Four-man squad Nutribullet has won the Halo Infinite HCS ANZ Open #2 grand final in a best-of-five thriller against local rivals Divine Mind.
The online competition, part of the larger Halo Championship Series, was one of the highest-profile ESL competitions in the ANZ region since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nutribullet showed roaring form in the HCS ANZ Open #1 last week, taking down Degenerates 2-0 in the Quarter Finals and following that performance up with another 2-0 Semi Finals match against BBR. Divine Mind battled back Deathruptor Fans 2-0 in the Quarter Finals before sending R Rated to the Loser’s Bracket by the same difference. This forced Rated R into the Loser’s Bracket semi-final showdown with the Dire Wolves, where they were again struck down 2-0.
Where the Quarter and Semi Finals matches were all best-of-three affairs, the Grand Final was a best-of-five. Both teams put in strong performances throughout, but the longer set meant fatigue began to set in during the last couple of games. After fending off the Nutribullet squad to take a 2-1 draw, a pressured Divine Mind began to flag. Nutribullet pressed its advantage and won Game 4’s Strongholds match by a wide margin. Game 5’s Slayer match began fairly evenly, with both teams trading points. The lack of optic camo on the Streets map blew a hole in Divine Mind’s favoured strategy, allowing Nutribullet’s Barcode and Madsyy to find their rhythm and go on a charge to tie the series up.
The teams in these qualifiers are all battling for a spot at HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh. Held Raleigh, capital of North Carolina, over December 17-19, 2021, it will be the first Halo Infinite major, bringing together teams from around the world to compete on the global stage. Nutribullet frontman Barcode AK is optimistic about their chances, feeling that though the ANZ region suffered from a lack of support in the Halo 5 era, that we are poised to make a strong showing in the new game.
The ANZ region will have a strong showing across all of Halo Infinite esports next year. Developer 343 Industries has partnered with ESL Australia on several local tournaments. Local teams will battle for a share in $50,000 in prize money and the chance to compete at HCS US Majors. HCS Melbourne, the final ANZ stage, is currently slated for September 2-4, 2022. HCS Orlando begins a few weeks later, followed by the Halo World Championship in October.
You can watch Sunday’s HCS ANZ Open 2 stream in full below.
The HCS ANZ Kickoff Qualifiers begin next weekend. You can register here to get involved.
Big GG’s to both Nutribullet and Divine Mind, that was a hell of a lot of fun to watch.