National Championship
Nov 21-23
Round 1 Gametypes
Onslaught – Multi-Flag
The Pit – Team Slayer
The Pit – Team King
Guardian – Oddball
Narrows – Team Slayer
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Welcome back to Behind the Match-Up, the series where we delve deep into the heart of each first round match up featured at the 2008 MLG Pro Circuit National Championships in Las Vegas. For the third edition of Behind the Match-Up, we’ll take a closer look at the past and present powerhouse match between our reigning champions, Triggers Down, and the 2006 National Champions, Carbon.

The history between these two teams is short, yet riveting nonetheless. The story took its most intriguing turn when Karma opted to part ways with his long-time teammates on Carbon, to join forces with SK, FearItSelf, and Hysteria on Triggers Down in the weeks before the 2008 Pro Circuit Playoffs in Dallas, Texas. The move turned out to be fruitful for both Karma and Triggers Down, as they went on to defeat Str8 Rippin in a momentous comeback in the Dallas Finals, subsequently winning their second event of Halo 3’s inaugural season. The win also gave Karma a reminiscent taste of the limelight he had grown so accustomed to throughout Halo 2.

Over two months later, it is thought-provokingly coincidental that these two teams will be meeting in the very first round of the final event of the season. Former teammates will collide, and newfound chemistry will be put to the test. This match-up is exactly the type of story that makes the National Championships so colossal each and every year, and the anxiety surrounding those first Battle Rifle shots will assuredly grow larger by the day.

National Championship
Nov 21-23
Round 1 Gametypes
Onslaught – Multi-Flag
The Pit – Team Slayer
The Pit – Team King
Guardian – Oddball
Narrows – Team Slayer
.

Two things have become synonymous with Triggers Down this season: team changes and consistently strong finishes. From Lowkin, to Victory X, to Snipedown, to Mackeo, and now Karma, TD has had to deal with some of the toughest circumstances the MLG Pro Circuit has had to offer this season. And with two championships under their belt, a teammate they’re enthusiastic about, and a wealth of confidence, it looks as though Triggers Down is in their prime heading into the biggest event of their careers.

It’s no secret that Carbon has failed to meet the expectations of fans who have became accustomed to the consistently successful seasons of the past. This could be due to the balance of Halo 3 being shifted towards a different set of skills than Halo 2, or perhaps the cruel course of time has taken its toll on our former National Champions. Whatever the case, Carbon has finished in 7th Place in the past three events, and this fact could have served as motivation to work harder than ever to prepare for this final event.

Triggers Down and Carbon have met twice this year, once at the first event of the 2008 season at MLG Meadowlands, and once again in the very next event at MLG San Diego. Six months, and six combined team changes later, Carbon and Triggers Down will find themselves slugging it out once again with a full season’s worth of experience serving as the X factor. How have the teams evolved since then? How has the game evolved since then? Will Carbon be able to break Triggers Down’s undefeated streak against them? Unfortunately, we can’t answer that. However, we can give you a statistical and historical breakdown of how it all may play out with a game by game analysis of the first round’s gametypes.

Previous Meetings

Below you will find the results from when the teams met earlier this year. Games highlighted in gold represent gametypes that the teams will play in the first round at Vegas. Each gametype in the table is a link that will take you to the VoD from that game so that you can analyze the match-up yourself!

Meadowlands
3-1 Triggers Down Wins

Losers Bracket Round 6
Onslaught CTF Guardian TS Pit KotH Narrows CTF Game 5 Final
Carbon 3 38 146* 1* - 1
Triggers Down 2* 50* 230 3 - 3

San Diego
3-1 Triggers Down Wins

Losers Bracket Round 7
Narrows CTF Amplified TS Guardian Ball Pit CTF Game 5 Final
Triggers Down 2 50* 118 3   3
Carbon 1* 48 167* 2*   1

Game-by-Game Analysis

Game 1: Onslaught CTF

If you’ve been keeping up with the Behind the Match-Up series, you know the first game of the series will commence on Onslaught CTF. In Triggers Down and Carbon’s first meeting in Losers Bracket Round 6 of MLG Meadowlands, you may be surprised to know that it was Carbon that walked away with the 3-2 victory. Granted, Onslaught looked very different at the time, and the strategies that were employed were archaic at best. Nonetheless though, after 15 minutes of battle, Carbon drew first blood on TD. The teams have yet to meet up on this gametype since the very first event of the year, but when they do, expect Triggers Down to look for redemption.

Game 2: The Pit Team Slayer

Next up will be The Pit Team Slayer. Throughout the 2008 season, Triggers Down has firmly established themselves as one of the best Team Slayer squad on the Pro Circuit. Many people even attribute their near-flawless Team Slayer game as one of the deciding factors in their comeback over Str8 Rippin in the Dallas Finals. More specifically, Triggers Down has never dropped a single Team Slayer game against Carbon. Granted, the games weren’t exactly blowouts, but a 100% win ratio is a very hard statistic to overlook.

Game 3: The Pit King of the Hill

That leads us back into The Pit for a game of Team King, which is another gametype that TD and Carbon faced off on at MLG Meadowlands. This time around, it’s Triggers Down that holds the historical advantage, where they put on a rather impressive showing, winning the gametype by a 230-146 margin. Objective time was spread amongst the TD roster very evenly, meanwhile Gandhi single-handedly possessed more than half of Carbon’s cumulative hill time. It’s been a long time since MLG Meadowlands, and if Carbon has since rethought their Pit Team King strategy, don’t count them out in Game 3.

Game 4: Guardian Oddball

Assuming the match is forced into a Game 4, TD and Carbon will then square away on Oddball Guardian. MLG San Diego was the last time the two teams were pitted against one another in Oddball Guardian, where Carbon once again got the better of their top-tiered opponents. Karma went absolutely huge here, racking up the most ball time, meanwhile somehow gaining the most assists and nearly the most kills. Of course, now that Karma will be on the other side of the ball, this doesn’t bode well for Carbon’s chances here in the home stretch of the series.

Game 5: Narrows Team Slayer

Regardless of outcome of Game 4, let’s assume that we’re heading into Game 5. As always, Game 5 will be decided by a fast paced game of Team Slayer, this time taking place on Narrows. As previously mentioned, Triggers Down has never dropped a single game of Team Slayer to Carbon. Additionally, they have never lost the map Narrows to Carbon either, in any of its gametypes. However, Carbon has demonstrated strong play on this map in recent events, and it’s been a long time since these two have met on it. Perhaps Carbon will have something new in store for TD that takes them by surprise, or maybe the statistics will reign supreme and give Triggers Down the expected win.

Whatever happens, preparation will likely play a big role in how both teams perform. Triggers Down is currently in the process of LAN’ing with Instinct, where the progress is being kept up to date in the MLG Forums. On the other hand, Carbon has already completed a LAN with Str8 Rippin, where roughly 40+ games were played.

In conclusion, be sure to watch all the action from the 2008 National Championships as they kick off on the weekend of November 21-23. Additionally, stay tuned for the final edition of Behind the Match-Up, where we’ll breakdown the 1st and 8th seeded match between Str8 Rippin and Legendz!