Some fans and competitors have been complaining recently via Twitter that Major League Gaming hasn’t been supporting competitive Halo enough lately. 2012 saw just two major Halo events on the Pro Circuit, both Championships, which featured Halo: Reach as well as the newly released Halo 4.
Halo: Reach was one of the big titles at the MLG Winter Championship in Columbus, Ohio, on March 23rd – 25th. 174 teams (made up of 696 players), 142 coaches, and 938 Free for All players competed for $56,000 in prizes. Status Quo (eNabLe, -FlamesworD-, Snake_Bite_71, and RoYaL2) ended up winning that event and taking home $20,000 for first place. It was the only MLG event of the year featuring Halo: Reach.
Then there was the Halo 4 pre-release tournament at the MLG Fall Championship in Dallas, Texas over seven months later on November 2nd – 4th. The game hadn’t even been officially released to the public yet but this did not stop the tournament from being even bigger than the Halo: Reach Winter Championships with 227 teams, 898 players, and 150 coaches in attendance. There was $40,000 in prizes on the line this time around. Warriors (a-realygoodnoob, Legit, NinjaZekkou, and Goofy) finished in first place and earned a cool $20,000. Status Quo also once again placed well with a third place finish.
With nearly $100,000 in prize money given out to Halo players this year, it is clear that Major League Gaming is still supporting competitive Halo. But on the other hand, there is something to the fact that this support has seemed to dwindle. There were just two tournaments that included Halo in 2012. Compare this to the six Halo: Reach on the 2011 MLG Pro Circuit.
It seems that StarCraft 2 for PC is currently Major League Gaming’s main focus and overall it did wonders for viewership. MLG set new records in unique online viewers and total hours of video consumption consumed in 2012 and they didn’t even need Halo at every event to do it. Some recent Tweets from Major League Gaming’s CEO Sundance DiGiovanni implies the league may also look at focusing more on Call of Duty next year:
@MLGSundance: “Also – with the help of folks like @OpTicH3CZ and others I know we can build competitive CoD to rival what we had with Halo.” 29 Dec
@MLGSundance: “Without support from MSFT / 343 we can’t run Halo. MSFT has a deal with Virgin Gaming. 343 has expressed interest in working with us.” 29 Dec
With some pro players having described Halo 4 as one of the best in the series yet, it will be interesting to see how the game is represented competitively in eSports through 2013.