Summer Season 2017 Roster Changes Preview

As usual, the end of a season in competitive Halo leads to a hurricane of team changes and roster swaps. While this pre-season has been quieter than most, there have still been some surprises. Most of these have been unconfirmed, but are looking more and more likely as roster lock approaches.

Evil Geniuses

EG, currently with Jason “Lunchbox” Brown and Justin “Roy” Brown, have been consistently scrimmaging with Brett

Naded. Courtesy of Brett Leonard.

Naded” Leonard and Michael “Falcated” Garcia. On paper, this change seems like neither an upgrade nor downgrade. The loss of Cody “ContrA” Szczodrowski, whether he was dropped or left, filled a similar role as Falcated. Both open up areas around the map for their team and lay down damage.

Naded, on the other hand, has shown that he is a player capable of doing everything. Not only putting up big kills, but also aggressively pushing objectives like Lunchbox. Recent scrims show promise, with a close 5-8 loss to Team EnVyUs, and another 5-6 loss to Splyce. However, the next day, EG lost 2-11 to Crowd Pleasers. Whether this was just a bad day or not remains to be seen.

 

 

Luminosity Gaming

Luminosity has once again re-acquired Joe “TriPPPeY” Taylor and has shown vast improvement. TriPPPey, providing

Courtesy of Joe Taylor.

additional slaying power alongside Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Tommy “Saiyan” Wilson, has really pulled this squad together. With Cameron “Victory X” Thorlakson handling the objectives, LG is looking strong. Scrims have reflected this improvement. This squad has split games with Splyce, Liquid, and even one with OpTic, while their only losses have been to EnVyUs. Many are already placing this squad in their top 4.

 

Splyce

Speaking of Splyce, the young guns have dropped Falcated for Jonathan “Renegade” Willette, the former star player of Str8 Rippin. Renegade will be joined by Jesse “bubu dubu” Moeller, Ryan “Shooter” Sondhi, and Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro. This move seems to have provided a small boost for Splyce, as reflected in scrims. This squad has managed to beat Liquid, while also splitting games with LG. Their only losses have been to OpTic and EnVysUs.

 

Str8 Rippin

The loss of Renegade to Splyce was a big hit to Str8. He was their star player for a reason, constantly putting up huge slays, to the point of being nicknamed “Renegod” by the community. However, Str8 players have already virtually confirmed their new fourth.

Str8 Rippin will now presumably be Aaron “Ace” Elam, Bradley “APG” Laws, Richie “Heinz” Heinz, and Dan “Danoxide” Terlizzi. Danoxide has proven himself as a capable slayer, but whether he can fill Renegade’s shoes is in doubt. Str8 often oriented and played around Renegade’s power slaying, and we haven’t seen Danoxide have that role to the same extent yet. The squad may not be able to play the same way they did around Renegade due to this change, which may jeopardize their ability to remain in the top 4.

We may still see a few more roster changes before HCS Daytona. However, the changes reviewed here appear to already be set in stone. With more and more teams rising to try to challenge OpTic, we could see at least a change in the top 4 very soon.

What do you think of these changes? Be sure to let me know!

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Devin! Get in touch with Devin personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @RattPackFrosty!

Header Image courtesy of Halo Waypoint.

Full Timeline for HCS Open Circuit Revealed, Online Cups Make a Return

In an announcement Monday, the HCS revealed a full timeline for the North American HCS Open Circuit. The timeline features six online placement tournaments and two conclusive live events. With HCS Daytona quickly approaching, amateur players must soon face off online for seeding points. This article presents the timeline for the HCS Open Circuit and breaks down the format.

HCS/UMG Daytona

To seed for HCS Daytona, Millennial Esports will host two online Placement Cups. Each cup will operate a double elimination format, with best-of-5

Image by Twitter.com/UMGEvents

series played throughout. The first cup will use the newly-crafted “V2” settings. This will be the first official tournament in which these settings are used. For the second Placement Cup, Halo mentions potential use of “V3” settings.

 

These Placement Cups will be open to any team outside of the top 7, and will likely draw most of the top amateur talent. To raise the stakes, Halo states that the winner of Placement Cup #2 will ultimately bear the 8th seed overall at HCS Daytona.

 

Important Open Circuit Dates

The Open Circuit format is as follows:

  • Placement Cup #1 – April 29-30
  • Placement Cup #2 – May 6-7
  • UMG/HCS Daytona – May 12-14
  • Cup #1 – May 27-28
  • Cup #2 – June 3-4
  • Cup #3 – June 24-25
  • Cup #4 – July 8-9
  • Dreamhack Atlanta – July 21-23

Details are still scarce surrounding the four online cups preceding Dreamhack Atlanta. It can be assumed that the cups will be used for seeding the amateur bracket. Four online cups will allow amateur teams to further solidify their status without placing too much weight on one single tournament

Image by ESLgaming.com

With the announcement, Halo reiterates their dedication to amateur players who want to fight for pro status. Although there will be several opportunities for amateurs to ascend the ranks, the heavy reliance on online play may leave a bitter taste in the mouths of players. Online tournaments drew criticism last season from pro and amateur players alike, due to their sometimes-unreliable nature. Hopefully, these tournaments will not be plagued with connectivity issues.

Despite players hoping for a more event-oriented Open Circuit, the improved structure will be a refreshing characteristic for most. Nevertheless, this summer will deliver more spectacular Halo matches, and prove who has best mastered the new competitive settings.

Are you competing in the upcoming Halo 5 Open circuit? Let us know in the comments!

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Who Benefits Most From the New Settings?

The new HCS settings have been released. With the game and meta now changing, let’s take a look at where players might see noticeable improvement during the Summer Season!

 

Fall of the Rad-ar Kids?

The most controversial addition to Halo 5’s competitive settings.

Just to be clear, no players will get spectacularly worse due to not having the full radar and automatic weapons. All have shown their ability with precision weapons, and most have at least played the classic titles at high levels despite not being pros. All players have adapted to using radar and will have to gain or re-gain their awareness. That said, some players will catch on faster and see more of a benefit due to prior experience. Here’s just a few!

 

The Up and Up

Two notable players that pretty much everyone thinks will improve are Justin and Jason Brown, or “Roy” and “Lunchbox,” respectively. These players have already stated that they are enjoying the game far more with the new settings. Being veteran players with top 8 finishes since Halo 2, these two can start showing that they are still top players.

 

Let’s hop to the Luminosity roster. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has been showing his improvement on these new settings.

 

Ninja has been performing much better since the changes, and his trademarked raging is also notably less present due to the lack of automatic weapons. The new radar allows flanks to have much more of an impact, suitable for fast-moving, hyper-aggressive players such as Ninja.

Cameron “Victory X” Thorlakson is another player who will likely improve with the new settings. His slower, more methodical play-style will suit the newer radar, while once again, the lack of automatic weapons is just better for everyone.

Two more players who will likely improve are Eric “Snip3down” Wrona and Justin “iGotUrPistola” Deese. Both have been vocal about supporting these changes since launch and must be happy to finally see them implemented. Snip3down, with autos removed, has more room to make his excellent shot work. As for Ola, well, he’s the Wizard for a reason. Pistola is notorious for being difficult to play against, breaking many ankles in order to slip away whenever possible. The new radar will only bolster these abilities.

Many other players will see benefits from the new changes, these are just a few notable ones. Who else do you think will perform better with the new settings? Sound off in the comments or on Twitter!

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Devin! Get in touch with Devin personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @Frostbite_XV2!

Images via MLG and Eurogamer, respectively. 

HCS Announces Summer Pro League 2017 Details

The Halo Championship Series has announced the official roadmap for the Summer 2017 Pro League. The announcement comes hot on the heels of brand new competitive settings, which are currently being tested. The new settings will make their official debut at HCS Daytona next month. This piece will recap the Pro League announcement and touch on competitive Halo plans for the rest of 2017.

North American Pro League

Following HCS Daytona in mid-May, the North American Pro League will make its official return on May 24. Pro teams will battle weekly in online matches to earn championship seeding points.

The HCS Summer Season will conclude with an open championship event at Dreamhack Atlanta from July 21 to July 23. Dreamhack Atlanta will feature an open bracket, and amateur teams will have the chance to battle their way to the title. As a result, Halo fans may see exciting upsets, as equal opportunity will be available for any team to succeed.

Additionally, the HCS announced seven pro teams that will comprise the Pro League top eight. Here are the teams:

  • OpTic Gaming
  • Team EnVyUs
  • Team Liquid
  • Str8 Rippin
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • TMMT Crowd Pleasers
  • Evil Geniuses

The eighth and final spot will be awarded to the winner of the Pro League Last Chance Qualifier, which will be announced soon. With rostermania in full-force, it will be interesting to see how these teams stand up as the Pro League action unfolds.

Courtesy of Halowaypoint.com

Dreamhack Atlanta

Also announced was the Summer 2017 Finals at Dreamhack Atlanta. The top six professional teams will auto-qualify for the event and will play in the championship bracket. The event will feature a crowdfunded prize pool of well over $100,000.

Although the top six teams will auto-qualify for championship bracket play, the seventh and eighth-seeded teams will have to play through the open bracket. These teams will be challenged by top amateur talent as they fight to keep their top eight Pro League hopes alive. As July approaches, the HCS plans to announce more specific details regarding the Dreamhack Championship.

Following Dreamhack Atlanta, the HCS will begin the Fall 2017 Season in late August, which concludes with another open championship at Dreamhack Denver in October. As the competitive settings continue to develop, the HCS will continue to announce more details.

Are you excited for more competitive Halo action? Will you be attending an open event, or competing online? Let us know in the comments!


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Renegade Leaves Str8 Rippin for Splyce

Aaron “Ace” Elam confirmed earlier this week that Jonathan “Renegade” Willette has left Str8 Rippin to join Splyce.

According to Ace, Michael “Falcated” Garcia was dropped from Splyce in order to acquire Renegade. This roster change has numerous implications for both squads and has the capability to shake up the top four team rankings.

 

Splyce

After being stuck in fourth place for the entire HWC 2017 season, Renegade appears to have sought after other options. Now teaming with Jesse “Bubu Dubu” Moeller, Ryan “Shooter” Sondhi and Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro on Splyce, this team could possibly challenge the top three.

Str8 has narrowly beaten out Splyce throughout this past season. Much of this can be attributed to Renegade making absolutely disgusting plays for his team. Now bringing his abilities to Splyce, his new squad has the slaying power to contend with teams such as EnVyUs and Liquid.

Renegade was previously with Splyce before being dropped for Shotzzy, so the chemistry is already there. This team is now just about guaranteed to take the last Pro League spot.

 

Str8 Rippin

Many though Renegade would stay with Str8 for the guaranteed Pro League spot. Needless to say, this change is not good for Str8.

Ayden “Suspector” Hill. Courtesy of FantasyHCS.

Not a whole lot of options are open to Str8. Renegade proved to be their best slayer and the squad played entirely around him in order to be successful. Likely options include Hamza “Commonly” Abbaali and Abel “Rammyy” Garcia.  Other possible options for Str8 include Hunter “BabyJ” Schline, Falcated, and Ezekiel Prototype Martinez. Out of these, however, my top pick would be Suspector and Prototype.

Despite not being at HWC 2017, both have proven to be capable slayers. With players such as Ace making opportunities, both of these players could find a very comfortable spot on Str8.

With Renegade gone, Str8’s ability to remain in the top four is coming in to question. While he didn’t necessarily “carry” Str8, Renegade was a huge factor in ramping up their slaying ability.


What do you think of Renegade joining Splyce? Who do you think Str8 Rippin should pick up? Let us know!

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Devin! Get in touch with Devin personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @Frostbite_XV2!

 

The HCS Summer Preview Playlist is a Step in the Right Direction

Following the announcement of new HCS settings earlier this week, Halo has added a ranked preview playlist to Halo 5. The playlist offers players the opportunity to test the new HCS settings, and provide feedback. The feedback will be used to help decide further tweaks to the settings. The final settings will be used for both HCS Daytona and the Summer Season of the HCS Pro League.

The playlist is a step in the right direction for 343 Industries, listening to the Halo player base. While it has yet to be seen how the decision-making process will reflect player feedback, it is refreshing to see eyes and ears turn toward the Halo community.

This piece will preview some of the more specific mechanical changes, and discuss the importance of 343i’s new move to the competitive community.

 

Map and Gametype Changes

For all competitive maps, 343i has removed all traces of automatic weapons. Silenced Assault Rifles, SMGs, Brute Plasma Rifles, and Storm Rifles have all gotten the axe. The removal of such weapons will likely satisfy the community, who has sought their removal for some time. Splinter Grenades have also been removed, as 343i follows up on their promise given last week.

Also changed are the respawn timers for Tier 1 and Tier 2 weapons. Battle Rifles, Carbines, DMRs, Light Rifles, and Boltshots will now respawn every 40 seconds. The Plasma Pistol, Shotgun, Scattershot, Hydra, and Needler will see respawn timers of 20 seconds. The change will hopefully reduce the ubiquity of each weapon, and disallow snowballing during gameplay.

The SPNKr will now be the standard Rocket Launcher. Courtesy of Gamepur.

Another interesting change is the switch on Coliseum from the default Rocket Launcher to the SPNKr Rocket Launcher. Additionally, pad formerly featuring the SPNKr Rocket Launcher on Eden will now host an Overshield for Slayer games. It seems 343 Industries is making the SPNKr the standard Rocket Launcher, and alleviating some of the power weapon reliance in Slayer gametypes.

Also specified are the initial radar changes. The Motion Sensor Inner range has been changed to 60%, and the radar will no longer pick up players traveling at base movement speed. Because of the controversy surrounding the radar, it will be interesting to see how these settings are tweaked over the next few weeks.

 

Everyone Has a Voice

The HaloWaypoint forums will be the place to provide feedback. Courtesy of Accessify.

In the announcement, 343i revealed that the Multiplayer team met with top HCS players to discuss feedback. The players brainstormed several ideas for the settings, and had a heavy influence on what is now being called “Version 1” of the HCS Summer Season settings. This is reminiscent of the MLG days, where pro players were surveyed periodically for updates to competitive gametypes. Pro player preferences often reflect the opinions of the community at-large, so many players trust they will help keep the gameplay fresh and balanced.

Pro players are not the only group providing feedback, however. An official forum thread now exists for any community members to share opinions on the settings. This feedback will be used as a consensus to sway decisions regarding tweaks to the Version 1 settings. As players continue to test the new settings, look for more changes to be made accordingly over the next few weeks.

Conclusion

343 Industries placing their trust in the community is a fantastic move. They have finally moved away from keeping competitive play as “vanilla” as possible, and now allow the players to craft the settings that they want. This will keep players engaged with the game, and hopefully point the competitive meta in a new, better direction.

The one question that many have is, “Why now?” Halo 5 is in its final year, with two World Championships already under its belt. While the changes are certainly the correct move, is 343i offering too little, too late? Is this a move to appease a community growing in resentment for the developer? Or conversely, is it the start of a long-term plan to be more involved with the players? We must wait and see if the involvement continues into Halo 6. But for now, the changes are undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Garrett! Get in touch with Garrett personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @gbSTATUS!

 

Pro League Events: EU Left Out?

After the conclusion of HWC 2017, many fans were eager to learn the details of the Pro League. Dreamhack was confirmed to be running the Season Finals for North America. However, we haven’t heard much since then, and we’ve heard next to nothing for the EU league. However, rumor has it that while NA may be getting a quality bump, EU is receiving a downgrade.

 

an ocean away

Pro player Jake “Chalkie” White. Courtesy of Halo Esports Wikis.

According to professional player Jake “Chalkie” White, EU players and fans will not have an event of their own. Instead, the top two teams from the online Pro League will travel to Dreamhack Atlanta to join the other top 8 NA teams. The above tweet was made in response to the Chalkie’s tweet. This decision could have serious repercussions for the foreign Halo communities as a whole.

While EU events may not have the overall viewership of NA events, all of their LANs have, for the most part, sold out. In comparison, some NA events have struggled to fill seats due to being on the West coast. There may be a very good reason for this, but it doesn’t seem worth the cost. The teams that are able to travel to Dreamhack will be decided via online play, which is very inconsistent. Add in Halo 5‘s numerous server and aim issues and it seems that this setup is not at all fair to the EU community. Sending only two teams to Dreamhack isn’t the issue, the issue is that only two teams will get to play offline.

ESL’s changes to the NA structure have been great so far. The Season Finals will now be an open event with all NA Pro teams instead of a four team invitational. If the cost of these changes is the EU scene receiving a fraction of the support they had in past seasons, it may not be worth it.

ESL is yet to confirm this. However, Chalkie doesn’t seem to benefit from this in any way. Hopefully it proves to be just a rumor.

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Devin! Get in touch with Devin personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @Frostbite_XV2!

Changes Are Coming to Halo 5 Competitive Settings. Here’s What They Mean for the Meta.

Last Friday, Halo announced that changes will soon come to competitive gametypes in the HCS. The changes follow several accusations from the Halo community about the competitive viability of Halo 5. In a heated debate, community members made clear that the longevity of competitive Halo 5 was at stake if their voices were not heard.

These changes seem to be a response from 343 Industries, who affirm that they will be working with pro players to implement additional updates. Shaking up the Halo 5 meta is a welcomed change to a game in which competition is beginning to stagnate. The hope of the community is that 343 Industries will continue to be receptive of such criticism as Halo 5 enters its final year of competitive play.

This article breaks down each of the changes, and explains their implications in changing the Halo 5 competitive meta.

Energy Sword Removal

When explaining the removal of the energy sword, 343 notes that the increased movement speed imbalances Capture the Flag (CTF) games on Truth. When combined with Halo 5’s enhanced movement mechanics, a player with the sword equipped can run a flag across the map incredibly quick. The utility of the weapon is consequently exploited in competitive play, allowing for very imbalanced games. 343 claims to be working on a change to the weapon, and say that it may be re-instituted later.

Halo 5’s Midship remake, Truth. Courtesy of HaloWaypoint

Meta Implications: Removal of the sword will balance out CTF games, and allow for more structured play. This benefits teams that can control power positions and set up for spawn-trapping on Truth. Without the energy sword, the frequency of back-to-back flag captures will greatly decrease as well. If the sword returns in the future, it will likely be with a movement speed nerf to preserve its lethality as a close-range power weapon.

 

SPLINTER GRENADE REMOVAL

Splinter grenades were intended to be used as a strategic tool for area denial. Closing off flag routes, or removing the possibility of a flank would assist teams that utilized splinters wisely. In the current meta, however, splinter grenades have become more of a tool for close-range instant kills. Throwing a splinter grenade at an opponent’s feet requires little skill, and 343 has thus removed them. These grenades may make their return later, following a balance tune.

Meta Implications: Splinter grenades have become a big problem in the Halo 5 meta. More often than not, they are used as an easy-out for players who are disadvantaged in a battle. Players must now rely on better frag grenade placement, and accurate plasma grenade sticks. Additionally, because a prime method of area denial is now gone, players will be expected to tighten up positioning to win games.

Assault Rifle Removal

The AR had unprecedented power, but no reward for accuracy. Courtesy of HaloWaypoint

Citing similar outcomes during battles between players of separate skill levels, 343 Industries determined that the Assault Rifle was unqualified for competition. In the current meta, the assault rifle can be used to easily kill an opponent close-range, or benefit those who camp with the radar. Criticisms about the assault rifle had been leveled against 343 Industries for most of Halo 5’s tenure, as many players questioned its place in competitive play. 343 states that they are seeking to better tune the weapon for the future.

Meta Implications: Gone are the days of camping with the AR and the radar. The gun rewarded spray and pray use, and seemed fairly random in terms of accuracy. Players will now be required to have a better grasp of the magnum at all ranges. This will separate those with an incredible shot from others who used the AR as a last-ditch effort to take down opponents.

 

Brute Plasma Rifle Removal

The brute plasma rifle allows players to obtain lightning-fast close range kills because of its sheer power. The rifle quickly eats away at shields, and players can swiftly finish off their opponent with a subsequent melee. The lopsided nature of the brute plasma rifle prompted closer examination by 343, who then opted for its removal. The absence of the rifle reinforces the notion that automatics serve as a detriment to competitive play.

Meta Implications: Although the gun lacks lethality from a distance, it is incredibly overpowered up-close. As automatic rifles are phased out of competitive play, the focus will shift back to precision. Keeping a steady aim will put players in the driver’s seat to control a game.

 

Weapon Respawn Timer Adjustment

Addressing the snowball-like nature of the current Halo 5 meta, 343 announced changes to the frequency of power weapon respawns. These changes will affect precision rifles like the Battle Rifle and Carbine, and close-range weapons like the Shotgun and Storm Rifle. 343 adds that the changes will not impact weapons on Weapon Pads.

Meta Implications: Placing the precision rifles and close range weapons to a timer that is more consistent with the high tier power weapons has two large implications. First, teams will need to prioritize which power weapons to pursue, given their strategy and map placement. Additionally, the change will create a more level situation when teams fight for fresh power weapons. This will put more of an emphasis on teamwork and strategy, rather than one team steamrolling another.

 

Radar Fixes

Halo 5’s in-game radar has been arguably the most hotly-debated aspect of competitive play for some time. Several players have called for its complete removal, as no other Halo game applied radar to competitive play. Conversely, other players claim that disabling radar will make gameplay too chaotic, given Halo 5’s movement mechanics.

The new radar will decrease spartan ability exploitation. Courtesy of IGN.

343 was reluctant to present a decisive judgment, but will instead work with pro players and the community to determine the best method going forward. Most recently, a new radar has been tested online in the Proving Grounds playlist. The radar compromises between each camp of thought, featuring an increased range, but only detecting non-silenced weapon fire, and spartan ability usage. The new radar allows players to control when they appear on the motion tracker, and better controls for exploitation of spartan abilities.

 

Conclusion

The changes to Halo 5’s competitive settings have been met with a mostly positive reception from the Halo community. Continued support from 343 Industries will hopefully give players the voice they’ve been yearning for. With pro player feedback as the driving force, Halo competition likely seems to be forging a better path forward.

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Garrett! Get in touch with Garrett personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @gbSTATUS!

HCS Changes for the Upcoming Season

Two World Championships later, we are entering what is presumably the final year of Halo 5‘s competitive tenure. With a FPS Halo typically being released every three years, we will likely see a beta later this year. However, Halo 5 may be running on fumes. Currently, the game is becoming stale to many. With only eight maps and three game modes used competitively, we could use more content. On top of this, 343 Industries’ lack of communication has damaged the long-term health of Halo 5.

 

New Maps and Modes

With only 12 combinations of maps and modes, Halo 5 seems especially bare-bones compared to past games.

Stasis, the only post-launch map added to the HCS. It was universally hated and was eventually removed. Courtesy of Halo Waypoint.

Unfortunately, most of the maps added post-launch are unsuitable for competitive game-play. New maps would be a great way to bring back some interest in the HCS. Developer maps would be great, but 343’s spotty record with Halo 5‘s maps is not exactly commendable. Forge maps may be a great alternative to this. Community maps were used in both Halo 3 and Halo: Reach and were well-received. To facilitate community involvement, 343 could hold a Forge contest much like they did with the HWC Season, except have it focused on competitive maps. Have pros test the maps, and if approved, add them into the rotation.

Another way of gaining interest would be new modes. While 343 has attempted to add Assault, it has not worked particularly well and most pros stand against it. However, older modes such as Oddball could work spectacularly with Halo 5‘s mechanics. Adding this mode to rotation-heavy maps such as Plaza and Eden could showcase excellent game-play, assuming the pros agree. Even modes such as King of the Hill could be tested. If the pros wanted to take a crack at it, they could also attempt to make the changes they see fit to the Assault mode.

 

Community Interaction

Brian “ske7ch” Jarrard, community manager for 343i. Courtesy of Brian Jarrard.

Another change that needs to be made is in regard to 343’s communication with the wider community. It has taken 18 months for 343 to recognize and act on the issues of automatic weapons and the radar. This is despite the majority of the competitive community metaphorically screaming about these issues since launch. This is unacceptable. To maintain a healthy competitive atmosphere, developers must constantly re-tune multiple features of the competitive portion of the game. 343 has not done this at all, until recently. Ideally, with the new settings changes and changes to the Pro League structure, this will no longer be an issue.

 

Halo 5 had the possibility to be an excellent competitive game through its entire life. Unfortunately, this potential went untapped. With the changes made after HWC 2017 though, we can send Halo 5 out with a bang.

 

Are there any other changes that you would like to see in the HCS Pro League? Be sure to let me know!

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Devin! Get in touch with Devin personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @Frostbite_XV2!

 

 

Allegiance Founder Gives His Ideas for the Future of Halo Esports

In a post to the Team Beyond forums Wednesday, Team Allegiance President and Founder Connor “InStiiNcT” Hall gave ideas for what he believes can elevate Halo to a top-tier esport. Hall founded team Allegiance in 2015, and built a team to compete in Halo 5. Allegiance’s inaugural season was a success, as the team would go on to place second in the 2016 Halo World Championship.

Connor Hall (left) of Allegiance. Courtesy of Columbia Missourian

Since then, Allegiance maintained success in competitive Halo 5, boasting several top 8 finishes, and all-star rosters. However, after a disappointing bid for 2017 Halo World Championship qualification, Allegiance announced their withdrawal from competitive Halo. In his announcement, Hall provided justification for the departure, stating “-our vision in Halo doesn’t align any longer with the future plans for the competitive scene”. Following accusations toward 343 Industries about transparency, and plans for the future of competitive Halo, some wondered if Allegiance was the first of many organizations exiting the Halo scene.

Hall is not finished with Halo, though. In his post, he says that he is open to working with 343i to help grow the scene. In this article, I’ll break down major parts of his plans in easy-to-read bullet points, and give my take on his proposals.

Transparency and Communication

  • 343 must treat transparency with utmost importance.
  • Necessary for 343 to listen to players and community members to implement in-game settings.
  • Communication and transparency facilitates trust among the community.
  • Halo needs a spokesperson to respond promptly and professionally to the community.
  • A method of communication that prioritizes league investment, keeping players and organizations in the know.
  • Content must be created to showcase great aspects of competitive Halo, and build storylines.

My Take: Hall mentions that his organization was left in the dark about plans for competitive Halo. This is absolutely appalling. Esports organizations are businesses that require careful planning to function properly. I think it is at the very least disrespectful for 343 to exclude the community and orgs included from structural strategy. At the end of the day, the community is solely what drives interest in competitive Halo. Excluding the community is equivalent to signing your own death certificate. 343 must be better at allowing players an outlet for communication and criticism.

 

Player Professionalism

  • Pros must treat their position as a professional occupation.
  • Players should be expected to respect their contract, practice their craft, and seek improvement as necessary.
  • Players are representatives of their brand, and the community at-large, and should portray themselves as such.
  • Team changes are sometimes requisite, given the culture of the game, but loyalty is imperative.
  • Content creation is necessary to sustain interest in Halo as an esport.

Courtesy of ESL

My take: I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. Yes, Halo began as a grassroots community, with little to no player restraint necessary. But since the inception of org involvement in Halo, players are representing businesses. If a player acts poorly, it reflects negatively on the organization, which hurts marketability to potential sponsors. In its current state, Halo needs to be appealing to the largest audience possible. Immaturity will only leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone with a prospective interest in the title.

I also believe it necessary for pro players to churn out content regularly. These players have a platform that many would kill for, and not creating content does a disservice to themselves. Many pro players don’t seem to understand that as interest in Halo esports wanes, so does the viability of their career as a pro gamer.

 

Tournament Quality and League Vision

  • Tournament quality must be competitive in nature to other esports.
  • Possess standards of quality when working with tournament organizers.
  • Build events that appeal to spectators, fans, and competitors.
  • Share visions and aspirations with leaders in the community to attract professional interest.

Courtesy of ESL

My take: I don’t run an esports organization, but it seems that 343i is willing to accept a standard of quality that only just gets by. This cannot continue. To achieve the prosperity similar to other top esports, you must act like one. Poorly-run tournaments, lackluster venues, boring broadcasts, and little opportunity for amateurs to succeed will not drive interest. 343 Industries needs to work with their partners, and esports organizations to improve the quality of their league.

 

Conclusion

Hall has some great ideas that I can really get behind. He has demonstrated that he has the knowledge and passion to succeed in Halo esports. I believe that 343 Industries should be open to working with leaders in the community like him, and help create a better future for Halo esports. You can find Connor Hall on Twitter @CHInStiiNcT. You can read his original post here.

Do you agree with the proposals mentioned above? Do you have others to contribute? Let me know in the comments!

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