A few weeks ago, we saw a new king crowned in the form of Counter Logic Gaming at the Halo World Championship 2016. Teams across the world played in online and offline events to make it to the HaloWC, but in the end it all came down to one team who walked away with the title and the biggest cash prize in console esports history! Which was one million dollars, in case you're counting.
During the HaloWC, the first official announcement of the Halo Championship Series: Pro League was made, and now 343 Industries and ESL are happy to announce more details about the Pro League, which will serve as Halo's premier competitive esports circuit for Europe and North America.
With the HCS Pro League action kicking off today in North America with its first qualifier in the ESL Arena at PAX East, we are also very excited to announce the qualification format for the European HCS Pro League Summer 2016 Season. The EU HCS Pro League will feature six teams that compete on two play days per week.
Each game day will consist of three matches as teams play each other twice during the regular season, and only the top four will advance to the Season Finals and guarantee themselves a spot in the Fall 2016 Season. The bottom two teams in 5th and 6th place from the Summer Season will drop into a relegation event and will have to fight it out against the top HCS Open Circuit teams.
The HCS Open Circuit is where the up and coming Halo esports talent will make their names known and if they rise to the top they will be given an opportunity to take down Pro League teams and potentially take their spots in the Fall Season!
Summer Qualifier: May 8
Eight teams will be invited based on Halo World Championship placings. The top two teams from this qualifier will advance directly to the Pro League, while the remaining six will drop to the Last Chance Qualifier and secure seeds 1 through 6.
Open Qualifiers 1, 2 and 3: May 17-19
These three tournaments will be open to all competitors, and will identify the top teams who will advance to the Last Chance Qualifier. The top four teams will advance from Open 1 and 2 but only the top two will advance from Open 3.
Last Chance Qualifier: May 21
As the name implies, this is the last chance for teams to qualify for HCS Pro League and there will be three spots up for grabs. Winners from Open Qualifiers 1, 2 and 3 will meet the bottom six teams from the Invitational Qualifier who are already holding seeds 1- 6. This is the biggest, best and last chance to grab a spot in the European HCS Pro League for the Summer Season.
Based on their HaloWC performance, Team Epsilon's Jimbo, Snipedrone, BUK20, BUK57 and coach Flamez have all been invited into the Pro League. Not only did Epsilon make it to the top eight in the world and earn $75,000, but they did it with style and made Halo history by becoming the first European team to break into the top eight on North American soil. This was a truly remarkable feat, which has rewarded them with the first Pro League place. GG!
Keep these Summer Season dates in mind and stay tuned for more details over the next four weeks as teams continue to fight for the remaining five Halo Championship Series spots. For all the latest information be sure to follow ESL Halo on Facebook and Twitter!