MLG Chicago’s Championship 1v1 event saw a cast of new characters, as only three of the eight finalists from Anaheim made their return to the 1v1 brackets. Notably absent from the final eight were the Ogres, Walshy, and Strongside, regular contenders for FFA prize money. Karma rose to the top of the podium once again, as he progressed unscathed through the brackets in a dominant display of skill and cunning.
Most surprising among the new contenders was WaldoX, who snagged the final pass into the Championship 1v1 after narrowly missing the mark in New York and Dallas. His consistently solid performances in the Championship FFA continue to impress, as he has carved out a name for himself as one of the premier solo artists of the circuit. WaldoX took home a cool $500 for his 4th place finish, dispatching established 1v1 veteran Fonzi and Cpt Anarchy in the process.
Karma, the undisputed 1v1 champion.
For Legit and Naded, reaching the Championship 1v1 bracket was the start of what proved to be a stellar overall tournament. The exciting Storm Ventures teammates declared their intent to reach individual greatness prior to Anaheim, but were delayed in their quest as Naded failed to reach Anaheim’s final eight, and Legit once more found himself outside the final four. The two were given ample opportunity to practice with Fonzi during their pre-Anaheim bootcamp, and were both pitted against their sparring partner during Chicago’s brackets.
Legit and Fonzi found themselves locked in a nail-bitingly close first round encounter, as the two engaged in a stealthy cat and mouse game. Neither player was able to pull away from the other, and the scoreboard read 11-11 when the time had mostly dwindled down. Fonzi sealed the game by sneaking behind Legit’s field of vision on the top center structure and ripping through him with a point blank shotgun blast.
Naded, who made quick work of Eli, entered the second round intent to avenge his partner’s defeat. Fonzi, however, put Naded on the early defensive, forcing him low and exploiting his disadvantageous positioning. Fonzi rode his map control to a quick 9-2 lead, before Naded strung together seven consecutive kills to tie the score, making good use of his shotgun in the process. Although Fonzi reclaimed a 12-10 lead, Naded rallied once more to close the match with a final score of 15-13.
Naded advanced to the Winner’s Bracket Finals against Karma and opened the match with a quick 3-1 lead. The match carried on at a rapid clip, as Naded traded kills with the reigning champion. With the match tied at 6 kills apiece, Karma took control of the top center structure and employed his superlative peek-shot to steamroll to a 15-7 victory.
Naded was met in the Loser’s Bracket by Anaheim Player of the Year Nominee Hali, who put up an impressive display against Karma in Winners Bracket Round 2. Hali met Karma stride-for-stride during the match’s opening 10 kills, before ultimately falling 15-11. Hali demonstrated his unconventional playing style against Legit in Losers Bracket Round 2, employing a tactic that sacrifices the high ground in favor of a consistently fresh grenade supply. Frequently, Hali would abandon his established top center position to bait his opponents into grabbing camo, littering the path of his adversaries with perfectly placed grenades.
Naded emerged at MLG Chicago as a true contender for the upper ranks of the 1v1 competition.
After defeating both Legit and WaldoX 15-9, Hali met Naded in the Winners Bracket Finals. Once more, Naded was given the opportunity to avenge his partner’s defeat. From the start, the match took on a very slow pace, as Naded carefully carved out a 3-0 lead. Hali pulled to within two through an acrobatic beatdown, followed by a pair of traded kills. With a 4-2 lead, Naded planted himself in Yellow Grenades facing the lift with a shotgun. He sat motionless, intently watching his radar as the minutes ticked by. A brief skirmish broke the silence, but neither party was able to land the finishing blow. Naded quickly replicated his defensive position in Red Grenades, clearly intent to force an up-close confrontation and demonstrate his mastery of close range combat. After several minutes, Hali forced Naded out of hiding, bringing the score to 4-3. Hali broke yet another defensive hold by Naded to even the score.
No longer able to force his opponent’s hand, Naded adopted a more aggressive stance and rolled to an 8-4 lead. With time slipping away, Hali urgently pursued and countered to counter Naded’s attempted stalling tactics. Hali drew level shortly before time expired, forcing a five-minute overtime period. During overtime, Naded pulled ahead 2-0, and sealed his trip to the championship match with a well placed stick.
During the finals, Karma gained an early lead and prevented Naded’s ability to camp. Karma confidently held top center for several kills at a time, forcing Naded to approach from lower ground. Although Naded put up a valiant effort, he was simply unable to match Karma’s class and talent. Karma has proven over the course of five consecutive 1v1 championship titles that he is truly the master of individual mind-games and battle tactics. It is quite simply difficult to overstate the extent to which he dominates this competition, and the unprecedented success that he has garnered will surely earn him a spot in the hallowed halls of pro gaming’s greatest names. However, the question at hand is: who will be the next to step up to challenge the reigning champion?
Halo 2 Championship 1v1 Prize Winners
1. Karma – $2,000
2. Naded – $1,200
3. Hali – $800
4. WaldoX – $500
5. Legit – $300
6. Fonzi – $200
7. Cpt Anarchy – $150
8. Eli – $125