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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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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