Chaos in the MLG Halo 3 Ranks

I’ve always been the “anti-MLG guy”, but in all honesty, Sundance and Sepso have paved the way for guys like me that want to run competitive console based gaming tournaments.  (So thanks, Sundance.)

I checked MLGpro.com for the first time in a few days and was greeted on the front page with the news that team Final Boss has dropped Walshy.  Final Boss was the most dominant Halo:CE and Halo 2 team on the planet.*  When MLG was in it’s formative days, Walshy and the Ogre twins were the league’s collective face.  On the USA Network show, Final Boss got half the coverage.  So for about 20 minutes an episode you basically watched someone from Final Boss go bananas.  They swept the 2005 Pro Circuit, and were finally beaten deep in the 2006 season by Carbon only to rebound and win the the ’07 season.

Final Boss releasing Walshy opened the flood gates for basically every top team in the league to do some roster jockeying.  As of 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, nineout of of the seventeen teams in the league had at least one open roster spot.  The top 4 teams are going nuts.

Str8 Rippin (1st place) lost Neighbor to Final Boss (4th place).  Rumors of Snipedown on 2nd place Triggers Down leaving for Str8 were all but confirmed by Snipedown on the MLGPro board, but have not been reflected in the official rosters.  This leaves Triggers Down who are fresh off a win in Orlando without a 4th.  The team that shouldn’t be overlooked in all of this is Instinct who worked the free agent wire like crazy who picked up the original Captain Clutch, AKA: Walshy and Soviet.

This marks the first time top tier MLG rosters have been juggled like this ever.  Final Boss has made 2 roster changes in four or five years, and until now the biggest roster news ever was Carbon dropping Ghandi last minute a few events ago.  Ghandi, by the way found himself onto 8th place team PSF who are (like a lot of other teams) looking for a 4th for Toronto.

One of the Ogre Twins’ girlfriends, who goes by TheAMY has posted several posts on the MLG board defending her boys, and rightfully so.  If the Phillies traded Chase Utley people would be upset, but they’d still be Phillies fans.  This, my friends, is the nature of sports.  We want esports to be recognized as professional competitions, this is what we’re in for.  These are teams, not friends (though being friends with your teammates helps).  That essay aside, this basically resets the season in time for Toronto giving teams one last chance to find their groove before the Dallas playoffs.

The moves aren’t done yet, there are some high profile F/A’s out there to be had.  And since MLG awards points to players more than teams, there are some points to be picked up for Dallas seeding.  And trust me, if you’re Nice Like Rice sitting in 16 spot, you’re looking to move up a couple spots.  There are three harsh teams at the top of the ladder.

But let’s look at what’s going on:
1st Place: Str8 Rippin – T2, Elamite Warrior, Legit, Snipedown(?)
The knock on Str8 comming in to the ’08 season was that they under performed.  Many people gave credit to their run this year to Neighbor being sick.  If you lose the all-star and replace him with the mercenary (Snipe’s looking at his third team of the season), can you keep on over performing?

2nd Place: Triggers Down – SK, FearItSelf, Hysteria, ?
Some say Snipedown was the reason tD won Orlando.  Heading into Toronto the question is, can they pick up a 4th that can fill that void?

3rd Place: Instinct – ROY, Luncbox, Walshy, Soviet
Without question Instinct became the team to beat in Toronto.  They picked up the biggest free agent in MLG history, and added another gamebreaker in Soviet.  If this team can gel in time for TOR, then we could quite possibly see a performance on par with Str8 marching through San Diego undefeated.  But can a team with 2 new players mesh that quickly?  And after playing with the same three dudes for years, can Walshy adjust to three new players around him?  FB has their own call-outs that only FB truly understands.  Can he adjust to a new set of call-outs in time to make this work?

4th Place: Final Boss – Ogre1, Ogre2, StrongSide, Neighbor
The Ogres and StrongSide turned themselves into the Evil Empire by dropping Walshy.  Some would argue that they’ve been the Evil Empire for two or three years.  The nay-sayers are saying that adding Neighbor is a lateral move for FB, a team that’s under performed since H3 replaced H2 this season.  A fith place finish at Orlando left FB on the outside looking in.  Will Neighbor bring the right chemsitry to put MLG’s New York Yankees back on track?

Some more interesting things to keep in mind as MLG gets ready to head up to North Buffalo (AKA: Toronto).  Believe the Hype, the 9th place team at Orlando disbanded.  Instinct left a lot of points on the table by releasing Mackeo (2800) and Victory X (2700), FeaR (2075).  Those three guys alone could jump into the Top 8.  An enterpising coach of one of those two semi-pro teams (Nice Like Rice & Dirty Ghetto Kids) could immediately become players by picking up any combination of those three guys.

It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on the MLG boards over the next couple days.

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