News HaloCustoms Weekly Roundup - 31st Jul '17

You know nothing, Sgt. Johnson...

Yeah, Game of Thrones is back on TV, people are dying a lot and participating in other kinds of debauchery, but that's not what we're here for, right?

Dropping feet first into hell this week, we have Operation Spearbreaker in Halo Wars 2. A short two mission campaign focused on Boomerang Company, an elite company of ODSTs dropping into the heart of enemy territory focusing on a new Banished plot featuring a certain angry Lekgolo, only a small part of the overall story of the Halo Wars 2 games as Atriox and his Banished Covenant army fight for control over the Ark against Captain Cutter and the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire. At the very tip of the Spear stands a Squad of ODSTs lead by Major Vaughan, leader of Sunray 1-1, the command squad of Boomerany Company as they fight tooth and nail against the vast armies of the Banished in an attempt to wrestle control of the Ark over to the UNSC once more.

As well as Spearbreaker, we have a new leader playable in Halo Wars 2, the original AI of the Spirit of Fire, Serena. Her icy cold personality is represented by her unique units and abilities in the game, focusing on cooling her enemies down with a chilling mechanic that will freeze enemy units in place, leaving them unable to move or attack until they have thawed out. To allow Serena to be victorious on the battlefield she has a range of unique units available to her. The Tundra Bison is her hero unit, firing experimental cryo shells at enemy targets, chilling any units caught in the area of effect, as well as an ability to create a chilling area around the unit itself. As well as the Bison she has the Frostraven, equiped with a cryo ray that can freeze enemy units from the skies; and Cryo Troopers, which replace Hellbringers and their flamethrowers for a complete opposite effect of the usual Flamethrowers, instead chilling and freezing enemy units. Serena also has unique abilities that compliment her strategies: The Ice Barrier allowing an icy area denial system to restrict enemy movements; Glacial Storm to chill and freeze enemy units in a wide area; Cryo Mines that can be laid as traps and catch and freeze any enemies unlucky enough to trigger them; Cryo bombs that instantly freeze any enemy units caught in the blast; and the Seismic Charge that can be used in a one-two combo with the Cryo Bomb to deal instant massive damage to any enemies frozen by the chilling effect.

Operation Spearbreaker and Serena are both available on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC; either as part of the season pass, bought separately for $5.99 USD each, or as a package deal for $9.99 for both.

At Dreamhack Atlanta last weekend, the HCS Pro League summer finals took place, with 8 North American teams battling it out for the chance to become the HCS Summer Champions.

It was a good day for Halo fans, with some epic action taking place. The team of young upstarts at Splyce Gaming took down the Green Wall that was Optic Gaming to claim their first victory at a pro event. The team of Shotzzy, bubu dubu, Shooter, Renegade, and Coach Phil have come a long way over the past few months, they weren't even in Pro League a few months ago, so to come from nothing to winning a tournament like this is certainly a big achievement, and having to take down Optic Gaming twice to get there is no mean feat, so congrats to them, hopefully they'll become another amazing team and hlep keep the HCS series alive and active.

For a full recap of the event, check out the video below:

Next up on the HCS schedule is HCS London, taking place 15th to 17th September in the newly-expanded Gfinity Arena. An open LAN tournament will feature 32 of the best 4v4 teams from across Europe with a $25,000 prize pool, as well as a $5,000 prize pool for the open FFA event for the lone wolves. The top three teams in the 4v4 events will be invited to join Halo's best at the HCS Fall 2017 finals at Dreakhack Denver. Looking at some of the goings on with TV rights recently, this tournament may also be streamed by the BBC on their internet channel BBC Three (UK users only as far as I'm aware) so Esports and Halo may even be appearing on some larger platforms!

Finally this week, check out this awesome video by Unsorted Gaming on a Halo 5 remake of Valhalla/Ragnarok

Until next time! Sky