In what was effectively the first official day of Halo Infinite’s esports scene, the official stream for the first North American HCS Open Series peaked at 56,515 viewers, according to TwitchTracker. Such a high number early on is a welcome sign to fans of the game and its long-standing esports scene.
The stream peaked during the grand finals, where OpTic (playing with Envy skins) defeated Cloud9 in back-to-back five-map series after being sent down to the lower bracket by C9 earlier in the event. The next open qualifier is scheduled for Nov. 27, with the Raleigh Major just around the corner on Dec. 17.
The level of excitement for Halo esports is noteworthy considering how low viewership numbers have been in the past. At the last HCS Finals in 2018, viewership peaked at only 22,562 viewers. This open qualifier event for Halo Infinite had more than double that. Just months earlier, the Halo World Championship peaked at over 90,000 viewers, but the game took a hit in the summer of that year in the wake of Fortnite‘s explosive rise.
Over 50,000 viewership for an open qualifier event is quite an impressive feat. For VALORANT‘s first official Riot-sponsored NA event qualifier for the First Strike NSG tournament, none of the matches eclipsed the 50,000 mark. The main event as a whole peaked at just over 100,000 viewers, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see numbers like that at the HCS Raleigh Kickoff Major next month.