The Halo Championship Series returns with Halo Infinite, includes $3 million prize pool with crowdfunding

"Are you %&@*ing ready?!"

Image via 343 Industries

As promised, 343 Industries has dropped a big update on the next iteration of the Halo Championship Series just a day after the multiplayer beta for Halo Infinite was released for players around the world. This includes a full season roadmap, crowdfunding options for the circuit, and more. 

Starting with the basics, the HCS returns on Nov. 21 in North America (U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico), Mexico, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. The total prizing for the season will exceed $3 million across all events, with crowdfunding pushing it even further. 

Image via 343 Industries

As for the format, the HCS will feature online tournaments hosted on Faceit platforms that will play into the overall roadmap and offer seeding points for certain events. Then, there will be an online Pro Series event in each region, where the top professional teams will take on up-and-coming rosters. 

The HCS Grassroots program will also feed directly into the league in several ways, with more details on that coming soon.

From there, players will aim to make it into their region’s Supers and Regionals, two events where the stakes will be increased. Majors will function as the biggest events of the entire HCS season and feature the biggest prize pools, the most points, and various other rewards. All of this leads to the Halo World Championship, which will run from Oct. 20 to 23 in Seattle.

343 has even provided a ranking system for Infinite, which will classify players based on their rank into four different categories for competitions within the scene: Pro, Semi Pro, Amateur Elite, and Amateur.

Screengrab via 343 Industries

As for prizing, the Halo World Championship will start with a prize of $1 million, but 343 is adding crowdfunding goals to the pot this time via in-game purchases. 

“For crowdfunding, our philosophy is to be open and inclusive,” 343 said. “A small amount of each purchase in the Halo Infinite in-game store will be contributing to the HCS prize pool all season long. This means that if you love watching Halo esports and want to support the scene, but you love Big Team Battle for example—well you can go ahead and grab that sweet new Warthog coating in the store and still support. You don’t need to purchase esports-specific items to contribute.”

For now, 343 is only including details about crowdfunding for Majors and Supers/Regionals, with more details to come about the Halo World Championship’s crowdfunding in 2022. 

Majors will each have a base prize of $250,000, while Supers/Regionals will vary depending on region, with several smaller events in each region featuring cash prizes too. There will also be a cap for each event. 

  • Majors
    • Base: $250,000
    • Cap: $350,00
  • Supers/Regionals
    • NA: $125,000/$175,000
    • EU: $100,000/$135,000
    • ANZ/MX: $50,000/$75,000

There’s even an esports-specific store already live in Infinite’s multiplayer, which features cosmetic bundles that players can purchase that include various armors and logos based on teams competing in the HCS, like Fnatic and Cloud9. A “significant portion” of these bundles’ revenue is shared with the partnered teams. 

Image via 343 Industries

To incentivize viewership for competitive events, 343 will also be launching Twitch drops for the HCS, which means players can link their Twitch account to their Halo affiliated account to get item drops. During the HCS Kickoff Major from Dec. 17 to 19, players can get a Master Chief-inspired armor coating set via drops, with more details set to drop soon. 

Image via 343 Industries

Competitions will also be streamed on YouTube, though drops aren’t enabled on that platform. 

Additionally, 343 has laid out the map and mode combinations that will be used for the upcoming events, along with the formats. 

Maps/modes

  • Slayer:
    • Live Fire
    • Recharge
    • Streets
    • Bazaar
    • Aquarius
  • Capture the Flag:
    • Bazaar
    • Aquarius
  • Strongholds:
    • Live Fire
    • Recharge
    • Streets
  • Oddball:
    • Live Fire
    • Recharge
    • Streets

Format

  • Best-of-three
    • Game one: Objective
    • Game two: Slayer
    • Game three: Objective
  • Best-of-five
    • Game one: Objective
    • Game two: Slayer
    • Game three: Objective
    • Game four: Objective
    • Game five: Slayer
  • Best-of-seven
    • Game one: Objective
    • Game two: Slayer
    • Game three: Objective
    • Game four: Objective
    • Game five: Slayer
    • Game six: Objective
    • Game seven: Slayer

You can view the full HCS schedule, 343’s code of conduct for players, and more on the Halo Waypoint.