Halo’s greatest players are fighting for more than just bragging rights.
Microsoft announced today that 16 teams from across the globe have earned a spot in the Halo World Championship, which features players competing in Halo 5: Guardians. The event has a prize pool of $2.5 million. The tournament will take place from March 18 to March 20 in Hollywood (although Microsoft has yet to announce an exact venue). According to Esports Earnings tracking site, this will be the seventh largest prize pool in esports history and the highest ever for a first-person shooter. While most of the popular esports games have a home on PC, Halo is perhaps the best example of a console hit having success in the esports maket, which will hit $463 million this year and $1.1 billion by 2019, according to Newzoo. That’s not surprising when you consider the franchise’s steady popularity throughout the 21st century. Halo 5 earned $400 million in its first week of sales alone.
Here are the final 16 teams:
- Team Allegiance (North America)
- Counter Logic Gaming (North America)
- Evil Geniuses (North America)
- Team Liquid (North America)
- Noble eSports (North America)
- Renegades (North America)
- Triggers Pound (North America)
- Denial eSports (North America)
- Epsilon eSports (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- FabE (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- exceL (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- Team Infused (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
- Team Immunity (Australia)
- Team Exile5 (Australia)
- Skyfire (Asia)
- Chosen Squad (Latin America)
Microsoft initially set the prize pool at $1 million, but it was raised via crowdfunding by fans through Halo 5: Guardians’ REQ system of in-game micro-transactions. Other tournaments, like Dota 2, have used similar crowdfunding methods to boost the prize pools for their world championships.