Microsoft is turning to competitive gaming to promote the launch of the new Halo collection.
ESL, one of the biggest e-sports organizations in the world, announced today that it will hold a $50,000 tournament for Halo: The Master Chief Collection to mark the game’s Nov. 11 launch. On Nov. 8 and 9, the ESL will invite the top Halo players in the world to compete for the top prize at the competitive gaming association’s studios in California. You can watch the event live online and through the ESL’s recently launched app on the Xbox One console. This is the first official tournament for Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
“We are kicking off the launch for the most anticipated shooter in 2014 and continuing to support Halo e-sports with the best players and a kick-ass show,” ESL product manager Timo Karamustafa said. “Putting $50,000 on the line is the only way for us to do it right.”
The ESL’s Halo tournament is an example of how Microsoft is using competitive gaming to market the Xbox One and its games. The company also has a deal with Major League Gaming and publisher Activision that ensures the biggest tournaments for the popular Call of Duty shooter series only use Xbox-brand systems.
“We are excited to continue in partnering with ESL and Twitch for the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” 343 Industries community manager Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky said. “The Launch Invitational tournament will feature 32 of the biggest names in e-sports, $50k in prizes, and a full weekend of Halo. I can’t wait to [comment on] the matches, and I’m excited see who will take home first place.”
Microsoft’s commitment to e-sports is one of the ways it is hoping to separate itself from Sony. Traditionally, competitive gaming is something that primarily happens on PC. But Microsoft wants to foster an environment where its fans can also watch and participate in e-sports.
Yesterday, ESL released its Xbox One app that enables players to watch events and enter tournaments. Aspiring pro gamers can start their career trying to build a reputation through the ESL’s open tournaments, and they can go on to earn entry into the premier events that actually award real prize money.
The new Halo collection is potentially one of those games that could inspire a serious competitive-gaming community on the Xbox One, and for the first time, Microsoft seems completely ready to serve and help that scene grow.