Earlier this week Microsoft, the publisher of Halo 5: Guardians, announced the final 16 teams for the Halo World Championship and its record-breaking prize pool of $2.5 million.
With the largest individual prize pool in console eSports history, the first-person shooter game is setting a new milestone.
Halo: a successful console franchise
Unlike most poplar eSports games, such as League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter Strike, that have a home on the PC, Halo is one of the few examples of console success in the growing eSports industry. The franchise has seen a steady growth in its popularity throughout the last months and years, and Halo 5: Guardians earned $400 million in its first week of sales alone.
Said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, in a statement:
“The success of Halo 5: Guardians is a testament to the innovative work from the entire team at 343 Industries to bring this installment to Xbox One and the incredible community of fans who have come to love the story, characters and gameplay central to the franchise.
The game represents all the possibilities of Xbox One and has earned its place as the anchor title in the greatest holiday games lineup in Xbox history.”
With the success of the franchise and the development of the World Championship, the question whether Halo will be the next big title in the competitive eSports scene has definitely been answered.
At its first announcement at Gamescom 2015, the prize pool for the World Championship stood at $1 million, but Microsoft promised to add a portion of any income made off the back of Halo 5’s REQ Pack sales to the final pool.
REQ Packs are in-game purchases, which unlock weapons, armor, and vehicles for use in Halo 5’s new Warzone multiplayer mode. They come in silver, gold, or premium variants and are sold for $1.99, $2.99, and $24.99, respectively.
According to a November blog post by Halo’s developer 343 Industries, the REQ Pack crowdfunding brought in an additional $500,000 just nine days after the game’s release already. Now it seems that the Halo 5 community successfully raised the prize pool by an additional $1 million, which can be seen as great feedback for the games’ already growing popularity.
For example, Dota 2, the popular MOBA game, has also used similar crowdfunding methods for boosting prize pools for its tournaments, where players can help grow the final prize pool through in-game microtransactions.
The World Championship tournament will take place from March 18 to March 20 in Hollywood with the exact venue yet to be announced.
The final 16 teams that will compete for the trophy are:
- Team Allegiance (North America)
- Counter Logic Gaming (North America)
- Evil Geniuses (North America)
- Team Liquid (North America)
- Noble eSports (North America)
- Renegades (North America)
- Triggers Pound (North America)
- Denial eSports (North America)
- Epsilon eSports (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- FabE (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- exceL (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- Team Infused (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- Team Immunity (Australia)
- Team Exile5 (Australia)
- Skyfire (Asia)
- Chosen Squad (Latin America)