Halo developer 343 Industries has announced detailed plans for the anticipated second season of the Halo Championship Series following the conclusion of the first season last month at PAX East.
Season 2 of Halo’s ongoing Championship Series will be bigger and better than ever, says the studio, thanks to a handful of updates and improvements, including a prize pool increase to $250,000 for all online cups, all LAN events, and the Season 2 Finals. New Forge maps are also being added to the map pool while competitors can also look forward to updates to the roster rules, a simplified point structure, and the new Legendary Bracket. Here’s everything you need to know about HCS Season 2
Teaming up with ESL, 343 Industries has increased the prize pool of weekly Online Cups from $1,000 to $3,000, updating the prize breakdown to the following each week:
- 1st Place – $1,500
- 2nd Place – $1,000
- 3rd Place – $500
Registrants will continue to compete in a single elimination, best-of-3 format while a new Open Bracket will be hosted on Saturdays. The top 8 teams of each Open Bracket will join the top 8 teams from the weekly HCS standings in the new Legendary Bracket in a single elimination, best-of-5 format. Here’s a more digestible visualization of the new set up:
“With this format, amateur teams will have more opportunities to compete as they won’t be facing the best of the best teams in the early rounds,” says 343. “It is our hope that this opportunity will provide teams with more tournament experience each week.”
As previously announced, the first HCS tournament of Season 2 will take place at Iron Games HCS in Atlanta, Georgia. To seed the event, 343 will award “Preseason points” to HCS Preseason Cups 1 and 2 on April 5 and April 12. All teams competing in Iron Games HCS Atlanta on April 17-19 will be seeded in the following way:
- HCS Preseason points
- Iron Games HCS Atlanta online FFA
- Teams that didn’t compete in either of the above will receive random seeds
In addition, 343 is also working with Iron Games to introduce a second Season 2 opener, a $50,000 LAN tournament at Pop Con 2015 in the Indianapolis Convention Center, hosted by PGL, on June 26-28. Team passes are available now on PGL’s official website.
Here’s the complete schedule for HCS Season 2, including the $150,000 ESL Season 2 Finals in Burbank, California on July 24-26 where the season’s top 8 teams will be invited to compete.
In order to simplify HCS Season 1’s point structure, HCS Point tiers will be replaced by a set number of points for online and LAN tournaments. Here’s the new point breakdown:
Updated roster rules will also force roster consistency, but will still allow teams to make changes during set transfer periods. Some of the new changes to the terms include:
- Any team with a roster of 4 or 5 that loses a player or drops a player will not lose their points.
- A player can only be added to a roster during a transfer period.
- The amount of transfer periods has been increased from two to three.
New Forge maps are also being considered for Season 2 which will be finalized and implemented in Preseason Cup 2 on April 12. Current candidates include:
“Eden” by Obi Wai Kenobi – Team Slayer, Team Crazy King, Oddball
“Athelon” by Warholic – Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Ricochet, Neutral Bomb Assault
“EpicBorough” by A Chunk – Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Ricochet
“Temple” by Shifty Time – Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Ricochet, Neutral Bomb Assault
“Erupt” by SaltyKoalaBear & Purely Fat – Team Slayer, Capture the Flag
“Testla” by Diesel – Team Slayer, Neutral Bomb Assault, Capture the Flag
“Venom” by The Fated Fire – Team slayer, King of the Hill, Oddball
All of these maps can be downloaded by following “Official HCS” official to your Xbox Live Friends List and accessing its File Share.
Ricochet is also being tested for inclusion in HCS Season 2, says 343.
The studio will be working with Season 1 finalists to finalize the selection above and will provide an update in the coming weeks.
All HCS Season 2 tournaments will be broadcasted on the Halo Channel and 343 Industries’ official Halo Twitch.tv channel. Season 2 registration is open at this link. Spectators can get into the HCS spirit by downloading this HCS Season 2 social media kit.