In December, a small Columbus, Ohio suburb played host to one of the most impressive and extensive Halo 1 LANs of the past few years. Over 30 players were in attendance, some traveling from as far west as Colorado and as far east as Delaware; the OGREs made sure to assemble a wide variety of devoted talent that came ready to game all weekend long. Spanning five days, the Winter LAN 2010 included an impressive setup of over a dozen Xboxs and televisions, a separate kitchen just for those attending, abundant sleeping space for all and unbelievable hospitality.
Everyone could feel the excitement of an old game we all cherish coming to life once more. After almost a decade in the books, this magnificent game is still alive and breathing in the eyes of those that love it most. Giant checks from Event victories and National Championships past littered the basement walls as a constant reminder that this was where Halo changed and evolved into what it is today. Approximately 1000 or more games, equaling well over 450Gb of space, were captured during this snowy December weekend, and I had the pleasure of witnessing them all. The following were some of my favorite games from the weekend, the games that show some of the true talent that Halo’s greatest possess.
5. Patch & OGRE 2 – Prisoner Team Slayer, Off Host
Two of the top players to still hold an original Xbox controller stood as teammates in this electrifying game on Prisoner. Mixing the old school finesse of OGRE 2 with the almost prototype precision of Patch, this game showed just how talented the upper echelon of players is in Halo 1. Littered with incredible pistol battles and bullet-bending double kills, this game will have you wondering how Bonesaw and Mantrain (themselves an impressive pair of players) even hit double digits against this duo of Halo 1 juggernauts. With Prisoner often being considered one of the most host-dominated maps in Halo 1, mentioning that this game was off host just adds style points to this already impressive victory.
4. OGRE 2 and Puckett – Hang Em High Team Slayer, On Host Side-Tournament Game
During the weekend of the Winter LAN, a side tournament was held with random teams chosen from everybody in attendance. Former fellow Ohio residents OGRE 2 and (MLG’s very own) Chris Puckett happened to not only team for this, but also won the first tournament. Late in this Finals match, Puckett showed strong numbers but OGRE 2 stepped up his game, leading the final push toward victory to end the game with most kills, most assists and least deaths out of all players. Littered with great sniper shots, impressive double kills (3:50 and 9:45) and—just to top it all off—a few grenade tricks, this tournament finals game on Hang Em High shows that OGRE 2′s talent and composure go far beyond his recent victories as a Halo 3 National Champion.
3. Shade and Jeenyus – Damnation Team Slayer, On Host
Shade, one of the most skilled and consistent players I have ever teamed with, led the charge alongside me in this fast-paced game on Damnation. With sniper rifles galore and power-ups on the minute, Dammy has plenty of opportunities for players to show off their ability to balance multiple power-ups throughout the game and scrap up some amazing multi kills in the process (3:20). Overall, this match showed how to play Damnation well from red base and when to make that well-timed push for the active camo atop the map. When two players are shooting this well together, it usually results in a visit to the Montage Mahal.
2 .Bonesaw and Patch – Derelict Team Slayer, Off Host
Bonesaw showed just how far patience and quick thinking can get you on Derelict, a map known for the hectic and sometimes out of control games it produces. Make note of the numerous times where, rather than fully engaging the enemy, he instead chose to take smart shots to keep the enemy on their heels and keep his team in the driver’s seat. Picking your battles on this map is crucial when trying to solidify top control and power-ups (see: 7:30-8:00) which both players do quite well. Bonesaw and Patch switched out and cleaned up each others’ work to grab an impressive number of kill sprees, multi kills, and overall map control in this off host thrashing.
1. Patch and Doc – Chill Out Team Slayer, Off Host
Being off host and down by nearly double digits for a good portion of a game against two talented players would end in a loss for most people. Good thing Patch isn’t your everyday, normal Halo player. Patch and his aggressive play-styled teammate Doc pulled together a comeback on Chill Out against Colorado teammates Doughboy and Shaypun that included a fantastic finish while down 48-40 at one point in the match. After creating an astonishing swing in momentum, Patch tacked on the game’s final five kills in his team’s favor, all while being only a single death away from defeat.