With the first HCS Pro Leagueseason getting ready to close, there have been many positives andnegatives to take from the Electronic Sports League and343’s attempt to revive Halo’s competitivecommunity. Both companies have worked very hard to create a leaguethat provides a professional and competitive environment for thetop teams and inspires those under them to continue perfectingtheir craft. Although ESL and 343 certainly have built a solidfoundation to grow our community, we are still missing a crucialcomponent to the development of our community: LANevents.
Almost every competitor andpersonality in Halo would agree that competitive events are anecessary component in our community. Events provide entertainmentto more than just those looking to win some money;they provide everyone with an environment where you cansocialize and have a great time with those who share the samepassion as you. Friendships you have made online become solidifiedonce you meet the people at these events, and it really helps yourecognize just how impactful this game is to so manypeople.
Halo has a long and amazinghistory with events. Back when Major League Gaming was the primaryhost for Halo events, every season was filled with eventsacross the United States, making it easy for every North AmericanHalo fan who can travel to have a great time with their Halofriends. All of these events helped sustain our massive communityat the time and it was one of those things we has Halo fans wereproud to boast about to others.
As someone who does not havemany friends and family who support my passion for Halo (just likemost players), it can be very hard at times to maintain my stronglove for the game when so many people right next to me tell me to“grow up” or to “give up on that game”. Itis very hard for others outside of our community to understand ourlove for Halo and most are not afraid to let out theirfeelings.
For me, this puts a verystressful strain on my mind, having to juggle my real life and myHalo life. Although I have a very healthy and productive lifeoutside of Halo and am able to juggle my hobby with myresponsibilities, I would be lying if I told you an event every fewmonths would not help ease a lot of this built in stress and helpme reinstate that what I am doing is still important tome.
This is a problem most playershave to deal with and although no one can really change the wayothers think, 343 and ESL can definitely give us an outlet torelease this stress by providing us with more events. A few monthsago before this season, I had a little Twitter debate with Halo proCarlos “Cratos” Ayala. He initially complained abouthow our community is not receiving enough events to sustain ourcommunity and how weekly tournaments and matches are not going tohelp develop the younger prospects. I replied to him, saying thatthrowing a bunch of events all over the season would not be thesmartest idea. Additionally, I said that weekly tournaments wherethe amateur players have an opportunity to compete against proteams would be a great way for the top amateurs to buildconnections with pro players and grow their career.
Although I still believe thatwhat I said is true, I said this under the assumption that the ProLeague would have a small amount of both private and open eventsacross the United States this season. As many of you can tell byreading this, I am definitely pro-event, but I do not believe thatour community at the moment is large enough for ESL to continuouslyhost events every month, like some players want.
I believe that a small amount ofcarefully calculated large scale events spread across the season isthe smartest way to get our community used to events again. We havebeen deprived from “MLG like” seasons where there wereseveral large scale events every season for so long thatI fear if we jump straight to that schedule, we may not havelarge turnouts for most of the events. I believe that startingslow and building up is the best way to get the community used toevents again.
Considering that I have noknowledge on what ESL’s future plans for Halo are, this mayvery well be what ESL is planning, just on a much smaller andcareful scale. With only three small scale invitational events thisseason, ESL may be testing our community’s hunger for moreevents. With fans still allowed to purchase spectator pases forthese smaller events, ESL may be using these spectator sales todetermine if a larger scale open event would have a good turnout.This is all just an assumption on my end, but after seeing howdedicated ESL is to Halo, but also seeing how reluctant they areabout hosting events, I believe this is a very validassumption.
If this is the case, I certainlyhope that our community convinces ESL that we are ready for largescale open events by buying these spectator passes. As I saidearlier, I am definitely pro-event; I just believe that we need totake it slow at first and see if our community is ready to takeoff.
What do you think about the lackof events this season? Let me know in the comments sectionbelow.
Zachery Chevere can be contactedon Twitter: @PmL_Zarhaz
Image credits go toComicBookBin, 343, MLG and ESL