A few weeks ago, we saw the top Halo teams in the world fight for the title at the Halo World Championship 2016 along with a share of the $2.5 million prize pool, where we made the first announcement of the Halo Championship Series Pro League. Now 343 Industries and ESL are happy to announce more details about the League, which will follow the top teams across Europe and North America, culminating in the Summer 2016 Season Finals to be held in Los Angeles, California this July.
The reigning Halo World Champions Counter Logic Gaming and their opponents Team Allegiance were invited directly to the Pro League, but Team Allegiance disbanded, leaving their spot in the league up for grabs. HCS Pro League action will kick off on Sunday, April 24 in the ESL Arena at PAX East where four teams will battle it out for that second invitation.
Here’s a first look at the HCS Pro League schedule, qualification format, and more!
HCS PRO LEAGUE
The HCS Pro League will feature two broadcast days per week, and four matches per day as teams play each other twice during the regular season. Only the top four will advance to the Summer 2016 Finals, but the teams in 5th and 6th place will still have a guaranteed spot in the Fall Season. The 7th and 8th place teams will have to fight for their Fall Season positions against the top HCS Open Circuit teams. The HCS Open Circuit will act as a challenger component, where Pro League teams could potentially forfeit their Fall Season seats to up-and-coming players.
INVITATIONAL AT PAX EAST
The first qualifier for the Halo Pro League is the HCS Pro League Invitational, which will be broadcast live on Sunday, April 24 from the ESL Arena at PAX East. This will be an epic clash of Halo titans, featuring the powerhouse-packed roster of Team Allegiance now on the star-studded rosters of Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming, Team EnVyUs and Enigma 6. All four teams picked up a different member of Allegiance, and it will be be brother vs. brother, friend turned to foe as they battle it out. All four will enter the fight, but only one team will come away with the second official HCS Pro League spot!
- PAX East LAN Qualifier - April 24: 4 teams were invited and the winner will advance into the Pro League
- Invite Online Qualifier - April 30: 16 teams will be invited based on Halo World Championship placings as well as historical HCS performance. The top 8 teams from this qualifier will advance to the May 8 LAN tournament.
- Qualification LAN Tournament - May 8: The top 8 teams from the online qualifier will battle it out for the next 4 spots in the HCS Pro League. The top 4 teams from this LAN secure their HCS Pro League spots.
- Open Qualifiers 1 & 2 – May 21-22: These tournaments will be open to all competitors, and will identify the top teams who will advance to the Last Chance Qualifier.
- Last Chance Qualifier – May 28-29: This multi-stage online tournament will be the last chance for teams to qualify for HCS Pro League, and winners from the Open Qualifiers 1 & 2 will duke it out against the bottom 12 teams from the Invitational Qualifier. The LCQ will award the last two spots in the HCS Pro League.
Keep these Season 1 dates in mind and stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks as teams continue to fight Halo Championship Series spots, and for all the latest information about the #HCS Pro League, be sure to follow ESL Halo on Facebook and Twitter!