Halo Championship Series Shows off E-Sports' Power

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Steve Anderson
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Halo Championship Series Shows off E-Sports' Power

It will likely come as a surprise to virtually no one that Halo is a pretty big name when it comes to competitive gaming. But it's not really seen as a major name in e-sports, especially when it comes up for comparison against some games. But the Halo franchise is about to get a big new step up, thanks to the upcoming Halo Championship Series.

The Halo Championship Series--which will see 343 Industries and Microsoft partnering up with Twitch, the ESL, and others to help build tournaments around the Halo series. It's designed to reach its full capability when Halo 5: Guardians makes its first appearance in 2015, so it should start showing up any time now. The series is set to launch with both Halo: The Master Chief Collection's release by way of the Halo 2 Anniversary multiplayer maps, which will see the whole series start up now and run through March 2015, so those who were hoping for a little something extra to do this winter will have pretty much everything they need and more.

Naturally, as described by Halo Franchise Media Director Che Chou, Halo has a great mainstream appeal that makes it hard to pass up in terms of play. But the only real problem with Halo as an e-sports title is that it wasn't quite organized that well. There were quite a few different standards, and a lack of consensus among the various outlets, so the Halo Championship Series looks to take care of all that with a set of standardized rules to make the play more universal, and thus more readily moved from one place to another, much in the same way regular sports would work.

With a sufficient amount of organization, it should be comparatively simple to get more such events up and running. Yes, the market is fairly well entrenched right now around things like League of Legends and DOTA 2, but Halo has been around longer than either of these, going back as far as the original Xbox. While any shooter game, really, could serve as an e-sports system, to build one specifically around Halo makes more than its share of sense. After all, this is one of the biggest names in first person shooter since Doom, and that makes it a potent slice of game to begin with. This could be huge, really, especially with the kind of gaming infrastructure we have these days and the kind of power that Microsoft can bring to the table if it really got involved. Big prizes would certainly be in the offing, and may well make Halo one of the biggest names in e-sports.

While only the arrival of this March will tell us how far this goes when the early rounds conclude, it's a pretty safe bet that the arrival of Halo in the e-sports market will make a splash on par with a meteor strike. This could be quite the big deal indeed, if it's done correctly, and considering what all is on its side so far, done correctly may not be such a hard thing to pull off.

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