More money is pouring into eSports tournaments are big bucks right now, such as this week’s The International tournament in Seattle providing DOTA 2 players with the opportunity to snag $18 million in prizes. And, with this morning’s announcement at Gamescom, Microsoft is jumping back into the eSports action as well.
Per a report from Xbox Wire, the publisher behind the forthcoming Halo 5: Guardians has announced that it will once again bring back the Halo Championship Series, which will offer $1 million in prize money — a hefty increase from last year’s $150,000 bounty.
Microsoft demonstrated the eSports potential for Halo 5 today with a quick match-up between two teams, indicating that both the Warzone and Arena maps in the game are ripe for head-to-head match-ups. With this, casual players can get as much into the action as the pros — although, obviously, they fight at a much higher, and very competitive, level.
This is the latest push by a major publisher into the world of eSports, as Activision is also doing the same with its Call of Duty franchise. When it debuts this November, Call of Duty: Black Ops III is expected to get a big push behind its multiplayer as well.
“The bottom line is all game developers everywhere are looking for ways to turn their games into eSports titles,” said Rahul Sood, a former Microsoft executive now working as a chief executive for an eSports betting site, speaking with the New York Times.
As far as Halo 5‘s eSports potential goes, Bonnie Ross, head of 343 Industries (developers of the game), believes it’s all about the players. “The pros who play eSports are famous. They’re icons who people look up to. These are people that fans aspire to be.”
The tournament hasn’t been dated yet, but considering Halo 5: Guardians arrives on October 27th, it shouldn’t be too far from that date. The official trailer is below.
This is just part of the huge promotional push Microsoft is putting behind Halo 5: Guardians. The company will also release a special limited edition Halo 5 Xbox One bundle for $499, complete with a 1TB hard drive and specially designed controller and system. Controllers featuring Locke and Master Chief designs will also be available for $69 apiece. These will release on October 27th, the same date as the game.