The Decision: How Lethul changed the entire course of Halo esports

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On this date six years ago Lethul made a decision that would have a major impact on his career, his teammate’s careers, and the balance of power in Halo esports that is still felt to this day.

On November 21st 2014, less than two weeks after the release of Halo 2 Anniversary, Evil Geniuses announced their roster of Snipedown, Roy, Lunchbox, and Pistola.

At their first tournament, Iron Games Columbus 2014, they would lose in the Grand Finals against a Counter Logic Gaming team consisting of SnakeBite, Royal2, Ogre2, and Heinz. Following the loss Pistola would punch the stage in anger and break his hand, forcing Evil Geniuses to pick up Lethul since Pistola’s competitive status and future were in question. This new Evil Geniuses roster would go on to with both HCS Season 1 and HCS Season 2 Finals, defeating Counter Logic Gaming in both tournament’s respective Grand Finals. It’s worth noting that during this time period Counter Logic Gaming and Evil Geniuses would meet in four different LAN tournaments Grand Finals, establishing a rivalry between the two squads.

Evil Geniuses would retain their H2A roster and run it back in a brand new title with the release of Halo 5 Guardians in Fall 2015. They were hoping to replicate the same success they just had, and initially, they did, winning the first Halo World Championship qualifier in a decisive fashion. This would be the last time this four-man roster would win together however, in the second HWC qualifier they finished in joint 3rd place, in the third qualifier they would place a disastrous Top 16, finally, they would end their run with a 2nd place finish in the fourth qualifier.

On January 22nd 2016, with X-Games Aspen 2016 less than two weeks away, Lethul shocked the entire Halo esports scene and decided to leave Evil Geniuses. Lethul would replace Ogre 2 on Counter Logic Gaming, joining SnakeBite, Royal2, and Frosty. This roster change effectively ended the GOAT’s HCS career, Ogre2 would only participate in three more events before retiring to coach. Lethul broadcasted this move on his Twitch channel in a stream that mimicked LeBron James famous “decision.” He outlined his thought process on why he decided to leave, explaining that he believed the Evil Geniuses team had hit a wall and was no longer improving. In response, Evil Geniuses would pick up at the time a relatively unknown and unproven west coast player named Commonly to fill the void.

The hype surrounding X-Games Aspen was insane, to say the least. It would be the first Major League Gaming event in over four years, ESPN’s coverage would give the esport a national platform, and it marked the start of a record-breaking $2,500,000 Halo World Championship season, Halo was finally “back.”

CLG and EG would meet for the first time at the event in Pool Play, with the new look Counter Logic Gaming winning their series 3-0, and placing the two teams on the opposite side of the Championship Bracket. Both teams would win their Semifinal matchups and face each other once again, this time in the tournament’s best of seven Grand Finals.

Counter Logic Gaming would gain a 3-2 series lead before losing Game Six and a series-deciding Game Seven Team Slayer on an appropriately named map called Regret. This loss lead the entire community to question whether or not Lethul “regretted” his decision to leave Evil Geniuses.

Lethul would eventually have the laugh however, his Counter Logic Team would go on to win the next event, HWC NA Regional Finals, as well as the following tournament, the 2016 Halo World Championship, securing a $1,000,000 prize in the process.

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His Counter Logic Team would reach the next 18 straight Grand Finals, and go on to become the highest-earning, longest-tenured, 2nd most winning Halo team in the history of the sport.