Another trade deadline has come and gone for the 2007 Boost Mobile MLG Pro Circuit. While the changes this time are not nearly as drastic as those that following Charlotte’s tumultuous competition, they could prove to be more important. With the season marching steadily onward and the third event on the horizon, every move our professional gamers make at this stage could make or break their chances of earning a spot in the National Championship competition.
Coming as little surprise to fans, not a single change was made to the top five rosters on the tour. Final Boss are still holding strong at the top of the league, with 2007 acquisition StrongSide playing better than ever. Carbon have shown moments of weakness in the first two events of the season, but remain well ahead of the rest of the field. FBI The Agency and 5k remain in the third and fourth spots on the tour, despite losing to Perfect Storm, the fifth-ranked squad, at the last event. While not one of these teams is likely to settle for their current spot in the standings, none of them was foolish enough to make a trade that could jeopardize the success they have found so far this year.
Six more teams inside the professional ranks will also return to Dallas with the same lineups from the Meadowlands. Ninth-ranked Xit Woundz, 10th-ranked Type Z, 11th-ranked Perfect Balance and 12th-ranked Pain X will all sport familiar rosters in Dallas. Reign of Chaos, better known simply as RoC, will head to Dallas as a new professional squad and hope to improve on their success at the Meadowlands. Also returning with the same lineup and determined to improve are Legendz. These veterans of the Pro Circuit have struggled to find a rhythm and will challenge to return to the Top 8 in Dallas from their difficult 14th-seed.
While much of the league’s talent has decided to stick together, some significant changes occurred. After the worst finish in the history of the Str8 Rippin franchise, Foulacy and Tsquared parted ways in an intriguing trade between two of the top squads on the tour. Foulacy headed to Nice Like Rice in exchange for Havok. Nice Like Rice then went on to round off their roster with the acquisition of Pyrocy, who left Dipset after a disappointing finish at the Meadowlands. According to all reports, this new Nice Like Rice squad is doing incredibly well in online scrimmages with top teams and should be able to use their new talent and sixth seed effectively in Dallas.
Str8 Rippin, meanwhile, once again look to reinvent themsevles for the next event. After trading for Havok and dropping BigTimer, Str8 picked up league journeyman Mimic, who has competed successfully for a variety of squads over the course of his Halo 2 career. While this new lineup may lack the slaying punch of the Str8 incarnation with Legit and Naded and may also lack the strict structure of the 2006 Str8 Rippin lineup, the experience and talent of these four players is undeniable. If Tsquared can keep his teammates focused on the prize, they may well return to the top of the league with a solid finish in Dallas.
FBI ICON made another single-player shift to their lineup after the Meadowlands, dropping Shook On3 in favor of Butt3rz for the next event. After the successful pickup of TimeliestBrute headed into the last event, it appears that Slim and Tupac were eager to make another change to solidify their lineup. Butt3rz was a solid slayer for his previous squad, Nice Like Rice, helping them to two consecutive Top 8 finishes in 2007 and obviously his new team hopes they might all be able to improve for Dallas and challenge the squads sitting inside the Top 4.
Time 2 Prove made changes of their own after struggling at the Meadowlands. Losing players to other top squads after their excellent performance in Charlotte, Overshield and Donut were forced to find replacement players from the semi-professional ranks. Almost immediately after the competition, those players were released from the squad and Time 2 Prove started hunting for new players. They eventually settled on BigTimer, who had recently been released from Str8 Rippin, and 8ball. While this new lineup appears to be stronger than the one that appeared at the Meadowlands, the 15th-seed will make the path back to the Top 8 an incredibly treacherous road.
Finally, 16th-ranked The Business broke up between events, leaving room for Dipset to make some changes and battle their way towards a prize check in Dallas. Reuniting most of last season’s S1G squad, Lightking, Shook On3 and Vegetto will play together once again. They are joined this year by Pistol and this new foursome will hope to regain their former status as Top 8 players. It is possible that they are talented enough to accomplish this, but the field of competitors is clearly stronger than ever, so the task will not be easy.
With the next stop of the 2007 Boost Mobile MLG Pro Circuit drawing near, these professional rosters, new and old, should now be completely focused on training for the competition. Three events remain in the regular season and for some of these new lineups, Dallas could be the first step towards major Halo 2 success. Stick with mlgpro.com for more updates and analysis as we lead up to the event.
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