In the mid-2000’s, competitive video games started to make strides in the United States when Major League Gaming rose in popularity. The MLG pro circuit has had a noticeable impact on games such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Call of Duty, and Gears of War, but the one title that is synonymous with the MLG era would be the Halo franchise.
And when we’re discussing competitive Halo, Team Final Boss will always be on everyone’s tongues. Final Boss was one of the most successful teams in those early days of competitive Halo, and were the prototype championship esports team. Yet they were only active for six years before folding in 2011. What happened to Final Boss?
Final Boss: The Team To Beat
Final Boss was an immediate success. Originally starting out as Shoot to Kill, they changed their name to Team 3D after being sponsored by an organization of the same name before finally settling on Final Boss.
Final Boss held the record for longest consecutive win streak with eight straight tournament victories during the pro circuit and were the undisputed kings of Halo 2. They were sponsored by NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas, adding fame to their name. The squad of the OGRE twins (OGRE1 and OGRE2,) Walshy, and Strongside was simply too much for most of the competition in the day.
But Halo 3 would mark the decline of the dynasty. While they won the inaugural event of the season, they would experience several subpar placings, prompting some drastic roster changes. It would all be for naught, however, as Final Boss finished 4th at the Halo 3 National Championships. By 2009, OGRE2 was the last founding member of Final Boss to remain on the team.
Things seemed to turn around with Final Boss closing out the 2010 season strong as champions, but with the release of Halo: Reach, things would plummet. Despite holding on to that championship team, they finished 10th at an event, their worst placing in history. And despite signing Ninja to their squad, they were unable to produce results and the team ceased functioning by 2011.
What Happened To Final Boss?
The business models of today simply weren’t in place back in the early to late 2000’s. Merchandise and stream content, two large sources of revenue for esports teams, weren’t what they are today, meaning teams had to win a scary amount of tournaments and procure sponsorships (likely unprofitable ones) to be able to stay relevant. Add to that the fact that Halo’s popularity as a competitive game wasn’t what it once was, and Final Boss was doomed after a certain point.
It’s worth noting that OGRE2 assembled a team under the original name “Shoot to Kill” to compete in the 2014 Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational, the closest thing to a Final Boss revival that we would get. This revived team would eventually be acquired by Counter Logic Gaming, once again putting an end to the Final Boss name.