Simply incredible. What many thought would be a routine sweep over former rivals Str8 Rippin turned into a complete disaster here in Chicago. Few would have guessed that Carbon would struggle in their match against Str8 Rippin, much less suffer an embarrassing 3 – 0 sweep. Coming off of the most dominant tournament in their career, Carbon have found themselves knocked to the Losers Bracket on yet another Saturday.

More so than any other team, Carbon have become frequent victims of what is known in the Halo community as the ‘upset round’. The final round of play on Saturday night is frequently a troublesome one for Carbon, who have previously lost in the upset round in Anaheim and Chicago of 2006. Additionally, the team suffered an unexpectedly early loss in the 2007 season opener at the hands of FBI The Agency.

Str8 Rippin dropped the jaws of hundreds of onlookers and thousands of MLG Live viewers when they steamrolled number 2 ranked Carbon in a stunning 3-0 sweep.

The largest question currently circulating the venue is whether the result was more a product of Carbon’s poor play or Str8 Rippin’s elevated performance. Regardless, the match was a thrilling site.

The match opened to a tightly contested Midship Flag match. Str8 Rippin opened up the scoring with two captures, but were soon matched by Carbon. The scoring pattern repeated itself, as Str8 Rippin jumped to a 4 – 2 lead before Carbon leveled once more. The final moment of the match saw a down to the wire flag toss from ElamiteWarrior to Tsquared seal the result. Elamite’s 25 – 22 slaying tally lead the round.

The action for Game 2 stayed on Midship for a contest of slayer. Carbon didn’t have a moment to regroup, as Str8 Rippin applied pressure at a blazing pace. Str8 Rippin pulled ahead early and pushed their lead to a solid 50 – 38 victory, led by Legit’s 15 – 9 showing.

After the match, the most telling indicator of Carbon’s morale was their silence. Rather than rally together and regain their focus, Carbon’s players sat relatively silently, rushing into the next game. Their lack of mental preparedness showed, as Str8 Rippin grabbed the ball, complete weapon control and a dominant BR Tower set-up off the start. Str8 Rippin put on a sniping clinic, as each of the team’s members put up show stopping moments of sniping brilliance.

While Carbon managed to get small pockets of control, their play seemed generally unorganized. Carbon’s players frequently rushed into combat off their spawn, with no clear indication of a cohesive team plan. Tsquared and Neighbor posted monstrous numbers in the game, and Legit notably occupied the team’s primary objective role.

Str8 left Carbon scratching their heads.

The result has set up a long and daunting road for the Losers Bracket. To reach the Championship Match, Carbon must win five consecutive matches.

In the Winners Bracket Semi-Finals, Str8 Rippin will face either Nice Like Rice or The Agency. The meeting could potentially Elamite Warrior against his former squad, and long time teammates Legit and Naded against each other for the first time in Pro Circuit history. The Championship 4v4 action will pick back up tomorrow morning.

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