Fnatic, LowLandLions and Power Gaming will all be challenging the dominant North American community after Power Gaming finished a stunning 19th place at the previous tournament in Anaheim, California. Their success has been well documented by console press resulting in two further European organisations confirming their teams attendance at the final stop of the year where $100,000 will be handed to the tournament winners.
While the Fnatic side is relatively new, and previously of SK Gaming, they hit Multiplay i38 hard immediately walking through the upper bracket to meet up with rivals Power Gaming. Losing a close three games to two initially shown the all-stars weren't as far ahead as many had thought, although that all changed when Power Gaming eased to victory in the grand final later in the tournament three games to nil.
LowLandLions have been together for over a year and were last seen back in April at Multiplay's i36. Nobody knows what to expect from the Dutch side who have missed several European competitions but their bootcamp with Fnatic will more than make up for lost offline experience.
Anything above top 16 is an accomplishment for the Europeans although with Power Gaming falling so short in November the motivation within their camp is sky-high. Not looking to be outdone, you can expect the same from Fnatic and LowLandLions who will be endeavouring to join the elite group of European console teams to have made their mark on the MLG pro circuit, currently consisting of Power Gaming's Halo 3 side and the famous Team Dignitas Gears of War squad.
Meanwhile, American favourites Carbon, Str8 Rippin and Triggers Down are hotly tipped to be in contention for the title with third-seeded Instinct slowly dipping off the radar due to their inconsistencies both roster and tournament placing wise.
Defending champions Str8 Rippin have had an equally inconsistent season by their standards - despite winning two events - placing fourth twice. They are heavily renowned for their ability to play on a whole different level when it matters, and there's no bigger stage to perform on than the national finals.
Triggers Down are the team to watch out for however: they haven't finished outside of the top two all season, and are the first team to win back-to-back Halo 3 tournaments. Star player Justin 'iGotUrPistola' Deese has won the MVP award three times out of the four events and is widely regarded as the best overall player in the game.
Carbon are undoubtedly the surprise of the year even though they're a household name in world Halo. A third place finish at last year's finals failed to rub off on the new season until the third event in Dallas where the re-signing of Brett 'Naded' Leonard inspired them to tear through the tournament and end it in second place. A similar performance at the Anaheim stop has placed them right back in contention for a title they haven't been close to since their 2006 win.
1st - $100,000
2nd - $60,000
3rd - $40,000
4th - $28,000
5th - $20,000
6th - $14,000
7th - $10,000
8th - $8,000
The strange timing of the conclusion to the 2009 season has raised questions for the structure of the next with the impending new Halo title, Reach, hitting stores in autumn 2010. MLG will not want to change games mid-season but with no evidence of the game being fit for competitive play until its release, which isn't specifically confirmed, will Halo 3 have one more season come 2010?
mlgpro.com will be providing a live stream of the weekend's games.
MLG pro circuit landing page
Picture credit - mlgpro.com
Consoles Sports League (January 2009 – October 2009)
Decerto (August 2008 – July 2011)
EnemyDown (September 2008 – January 2009)
Team Dignitas (Jun 2009 – December 2009)
Major League Gaming (June 2010 – December 2011)
SK Gaming (December 2009 – February 2012)
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