Everything you need to know about FaZe’s HCS Dallas online qualifier

by Brian Bencomo

In partnership with the Halo Championship Series, FaZe Clan is hosting an online Halo tournament for North American teams this weekend, from Friday (May 12) to Saturday (May 13). FaZe has partnered with Nerd Street to operate this tournament, which will serve as a stepping stone for the next big Halo tournament, the HCS Global Invitational at Dreamhack Dallas. Here’s a primer on what to expect and which teams to keep an eye on this weekend.

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What’s at stake?

The top two teams at this qualifier will get direct invites to the HCS Global Invitational at Dreamhack next month. Many of these teams will already qualify based on HCS points, but it’s a chance for teams just outside the points standings to grab a spot at the next big HCS event.

What’s the format?

The teams have been divided into four groups of four and the games begin Friday at 12 p.m. ET on FaZe’s Twitch channel. Teams will compete in a single round robin during group play, and the top teams in each group will proceed to a double elimination bracket. All matches will be best-of-five, except the grand final, which will be a best-of-seven. The team reaching the grand final from the lower bracket can force a bracket reset and will need to win two best-of-sevens to win the tournament.

Read more: The best events and tournaments at Localhost in April

Who are the competing teams?

Group A

  • OpTic Gaming
  • Sentinels
  • The Avengers
  • Lies

Group B

  • FaZe Clan
  • Complexity
  • Shopify Rebellion
  • Locked

Group C

  • Spacestation Gaming
  • Native Gaming White
  • Proton Gaming
  • Status Quo

Group D

  • Native Gaming Red
  • G1
  • Cloud9
  • Mantra

Who are the favorites?

Photo credit: HCS

OpTic Gaming

This is the best Halo team in the world. OpTic won the HCS Championship last year and won the Kickoff Major in Charlotte earlier this year. OpTic’s run of success began last spring when they won the FaZe Halo Invitational, shortly after multi-esport legend Matthew "FormaL" Piper teamed up with Bradley "aPG" Laws, Tommy "Lucid" Wilson and Joey "TriPPPeY" Taylor.

Read more: The top 10 esports orgs in the world in 2023

FaZe Clan

FaZe leveled up their team in a big way during the offseason following the 2022 Halo Championship. Jonathan "Renegade" Willette stayed on the roster, and FaZe added three members of a very strong Sentinels roster that was disbanded following a successful 2022. With the inclusion of Bradley "Frosty" Bergstrom, Mathew "Royal2" Fiorante and Paul "SnakeBite" Duarte, FaZe finished second at the Charlotte Kickoff Major.

Spacestation Gaming

This Spacestation Gaming roster is the old Cloud9 roster that found so much success in late 2021 and early 2022 in winning the Raleigh Kickoff Major at the start of the HCS 2021-22 season. Kevin "Eco" Smith, Zane "Penguin" Hearon and Braedon "StelluR" Boettcher were part of that highly successful roster, and alongside Adam "Bound" Gray, Spacestation finished third at the first Major of this season.

Lead photo credit: HCS

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