When Halo Infinite launched at the tail end of 2021, it brought with it a revival of the Halo esports scene. With all the gusto of a complete resurgence, the Halo Championship Series was reborn, and grand promises were made as to how it would unfold. For the most part, the HCS has unravelled in quite a positive nature, but in recent weeks, several teams have dropped out of the HCS, and there are concerns that others may follow as the future of the HCS wavers.
When the season opened up, the viewership peaks were remarkable, with the HCS bringing in some of the biggest numbers in the history of Halo esports. However, as a game, Halo Infinite has more or less hit rock bottom in recent weeks, with many active players abandoning the platform due to a lack of meaningful content. We’ve also seen a drop in viewership, despite the tournaments continuing, pushing on to the Halo World Championship that will take place in October of this year.
Can the HCS recover before that tournament kicks off? It’ll be the first WC event since 2018, and there’s a lot riding on the survival of the HCS itself.
Several Halo teams taking their leave
In the last few weeks, a few teams have dropped out of the HCS, or are having issues fielding a roster. On the 8th of July, BBG announced the release of its entire Halo team, stating that they are committed to remaining in the scene, but would be leaving the HCS for the foreseeable future. Then, on the 21st of July, XSET resigned from the HCS, stating that ‘esports is also a business and as an organisation, we must at times make tough choices on where we continue to invest resources’.
As the departures continued, Torrent announced its resignation from the HCS on the 9th of August. In way of an explanation, Torrent’s leadership stated that ‘… exiting the HCS comes down to evaluating how much resources we were getting as a team versus how much we were putting in’. At the beginning of August, the remaining majority of Luminosity’s HCS squad also left, moving over to compLexity.
It’s a tough situation all around, and even at the topmost level of the HCS, there are ongoing concerns. Reportedly, OpTic Gaming’s Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez explained that he feels as though OpTic is carrying the league on his shoulders, and he wouldn’t have gotten involved if he knew how much of a ‘shambles’ the HCS would become. Currently, OpTic Gaming is considered to be the top team in the HCS, consistently bringing home the biggest prizes from the major events.
Is Halo Infinite Preparing To Die?
Is Halo dying? At this point, it’s hard to tell, but it’s certainly falling short of impressing the fans. In the last few days, 343 Industries released a collection of hot, new HCS weapon and armour skins, and although they’ve been selling well (digitally), they’re a too-little-too-late type of offering. It was just weeks ago that popular and iconic creator, NICKMERCS, took to the airwaves to slam 343 Industries, saying that the developers ‘should be ashamed’ of how they’re handling Halo Infinite.
In the online Halo community, similar vibes are being spread:
Can the Halo Championship Series recover before the World Championship event arrives later this year? It’s the biggest event in the schedule in all respects, from content creation to Halo esports betting, and if the community remains the way it is now, there may just be no audience for it – or teams competing.