Should The HCS Pro League Support Other Regions?
With the first season of the North American and European HCS Pro League now over, we have been able to clearly see most of the positives and negatives that have come with the Pro League. However, a pretty large question still floats, being whether or not ESL should consider expanding the Pro League to different regions.
It is undeniable that the two largest regions for competitive Halo are North America and Europe. However, there is still a pretty noticable amount of communities that span across the world, such as Australia, Asia, Africa and South America. Although their populations may not be anywhere near the amount of North America or Europe, it may still be worth supporting these regions.
Some may automatically say that there is no reason to support regions with a much smaller population, but my response to that would be “Why do you think they don’t grow?” While our region gets the great benefits of developer and tournament host support, these regions get little to nothing. Even when our community was at its darkest days in Halo 4, we still received some support from tournament host Arena Gaming League (AGL), while the other regions were left to survive on their own.
With little support for these communities, they needed to use what they had, which simply wasn't enough to grow their community or even support their current population. This makes competitive Halo in a lot of these regions a very unappealing community for those who want to go pro when games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or League of Legends receive support in almost every popular esports region.
Personally, I find it very impressive that some of these regions even have a community, considering the lack of support they receive. It shows that their love and passion for the game is very strong and I believe that this is something 343 and ESL should take serious note of.
While we complain about the lack of events and sometimes even threaten 343 and ESL that some of us may move on to different games, the smaller regions just sit there enjoying the game they love with absolutely nothing to play for other than the enjoyment of playing the game with their friends.
Looking at how we complain about our current state while some of these regions don't even have a professional league supporting them makes me very disappointed in us. We may have some problems that need to be resolved, but we need to open our eyes and compare the state we are in, to the state of other regions.
The dedication other regions have shown for our game clearly suggests that they are more than deserving of some developer and tournament host support. Surviving on their own for years, I can only imagine how some regions like South America, Africa, Asia and Australia would greatly benefit from a Pro League of their own. It doesn't need to be as large as North America’s Pro League, but a league that will truly give the players something to compete for will be a great step towards the growth of these regions.
Supporting these regions may also help the competitive community as a whole in the long run. One of 343 and ESL’s ultimate goals is to truly put Halo in a position to compete with the top esports giants, but in order to do so, we must spread out to other regions to promote our game as much as possible.
One of the biggest reasons LoL is so massive is because of the overwhelming support Riot and other community founded Tournament Host have given to multiple regions. Rather than only supporting a small portion of the most popular regions for LoL, they instead do their best to supporting as many regions as possible to spread the popularity of their game and make it as appealing as possible to the newer competitors looking to compete in a game.
Spreading out and supporting other regions could be a very beneficial investment in the long run, not to mention that these much less privileged regions are more than deserving of an opportunity to receive support.
Do you think the Pro League should expand to other regions? Let me know in the comments section below.
Zachery Chevere can be contacted on Twitter @PmL_Zarhaz
Image credits go to Halo Waypoint, Xbox, Latimes, MMOGames and YouTube