Legends Never Die: Final Boss Part 2

Jul 13, 2012

               As fate would have it (or just the seeding) Instinct would end up playing Final Boss, and like the curse that would continue through out Halo 3, the team that dropped Walshy would feel his wrath. The newly formed Instinct seemed simply more organized than the new Final Boss; even with all their firepower. Final Boss would lose the series a crushing 3-1, and would end up placing third, below both Instinct and Str8 Rippin. Ironically both the teams that were effected by the acquisition of Neighbor. This iteration of Final Boss would bounce between 3rd and 4th through out the rest of the season. Their losses were heartbreaking, often coming inches from the victory, only to fall victim to uncharacteristic mistakes. The structured unstoppable juggernaut that was Final Boss in Halo 2, was replaced by a team that was struggled to find any way to pull out a win. The 2008-09 off season became a grim one. The rumors of Ogre 1's retirement, breaking up the legendary duo spelled the sure end for Final Boss in the eyes of many fans. Couple that with the departure of Neighbor to Instinct, and the leave of Strongside to mentor the rising stars of Status Quo, the future was bleak. Ogre 2, who was left on his own to rebuild a team, snagged the solid duo of Victory X and Mackeo, along with the recently successful Fearitself to round out his team. MLG Meadowlands, the 2009 season opener certainly had it's share of interesting storylines. Ogre 2 would crush his briefly unretired brother, and his team, in the first round; The new Final Boss would face off against the revamped Instinct, where Walshy would recite his now famous “Candy from a baby." Insult, and then back it up with another woeful 3-1 victory over his old teammate.

        Final Boss would finish Meadows a disappointing 5th, as a completely new team would expect to perform they where disjointed. Their communication and map movement looked a season behind compared to the other teams, but their individual skill and experience kept them in the games. The elected to stay together and work it out for the second of the season, Columbus. Being a mere couple hours from Ogre 2's home, it seemed he finally found some semblance of comfort since his '08 struggles. Playing a great tournament, Tom Ryan helped propel his team into position to win the tournament. But, Final Bosses issues with closing games continued, taking a third place back seat to new dueling arch rivals Str8 and Triggers Down. It was clear Mackeo's decision had cost them a couple of crucial games, so he was dropped in favor of prodigal son, Strongside, who was not satisfied with his stint as the elder leader of Status Quo. However Strongside’s heralded return for MLG Dallas was lackluster, dropping Final Boss a couple places landing them at 5th.

        Frustrated, Fearitself left to fill an opening over on Instinct, and Final Boss elected to pick up Free Agent Soviet for Anaheim. This decision proved to be disastrous for FB, their performance nabbed them a heart wrenching and legacy tarnishing placing of 9th place. Never had an Ogre ever placed out of top 8 in team play, neither had the label of Final Boss. The team was quick to relinquish Soviet, who was cited as not being able to play up to potential come tournament time. Final Boss scrambled for a fourth picking up wandering F/A Sypher, but still managed to place a dismal 8th in the 2009 Orlando National Championship. To everyone watching, this was the death of Final Boss. But like every great tale, the beast is never really gone. It's just lying in wait, for everyone to be lulled to sleep, before it returns.

        During the 2010 season, it did. Final Boss' new roster for the season opener back in Orlando saw the return of Fearitself, and the addition of a young, spry Totz, who brought with him his practice facilities. The ability to train so intensely with each other turned the team into a well knit group, that may not out slay you, but will find the means to win. This back to basics approach is exactly what Final Boss needed, and it sprung them back into the Top 3 in Orlando. But then, Triggers Down made a mistake. If there was a single player that could dominate an entire team in 2010, it would have been Pistola. For whatever reason, ill-advised or not, Triggers Down replaced him with Totz for Columbus, who inversely had the lowest Kill-to-Death ratio in the entire league. Triggers Down inadvertently exhaled a breath of life to the wounded beast, and a Final Boss was reborn. Taking it's first steps as a titan, Final Boss once again clashed with a new incarnation of Instinct that had given the Roy and Lunchbox twins their first even win, the tournament before. In a 6-4 slug fest Instinct walked away victorious, but gave Ogre 2 his first taste of the Finals in over a year, maybe that's all it took. FB and Instinct had a finals rematch the very next event in Raleigh, North Carolina, and this time the record was almost flipped with Final Boss toppling the back-to-back winners and scoring their first tournament victory since Halo 3's inception on the MLG Circuit. In true Final Boss fashion, one victory was not enough, at MLG D.C., Final Boss' mettle would be tested knocked into the loser's bracket they would be put up against a Dynasty squad that was rife with young talent, and was lead by National Champion, Clutch. The series went to a harrowing Game 11,Slayer Pit, where Final Boss kept the game just out of reach and clinched the Finals Showdown with Triggers Down.

        Hot off the Game 11 victory, Final Boss didn't let the series go past 8 games, making coming out of losers bracket almost look easy. The nonchalant expressions on their faces after their victory where reminiscent of the days of old, where victory was more expected, then sought after. After the playoff victory in D.C, Final Boss set their sites on the Dallas National Championship, where they hoped to do what no other team has ever accomplished in Halo 3, and win three tournaments in a row. As Final Boss had looked during Halo 2's last tournament on the circuit, they looked just as imposing for Halo 3's. There was not a team that would come in their way to become the only team to three-peat, not even a skilled Status Quo team, lead by all-star Coach: Tsquared. Final Boss pummeled SQ handily 6-2, Final Boss takes home yet another crown, 2010 National Champions. In the 2010-2011 off season things looked like much like the advent of Halo 3, the Final Boss juggernaut looked to struggle with the game's new mechanics, and new young stars excelled in their wake. Unlike 2008, however, the 2011 Dallas Season opener would not see the crowning of the returning Champions, in fact it would be the advent of Final Bosses lowest placing and subsequent identity crisis. In Dallas, the unbeatable Halo 3 dynasty, would take a beating. They dropped to an all-time low of 10th place.

        FearitSelf, and Victory seemed to struggle heavily with the games new mechanics, and in tournaments to come, reticule bloom wouldn't be their only worry. Seeing their teammates ineptitude and lack of enthusiasm for the game, Ogre 2 and Pistola left to join Lunchbox and Roy to form “The God Squad”. The issue was that they where not allowed to retain their Final Boss seed and where forced to use the team name Instinct. The remaining members Victory X and FearitSelf, retained the seed as well the Final Boss name. Fan's where none to happy to hear of the office politics, in their eyes the Final Boss named belonged to none other than Ogre 2, and if none of the original members reside on that team it should be retired. The fan's criticisms fell on deaf ears, to fill in the gaps left by their departed teammates Victory and FearItSelf picked up unbridled talent Ninja, and fresh off of Instinct, Totz. The team fared much better than expected and placed 5th at Columbus, but the differences between Ninja and the rest of the team had become too much. Final Boss was forced to swap him for Anaheim, replacing him with 2009 National Champion Cloud. The change ended up being detrimental to the squad dropping them to the bottom of the prize pool.         The criticisms got louder. As far as fan's where concerned this Final Boss was a fake. Totz retired, and FB looked for another young gun, Amish Acorns, to fill the gap. Hysteria took the place of Cloud. Final Boss looked to boost their slaying power with the emphasis sprint put on individual battles, but the strategy faltered as FB dropped off the prize pool, placing 10th in Raleigh, and repeat the placing in Orlando, after changing out Acorns for Legit. Final Boss would limp into Providence, Rhode Island National Championships with the same squad as Orlando and squueked out a top 6 placing. The end of 2011 season, was rocky not only for Final Boss, but the entire Halo community. In a way Final Boss is synonymous with the growth of the eSport. FB was a beacon that caused a people to get into Halo competitively. Everyone wanted to be the biggest, and baddest the league had to offer, everyone wanted to be the team that slayed the beast. The shadow Final Boss casts on Halo eSports, will be felt as long as the community is alive, and maybe even after. It's true what the Babe Ruth says in Sandlot: “...hero's get remembered, but legends never die.” Long live Halo. Long live Final Boss.

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