Cloud9 defeats eUnited in Raleigh Major that heralds Halo's return to the limelight

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RALEIGH - Cloud9 have taken down eUnited in the grand finals of the first Halo Infinite Major.

EUnited fought their way into the grand final by way of the elimination final – they defeated FaZe Clan by a 3-2 scoreline. “I got a vendetta,” Ryan “RyaNoob” Geddes said on the broadcast before the grand finals matchup – he says he personally played poorly in the first match.

Unfortunately for them, eUnited ran into a buzz saw in the grand finals. Cloud9 won in a devastating 4-1 in maps, two of the first three maps were not close.

They won the biggest tournament since the Halo World Championship 2018 S1/S2 – one of the final LAN events in Halo 5’s life cycle. Throughout the tournament, Cloud9 dominated every team not named OpTic Gaming.

With the victory, Cloud9 claimed the unofficial title of Halo Infinite’s “team to beat”, the official title of HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh champions, and the lion’s share of a staggering $350,000 prize pool. Throughout the tournament, the closest anyone played Cloud9 was OpTic, who dueled them to a thrilling 3-2 finish in WR 6.

C9 vs eU Grand Final stats.
click to enlarge
The statistics from the BO7 Grand Final between Cloud9 and eUnited.

Viewed by over 200,000 on Twitch and thousands of fans in the Raleigh Convention Center, Halo has its first Major title holder in Infinite’s inaugural event.

By all measurables, the event was a resounding success outside of some first-day severe technical issues. With those issues sorted, it truly feels – and seems – like Halo is back in a major way.

Viewership on Twitch isn’t the only metric, and there are still some small lingering questions about the staying power of a scene that isn’t being juiced by its biggest event in decades in a wildly popular edition of the game, but all the same: it’s hard not to be bullish on Halo’s future.

Halo is back in the limelight – and very well may be back. The HCS has rightfully earned their vaunted position and all the praise, here, for this event. The question has moved from “can Infinite pull a fractured fanbase back together while pulling in new eyeballs” to “can this momentum be sustained and create fans for the duration of Infinite’s run”.

The answer will be revealed in the future, and it’ll depend on where the scene goes from here. This event, the first Major, was always going to be big. It’s the second one that will show the proof of the concept the HCS is selling – a long-term, committed, tier one esport.