Gamescom 2015: Microsoft Announces Halo World Championship
Microsoft announces competition allowing e-sports enthusiasts to win big money.
By ALYSSA NEWCOMB
August 4, 2015, 4:53 PM
• 3 min read
-- There's big money to be made in the world of professional gaming and Microsoft is upping the ante with the Halo World Championship, a contest announced today at the annual Gamescom show in Cologne, Germany.
Halo 5: Guardians, the latest installment in Microsoft's popular Xbox series won't be released until October 27, but the Microsoft-owned studio behind the game, 343 Industries, began building hype today with the announcement of a $1 million prize pool called "the biggest investment in Xbox eSports history."
The contest, which will kick off later this year, will focus on the game's frenetic, multi-player arena gameplay experience. An invitational is scheduled for this this Friday at 10am ET with gamers being able to watch the action on the Halo Channel or on Twitch, according to an announcement on the Halo website.
While Halo was initially included in e-Sports, interest waned around 2012 and the first-person shooter game was dropped by Major League Gaming. Introducing the Halo Championship Series last year, Microsoft offered $150,000 at its most recent showdown last month.
The announcement of a $1 million prize pot signals the company wants to attract top-tier talent in the world of e-sports where professional gamers are treated like celebrities and have impressive online followings, making a competition a powerful marketing tool for the new game.
Revenue for e-sports tickets, sponsorships and other areas is expected to spike to a quarter of a billion dollars this year, the New York Times reported, citing information from Newzoo, a Netherlands based company studying the industry.