Today we ask the presenter Richard Simms to share with us his views about the EGL Battle of Europe this Sunday. Having built up a rapport with so much experience at casting, he’s witnessed players individual strengths and how that merges into a team. We ask him about the bigger picture, surprises and predictions in the current Battle of Europe.

What or who shocked you the most in the online qualifiers?

Simms – DZS. I seriously felt that with the team changes that happened in week 4 Varsity had it in the bag. It may have been me overlooking these guys as quite a few people did say DZS would under-dog it, but I felt strongly that it would be Varsity taking it! Once Faze split for me it was always going to be Varsity, the lads put up good fights each and every week and I was stunned when DZS beat them. DZS were also effected by the team changes with Blizz coming on board but apparently Blizz went totally nuts in the qualifiers and helped them solidify that 4th and final spot! Credit to them, it’s nice to see a non UK mainland team coming in!

Are you surprised by the four teams that made it the Grand Finals and is there a team you think should have made it?

Simms – This kind of goes hand in hand with the above question but to be honest I think we all expected Faze to take week 4. Right from when they announced this event I called TCM, Epsilon, Vibe and Faze and I’ve stuck with that all the way through. Faze actually went to a LAN center week 3 to try and qualify but unfortunately fell at the final hurdle to Vibe in the grand finals! Once the Big 3 were out of the way I was so certain Faze would bag week 4. During that week Faze split and Talic went to TEC further cementing TEC’s slaying power so my initial mind set was TEC to now take it. Once TEC split there was only 1 team that looked fighting fit and ready to take advantage of these team changes and that was Varsity. I’m surprised Varsity didn’t get in if I’m honest, as mentioned previously the lads gave it their best and tried each and every week but DZS won fair and square and showed up on the night! Look forward to seeing how they do against the other teams on the day!

Harry “Wonderboy” Channon and Simms spreading the casting love.

Which team would you most like to qualify in the HCS Season Finals and why?

Simms – Honestly I’m not too bothered about who makes it there, it’s fantastic to have some kind of European representation at the HCS finals either way and no matter who goes they will do the EU proud by just being there! In terms of who I think would go the furthest in the finals, I’d have to say this stage say Epsilon. I personally think Epsilon bring something a little different to the table in terms of play style. A lot of the time I feel we as an EU community lack a little on the raw slaying power that our US counterparts have and maybe, just maybe, Epsilon’s unpredictability will come into play and they will give the US players an unseen challenge they don’t expect!

Out of the players competing, which one do you think will be MVP?

Simms – There is literally so many names I could put on this list, we basically have the best top talent that Europe has to offer! If you want me to pick 1, for me personally its a toss up between Ramirez, Snipedrone and Gunner. I’m going to go with Snipedrone just simply because I know with time and practice what Mike is capable off. He’s come from been this quiet guy in Halo 4 who I used to get slapped about by online, to been possibly one of the best European players we have currently. I also feel his attitude is quality on LAN. When you see Mike on LAN he’s just simply not phased by any one at all and it’s all a bit of a laugh! He’s come out of no where to beat some of the best EU Halo players on LAN across Halo 4 and Halo 3. Gfinity and i53 were not great for him and I think this was because he wasn’t used to the Meta of Halo 2 compared to some of the older generation of players. I said at both these events that with time Mike would become a god at this game, I guess at EGL we will find out!

Lots of great and detailed information there to mull over in the lead up to the weekend. Do you agree with Simms and his predictions? Who’s your bet on MVP? What team do you want to make it to the Season Finals? Engage with the conversation and leave your thoughts below!

Big thank you to Richard for sharing his views and being so accommodating. If you don’t follow him on twitter yet here it is. He’s also staff for another great resource of Halo updates and banter- the EU Halo Forum, check out their twitter too.

You can watch the LAN exclusively at the EGL twitch page on the 22nd February, game play starts 11AM GMT.

Who will win the EGL HCS Battle Of Europe 2015?