The Halo World Championship returns to London once again.
One of the esports world’s most popular and prestigious tournaments, with prize pools regularly running well into seven figures, the Halo WC is a highlight of the calendar each year. Online signups have commenced for the 2018 edition with the first round of online qualifiers already underway on January 21st. Let’s bring some of you up to speed by taking a look back at last year’s edition of the Halo WC.
First announced on December 10th 2016, the Halo World Championship 2017 showed quite a few changes right off the bat compared to previous events. The final lineup shrunk from sixteen to twelve teams, with the Asia region no longer being included. In North America, Europe and Latin America, open LAN events would be held to determine qualifying teams, rather than a series of online competitions. Once the tournament finals began, the bracket became double-elimination.
Ultimately it came down to 12 teams – seven North American (NA) teams, three European (EU) teams, one Australian/New Zealand (ANZ) team and one Latin American (LATAM) team – placed into three three-team groups competing in best-of-five matchups. The championship bracket was then arranged based on group stage results, with teams moving into best-of-seven contests.
The tournament was significant as the most-viewed and biggest Halo WC yet; the broadcast peaked at over 135,000 concurrent viewers across Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and Beam. More than 13 million unique viewers tuned in for the grand finals, including a whopping 10.3 million watching via live Twitter streaming – the first time a Halo esports competition had been broadcast via the platform.
In the end, it would be a dominant run to championship gold for OpTic Gaming, as they would romp to glory and only dropped two maps throughout the entire tournament. It was about as perfect a title defence as you can get, with the 2016 champions powering home and defeating a familiar name to Gfinity fans, Team Envy, 4-0 in the finals.
Envy were perhaps the greatest story of the tournament though. After a disastrous first round where they fell into the Loser’s Bracket, they fought back against all the odds to make the finals, eliminating FOUR teams to get there in consecutive matches – including Team Liquid in the semi-finals. That streak also included winning a staggering 16 straight games in those matches. As much as OpTic were too strong for them, Envy deserve huge praise for their incredible run to the finals.
So the question going into the 2018 edition will obviously be: can anyone stop the invincible march of OpTic Gaming?
It’s time to find out.
Signups are open already, and online qualifiers will take place on January 28th, then February 4th & 11th ahead of the European Open on February 23rd-25, 2018.