Halo esports comes from humble beginnings. Back in 2001 for Halo: Combat Evolved, we used to lug around heavy CRT TVs and system link original Xbox consoles to compete at a friend’s house – the only prize being the title of best among your friends. Fast forward through the next couple of years – the origin story of our friends at MLG, national championships creating esports royalty out of players such as OGRE2, Walshy, Pistola — and now, more than 10 games later – and we’ve reached the conclusion of the third Halo World Championship.
This past weekend was special in many ways. The Halo World Championship was created from our desire to give the competitive Halo community a north star to look toward – the crown jewel of Halo esports where the stakes are the highest on the biggest stage possible. Sixteen teams from around the world braved the trials of competition, the stress of winning and losing and the characteristically rainy conditions of Seattle to put on a show for the title of Halo World Champion.
And what a show it was – whether it was witnessing incredible game seven matches between Team Reciprocity and Team EnVyUs play out in dramatic fashion, seeing Europe place in the top eight once again or watching Oxygen Supremacy’s Ryan “RyaNoob” Geddes emerge victorious as the FFA World Champion. In the end however, it was Splyce, a team that really showed the rest of the world what the peak of competitive Halo gaming looks like. They absolutely dominated in the tournament, sweeping the former champs Tox Gaming in the grand finals. They’re now the new Halo World Champions and have taken the lion’s share of the $1 million prize pool.
To the fans who tuned in this weekend, we want to thank you for making this year’s Halo World Championship so special. It’s been your continued support that has kept many of us going – you are the reason why we saw a 300 percent increase in the amount of teams competing since we first started doing open events again in 2016. Your enthusiasm for Halo esports is why we expanded our FFA tournaments from select Microsoft Stores to all 82 locations in North America, Australia and Puerto Rico, making the tournaments a community destination and competitive hub for both rookie gamers and champions such as RyaNoob. And your interest in watching Halo esports is why we saw our unique viewership during the Halo World Championship season double this year.
Having the Halo World Championship finals in our backyard at Seattle was also fantastic. Our partners at MLG did a tremendous job making the CenturyLink Field Events Center something special for any Halo fan – walking by the Chief as you enter with Halo’s sonorous music was magical and seeing the names of old champions, more than a decade of Halo history, truly puts the legacy of Halo esports in perspective. We also saw the Halo community come out in a huge way with several thousands of fans showed up in-person throughout the weekend, exceeding the previous attendance of each Halo World Championship finals combined by a landslide! We talked about delivering a finals venue that our community deserves; I hope our fans feel like we met that goal.
It was a legendary weekend at the Halo World Championship finals and it’s been humbling to see the progress Halo esports has made since 2001. With more than $5 million awarded in prizing to-date and our new partnership with our old friends at MLG, support for Halo esports has never been stronger and we’re excited for the future.