The Halo World Champions have been crowned and their name is Counter Logic Gaming. 16 teams qualified into group stages and were put into a bracket of a $2.5 million prize pool. The winners would claim $1milllion while teams in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place would receive a smaller portion of the pool.
Halo is a first person shooter where teams of four must defeat the opposing team in game types such as slayer; capture the flag, and strongholds (territory based game). The bracket was an eight team single elimination with a best of five series until the semi finals and finals at seven. The diversity of the teams started with North America having eight teams, Europe and Africa with four, Australia and New Zealand with two, and Latin America and Asia both with one team.
CLG faced Allegiance in a best of seven series game. The first game was capture the flag with both holding each other 1-1. A tie results in the game being restarted and this time CLG pushed their way onto winning the game. From there on, the momentum went on CLG where the constant pressure and team coverage on their opponents overwhelmed Allegiance. CLG went onto conquer slayer on The Rig with a score of 50-22. The 3rd game, stronghold, requires teams to capture two bases out of the three in order to score points. CLG controlled the map and the weapons not allowing Allegiance to pick up any rhythm throughout the match. CLG claimed their third victory with 100-15. CLG’s sweep came from a capture the flag game. Allegiance started off the game with a flag capture showing they are not out of the series. However, CLG managed to turn the tide and captured two more flags. Allegiance attempted to penetrate CLG’s teamwork, but it was not enough as the clock expired to crown CLG as the new Halo World Champions.
The $2.5 million prize pool is the largest individuals prize in console eSports history according to Microsoft. PC eSports held an International Dota 2 Championships where the winning team Evil Geniuses took home $6.6 million. The Halo World Championship was originally a $1 million prize pool until the halo community funded the rest of the money by purchasing in game downloadable content with their own money.
The fans raised $1.5 million, which in my eyes is an astounding amount for an underground community to do. Fans that love playing the game raised this tournament up and made into something bigger than what was originally intended.
This new eSport just rising has attracted more and more people as the years come by. Professional teams form different teams for different games and attempt to be a powerhouse in multiple competitions. These teams become so successful that they are emerging with sponsors from Monster, SanDisk, Intel, and more. These players and organizations are receiving attention by companies who understand the potential of what is to be a new booming eSport.
I believe it is inevitable for this attraction to get bigger a few decades. The crowd it attracts is young adolescents and children since those are the people that are being exposed for video games. As the generations begin to shift, younger people will be surrounded with video games at a young age. Not many people understand the phenomenon because they have not played the game and understand the rules.
I have played Halo since 2008 so I have been playing the up to date games for about eight years now. I know enough to understand that what these players are doing consists of intense thinking and precision. When you understand what a person is going through mentally and strategically whether it is a game of football, soccer, tennis, dodge ball, or whatever, you appreciate their contribution so much more. It may not be athletic, flashy, or sexy, but the attraction and entertainment is what it really needs to push eSports into a bigger market.