Here are the Halo Championship Series teams to watch in Anaheim
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The first Halo Championship Series regional LAN is coming to Anaheim, California this month. The pools have been set with flaming hot partnered squads like Cloud9, OpTic Gaming and Sentinels alongside open bracket winners like Pushin P and We Love Anime.

The pandemic may have prevented an in-person open bracket and a live crowd for the entire event, but fans will still get to see the hottest teams in North America face off on LAN from Feb. 11-13 in Anaheim. What will it take for someone to knock Cloud9 off their pedestal?

The top Halo Championship Series teams at Anaheim

Fans can catch all the action on the official Halo Twitch and YouTube Channels. The North American Regional Finals in Anaheim will kick off on Friday at 2:30 p.m. EST.

There are four streams to check into:


Cloud9 Raleigh
Cloud9 hoists the trophy in Raleigh after the first HCS LAN. | Provided by HCS

What can we say that hasn’t already been said? Cloud9 has absolutely dominated Halo Infinite in the short time it’s been around. This squad has won four pro series events after coming home with a first place finish at Raleigh. Cloud9 has proven that they are the best.

Cloud9 will be in Pool A alongside a talented Sentinels team that has given them a run for their money in the past. They should both get out of that group without issue.

Even though Cloud9 coach Emanuel “Hoaxer” Lovejoy won’t wish the other teams good luck, they’ll need it.


“I’m back,” Mathew “Royal2” Fiorante tweeted on Jan. 28 after his ban for server manipulation was lifted. The Halo champion is playing into his role as a bad guy in the community and it’ll be a fun role to play if Sentinels can make it to the grand final at Anaheim.

The squad didn’t miss a beat while playing with Call of Duty legend Matthew ‘FormaL” Piper, but Royal2 elevates this team to a new level. Both Sentinels and Cloud9 should emerge from Pool A to make deep runs in Anaheim, but the Royal2 buff could give them the fuel they need to win it all.

All I know for sure is that I’ll miss FormaL.

HCS Anaheim
The official pools heading into Anaheim. | Provided by HCS

Pushin P

Pool D is going to be a blood bath and everyone has already counted Pushin P, who came up through the open bracket, out. Sure, XSET, eUnited and Pioneers are all fantastic teams that could easily come out on top of this group of equally weighted squads, but we watch esports for the underdog stories, right?

All Pushin P needs to do in order to put themselves in a good position is not come in dead last. The first place finisher in each pool gets vaulted into the second round of the winner’s bracket while second and third go into the first round. Only the fourth place team goes to the loser’s bracket, so Oliver “FilthyG” Gerlach and company will need to dominate his former team, XSET (who also came in through the open bracket but aren’t nearly as much of an underdog) in an upset victory.

A victory for the open bracket is a victory for everyone.

Gamers First

If you know anything about Halo, Call of Duty or VALORANT then you should understand that gamers come first. G1, otherwise known as Gamers First, was formed late last year by former New Orleans Saint and Tennessee Titan Kenny Vaccaro. This organization is brand new. Halo Infinite is fresh off the development line. What else could you ask for?

Now plenty of people will say that FaZe Clan is a lock to win Pool B, but I could see these gamers, some of which have been playing Halo since 2012, place well with teams like Spacestation Gaming and Fnatic in tow.

This squad doesn’t have much outside middling results in other tournaments, but Halo Infinite is a new game. Everyone but Cloud9 is still trying to figure out what works at the highest level. This could be a tournament where we see someone from the open bracket surprise us. Hopefully we get a G2 Esports vs G1 match at some point as well.

OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming’s legacy is within Halo and this Anaheim final is the best chance they’ll get to prove that they can still dominate this team-based shooter. The green wall should be present in Southern California, but the Justin “iGotUrPistola Deese-led squad will need to shore up the mistakes they’ve made in previous tournaments. While OpTic should have a lock on this group, we could see some upsets if G2 plays well or if Incognito and Complexity Gaming play well enough while capitalizing on mistakes made by their opponents.

A guy who likes Fortnite and Animal Crossing.