December 23, 2021
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Halo has a long story with esports. From the first title in the series, Halo: Combat Evolved, the franchise has always caught attention of competitive players. Things changed in the most recent years with Halo 5 falling to keep the series momentum, unfortunately.

However, things are starting to change for Halo. With Infinite’s launch, 343 Industries has already drawn a year-long plan for esports events. Now, major esports organizations such as Cloud9 and Natus Vincere have started investing in their rosters to represent their brands in the coming events, and the future for the Halo series in esports seems bright once again. Hence, it’s no exaggeration to say that Halo Infinite is one of the most promising esports titles right now.

So, if you want to get up to what’s next for Halo: Infinite and – or – catch up with the game’s first events, we got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know to be ready for Infinite’s rising esports scene.

OPENING INFINITE

While 343 Industries’ first official event will be seen by many as Halo Infinite’s debut on esports, the game had two events prior to it. The first, organized by BoomTV, packed a $50.000 prize pool, sixteen orgless teams featuring popular streamers and community members and was played online. Team Frosty won the event.

Next, Twitch organized Infinite’s second tournament as part of Twitch Rivals, once again with orgless teams. 8 squads played in the event while competing for the $50.000 prize pool, and Team Echidna, led by Echidna won the event and took home $9.500.

Other tournaments were also played before the Raleigh’s Major. The first one featuring organization-backed squads was the Esports Arena Series E, which was won by Sentinels and was played online in December 11th.

THE KICKOFF MAJOR

Halo Infinite’s first major event, however, would come shortly after the initial tournaments hosted by third-parties. The Halo Championship Series 2021: Kickoff Major, organized by 343 Industries, was an offline event using Halo’s traditional 4v4 format that lasted for a weekend. It featured a $350.000 prize pool, and it was played at the Raleigh Convention Center.

The event featured 272 teams overall from four regions: North America (US and CA), Mexico, Europe and Oceania. The big part of the event, the Playoffs, featured 32 teams in a double-bracket competition. All matches but the grand-finals were best-of-five. The HCS: Kickoff Major also featured a free-for-all competition with open signups. Cody “Vetra” from Team Solaris won the FFA event, and along with the win also got $5.000.

Back to the main event, though, it was a disputed tournament through and through. After some incredible games, like the UP.SF between Cloud9 and OpTic, or the lower-bracket clash between FaZe.Clan and eUnited, Halo Infinite’s first Major reached its grand-final. Cloud9 faced eUnited in a BO7, and the former took home the trophy after another incredible match.

We had many more incredible matches – which fans will want to rewatch for sure. But the Kickoff Major had more to it than just great games. The HCS 2021 Major beat Halo’s previous viewership record on its opening day. Then, later in the event beat its own record, passing the 267.000 viewers’ mark.

A BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD

While Halo Infinte’s first Major just ended, as we mentioned above, the game’s developer has already drawn an esports roadmap for it going into 2022. Fortunately, it won’t take long until we see more action coming from Halo up-and-coming stars.

For the bigger events in the scene, the HCS: North American Regions are set to start in February 11th in Anaheim. Then, it’ll be time for the Mexico and Oceania Super’s in early March. These two events will be played online and each will have a $50.000 prize pool, as well as spots for the Kansas City Major.

Later in March, Europe will have its own qualifier to the Kansas City Major. Just like the other three events, it’ll feature 24 teams. Differently than Anaheim’s $125.000 prize pool and the Super’s $50.000, the Europe Super will have $100.000 up for grabs.

Finally, in April 29th, it will be time for the HCS 2022: Kansas City Major. Not many details are available right now, but the event will feature a $250.000 prize pool and it will be played offline. Next up will be the HCS 2022: Orland Major, but that’s only happening in late September.

However, these are only the bigger events in the HCS circuit. In between these events, we will be having plenty of regional, smaller tournaments called “Open Series”, “Pro Series” and “Open Championships”. If you absolutely want more Halo no matter the level of competition, then the action starts even earlier with the HCS: Open Series 3. The NA, EU, Oceania and MX events will start at the same day, on January 2nd.

THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS

The Halo World Championship are yearly prestigious events in the Halo series. These started fading away as Halo popularity as an esports game diminished. However, Microsoft and 343 Industries are bringing those back next year.

In 2022, Halo fans will finally have something to look forward esports-wise at the end of the year then. The Halo World Championship 2022 is set to be played in Seattle, and it will feature a $1.000.000 prize pool.

This will be the first Halo event to feature such a prize pool in over two years. The last WC was played in 2018, and was won by Splyce. That team then featured the current Cloud9 trio who just won HCS 2021: Kickoff Major. The trio, of course, is composed by Braedon “StelluR” Boettcher, Jonathan “Renegade” Willette and Kevin “Eco” Smith.

HALO IS BACK!

After an incredible Major that beat Halo previous viewership records and a solid roadmap ahead, Halo Infinite is in the right path to become the most popular esports in Halo’s history. It’s clear that 343 Industries want this to happen, so fans can get ready for an unforgettable year in Halo esports.

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@mjunior