorites coming into Fall Finals, but I certainly did not expect them to have a 100% map win rate. After coming off of a Las Vegas tournament where they faced significantly stronger North American competition, FABe was hoping to take what they learned and dominate the EU field. Their plan worked to perfection, allowing the Ground Pound King and company to stifle the competition map to map.
The runners up to FABe, Team Infused, got off to a late start even after first beating Team Vibe 4-2. After facing FABe in the Winners Bracket Finals and getting a swift 4-0, fan favorite Ryan “Batchford” Batchelor got hot against the French side in PuLse leading desk host Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner to name him “Lanford.”
Team Infused had a promising run and with a lot of momentum going into the Grand Finals I thought they could take at least a few maps off of FABe, but it just was not meant to be. Still, a second place finish when most predictions had them going fourth is a great achievement for such a young roster.
Everyone had high expectations for Team Vibe and PuLse Gaming coming into the event, but both teams disappointed in different ways. Vibe was unable to defeat Infused or PuLse, leading to an early event exit for SeptiQ’s wonder squad but it does not readily appear what roster changes might occur because of this.
PuLse Gaming fared better with a series win against Vibe, but the French roster was uncompetitive against the FABe juggernaut and lost convincingly to Infused. Considering they came into the event with a losing record, taking third is a feat for PuLse and I assume they would stay together for Worlds.
A lot of talk was made about the relegation aspect of the EU and NA as there looked to be some vulnerability among the pro ranks. Pro team Prophecy lost their spot to a stacked AM team in Bittersweet after failing to record a single series win the entire season. What makes this result especially relevant is that Prophecy featured the Buk Brothers who were once a key part of the legendary Epsilon Esports roster at the Halo World Championship placing Top 8 next to Jimbo and Snipedrone. After their lackluster performance, Buk57 tweeted out that they would be sitting on the sidelines for a break until new settings and venues were announced.
VwS Gaming whose players have often been criticized for their lack of professionalism, was able to hold on to their spot going into the presumed Winter season.
For the Future
FABe will be riding a lot of momentum from this win going into either a winter season or qualifcations for the Halo World Championship 2017. The other squads obviously have their work cut out for them after being absolutely destroyed by FABe and thanks to Vegas we know a top tier EU team is equivalent to a low end North American pro team.
There is no word on future European events, but we do know the future of Halo will be seen at HCS NA Fall Finals.
Can anyone stop FABe? Let us know in the comments!