Team: Triggers Down
"The team's confidence going into this tournament is incredibly high. When asked how his team would keep their concentration in the competition, SK replied, "there are 25,000 reasons to stay focused for each one of us. [referring to the amount of dollars they would each take if emerging victors of the competition]""
Triggers Down bio
Team: Str8 Rippin
"The team had also made the decision to move in to a house in Florida so they could focus on practicing full-time. The house has had mixed results. Problems getting the internet set up led to a late start on practice for Meadowlands and Str8's placings haven't been as impressive as they were last year - but Legit says moving in was the right move: "Living in the house has for sure been a positive for our team," says the longtime veteran. "It's brought us all even closer, especially Tom and I since we've been living in the house full-time.""
Str8 Rippin bio
"If their demeanor is any indication, Instinct may just be the most relaxed team inside the Top 8 heading to Orlando. Even following a sub-par performance in Anaheim, their goal as a team, according to FearItSelf, is to "walk away the champions." They've scheduled a LAN with TD and SQ, and have pinpointed gametypes like Construct TS in which they are statistically weaker."
"[In Dallas] For the second time in his career, Walshy faced off against a team that had just dropped him, and for a second time he emerged victorious. But this was not just any victory; Carbon sent Instinct home with a 3 - 0 rout. In doing so, Carbon had knocked off the 1st, 3rd, and 4th seeded teams by a combined tally of 9 games to 1. In the Finals against Triggers Down, Carbon fought to a 4 - 6 finish, only two games away from taking the tournament."
"They face Carbon once again in the second round of the Winners Bracket. "When there might be an emotional attachment to the series, whether it's for yourself or for your teammates, you play that much harder." says Ghost. If Classic is able to continue their growth and progress as a team, Orlando might be the stage of a few upsets."
Team: Final Boss
"However, relative to Final Boss, featuring a player with an eye-popping three national titles and upper-echelon talent, anything short of first might be deemed failure. Reflecting on the season, Victory X opined, "Unlucky breaks have pretty much set the tone for Final Boss' season thus far, so I can easily say that the season has not progressed well." With multiple one-game losses to the league’s top rosters, this analysis seems to be spot on. They play well against the top teams, but they cannot seem to overcome them."
Final Boss bio
Team: Believe the Hype
"We can gather that one thing heading into Orlando is certain: There is no reason for surprise if Believe The Hype topples even the highest seeded teams. On the team's prospects for Orlando, "1st place," Demon humbly declares. A cocky Clutch proclaims, "Let’s just say I’m practicing holding up a big check.""
Believe the Hype bio
Team: Status Quo
"The loss of StrongSide was hard to take for Totz: "The loss of StrongSide after Columbus was devastating; he was like another brother to me. I definitely looked up to him and when he left, it felt empty. I would love to see 'Side in a Status Quo jersey again someday.""
Status Quo bio
Amongst the top eight are a number of household names, one of which include Final Boss who are at an all-time low, entering the national championships seeded sixth. The team are synonymous with Halo having dominated Halo 2 from 2005 right through to 2007 and winning the first ever Halo 3 competition in 2008. In 2005 under StK and then Team 3D the side tore through the pro circuit winning 9 of the 10 events they attended. 2006 and 2007 saw similar success with their 2007 championship win cementing them as the most decorated and successful Halo 2 team of all time despite losing out on the 2006 national championship to arch rivals Carbon.
Their Halo 3 outings have been poor - after winning the inaugural Halo 3 event the team failed to get back into the top two despite taking in powerhouse Mason 'Neighbor' Cobb in the 2008 season. 2009 saw several roster changes including a point where only one original Final Boss member was present - Tom 'OGRE 2' Ryan - resulting in many fans questioning whether the three-time national champion should end his career and retire the team name. Despite the addition of players such as Cameron 'Victory X' Thorlakson and Justin 'FearItSelf' Kats Final Boss simply haven't had the edge and flair that took them to so many titles in Halo 2.
Seeing Carbon and Final Boss meet up in the 2009/10 final is unlikely considering the downward spiral Final Boss has been in since removing the famous Dave 'Walshy' Walsh in July 2008 and the rise of Carbon following the recruitment of both Brett 'Naded' Leonard and Dave 'Walshy' Walsh mid-way through 2009. The two teams are barely recognisable from the older days and Carbon have a much better squad heading into the biggest Halo event of the year.
The mix of new and old blood in Triggers Down will be expected in the final against a formidable Str8 Rippin team who still possess the same line up from when they won their first national championship in November 2008.
Will Str8 Rippin be the first team to win back-to-back national championships? Or will Triggers Down, after setting their own record of being the first team to win two consecutive Halo 3 tournaments, ruin Str8's opportunity to write history? Perhaps Instinct, Carbon or even Classic will cause an upset?
www.mlgpro.com will be streaming the event live starting with the pre-game show this Friday at 11PM GMT/12AM CET.
SK Gaming will also be on site in Orlando to follow the three European teams and their progression through the brutal open bracket: fnatic, LowLandLions, and Power Gaming. You can follow our coverage on the MLG Orlando tournament page.
Picture credit - www.mlgpro.com
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