There’s no better time to be a fan of the Halo first-person shooter series. With The Master chief Collection making its debut on Xbox One next week, and the all-new Halo 5: Guardians debuting next year, the series’ popularity will no doubt be at an all-time high — which is all the more reason to give it a primary focus in eSports.
The Halo Championship Series will serve as a partnership between 343 Industries (developer of the franchise’s latest entries), Microsoft, Twitch, the ESL and other smaller entities. With it, the goal is to boost the series’ community, while also adding tournament-enabled opportunities for players to prove what they have.
The inaugural season for the Championship Series will kick off with the debut of Master Chief Collection, and run through March 2015. However, Microsoft and 343 don’t expect it to be up to full speed until Guardians makes its debut in fall 2015, according to Polygon.
Primary focus for the HCS league will be on Halo 2: Anniversary, one of the highlighted inclusions for Master Chief Collection, as well as other variable multiplayer components. Media director Che Chou explained what the primary focus will be with the group. “We looked at a lot of different ways to handle Halo eSports,” Chou explains.
“It’s never been particularly organized, there’s no great structure,” Chou said. “Every league has different standards. We wanted to create a centralized system. We look at what Valve and Riot are doing at the forefront of eSports, and also admire that they’re flexible and always changing.”
For now, precise details on tournament play within the Series hasn’t been broken down yet, but Microsoft intends to reveal more details once Master Chief Collection debuts as both a retail release and Xbox Live download next week. However, it has been confirmed that the Series will, in fact, be open to all qualifying players, across desegregated brackets — so both males and females will be able to take part.
However, Choi stated that “a gender-specific league is not what Halo is about.”
“There’s nothing in the handbook, but we would prefer competitions be non-segregated, inclusive and open to the age of majority,” added 343i Community Director Andy Dudynsky. “We certainly imagine both genders will be competing on an even playing field.”
Move over, DOTA 2 and League of Legends, you may have some competition yet . . .