Halo Championship Series – All you need to know!

This is a partial reblog from Waypoint and eslgaming: 

Halo Championship Series LOGO

We just released the Halo Championship Series Season 1 handbook, and we’re excited to share one of its key components – the HCS Points system. Each sanctioned HCS tournament will award points in addition to cash prizes. Depending on the type of event, size, and prize pool, tournaments will be grouped into different tiers, and offer a corresponding amount of points. Teams are awarded HCS Points depending on their placing at each of these events. Invitation to the Season 1 finals will be determined by the official HCS standings, which are based on HCS Points accumulated during Season 1. This graphic illustrates the different tiers, and breaks down point distribution based on team placing.


Online tournaments (also known as “cups”) will be the most frequent opportunity to earn HCS Points, as they occur weekly. These tournaments are free to enter, and you can compete from the comfort of your own home.

December 7th’s HCS Cup will be the first installment of the Halo Championship Series and will set the bar for the remainder of the season. We are ecstatic to experience the future of competitive Halo with each of you, and we greatly appreciate the influx of positive feedback and support we have received thus far. We hope to address any questions or concerns that you may have below! For the full details check out the ESL ruleset and the official HCS handbook (See Below).

LAN tournaments are tournaments held in a physical location rather than over Xbox Live. LAN tournaments are held by tournament organizers and range from Gold to Platinum to Diamond. Overall, LAN tournaments will award the majority of points each season.

Below is a breakdown of the different tournament tiers.

For those who love to compete but can’t make it to in-person LAN events, ESL has got you covered. Online cups are a great way to earn a sizeable sum of points in addition to the $1,000 prize pool each week. These tournaments will feature a single elimination, best-of-3 format. 550 HCS Points are awarded to the winning team.

Gold tournaments offer entry-level prizing and HCS points in the Halo Championship Series. These tournaments feature a minimum $5,000 prize pool. 1,500 HCS Points are awarded to the winning team.

Platinum tournaments offer mid-range prizing and HCS points in the Halo Championship Series. These tournaments will feature a $10,000 minimum prize pool. 3,000 HCS Points are awarded to the winning team.

Diamond tournament offer the highest prizing and HCS points in the Halo Championship Series. These tournaments will feature a $20,000 minimum prize pool. 4,000 HCS Points are awarded to the winning team.

Ready to start competing? The first online cup to award HCS Points is Sunday, December 7. You can learn more and register for this tournament here, or by clicking the below banner.


The first HCS sanctioned in-person LAN tournament will be Iron Games Columbus, on December 12-14. This tournament is a Platinum event, will offer $15,000 in prizing, and will award 3,000 HCS Points to the winning team. Team passes are still available, and more information on how you can compete is here.

Registration and teams

The Halo Championship is FREE for players in North America (the United States, Canada, or Mexico). Players must be at least 16 years old (and have permission from a parent or guardian if under 18 years of age), own Halo: The Master Chief Collection and have an active account on Xbox Live. Think you have what it takes? Make your way to the ESL registration page and register an account for the upcoming season!

A team of four is needed to compete, so grab your friends and get ready to put yourself against some of the best Halo players in North America! You can also recruit a “stand-in” in case one of your players is unable to make the tournament, but remember that as with any other teammate your stand-in can only be part of one HCS team (more information on this below). If you’re ready, you can create your team for this weekend’s tournament right now.

If you’re on the hunt for a team or free agent, be sure to check out the team recruitment section on the official ESL Halo forums.

Please note that you also need to sign up for the registration cup in order to participate. Once your team has been approved by the admins, you can sign up for each cup you want to participate in individually.

Roster changes and roster locks

During the first season of the Halo Championship Series, teams will have two opportunities to make changes to their rosters. Below is a breakdown on how the process will work for Season 1:

Season 1 has two transfer periods

  • Transfer period one is between the end of the HCS Cup #1 (December 7th 2014) and the beginning of the HCS Cup #2 (December 21st 2014)
  • Transfer period two is between the end of the HCS Cup #5 (February 1st 2015) and the beginning of the HCS Cup #6 (February 8th 2015)
  • As long as a team has only four members, a stand-in can be added at any point in time up until the conclusion of the second transfer period (the beginning of HCS Cup #6). If a team already has a stand-in and they want to replace them, this will count as a roster change and must be done during the designated transfer periods
  • All Halo Championship Series ranking points (AKA ‘HCS points’ or simply ‘points’) are associated with team IDs and not individual team members
  • Any team changes must be submitted to an ESL admin via a support ticket for approval. Team changes must be requested at least 24 hours before a cup begins

Season structure

The Halo Championship Series online portion will take place on Sundays from early December 2014 to early March 2015, with the Halo Championship Series Finals taking place in March 2015. Below are the dates for the online portion and LAN events to earn points for the first season of the HCS:

  • December 7th 2014 – HCS Cup #1
  • December 12th-14th 2014 – Iron Games Columbus (LAN event)
  • December 21st 2014 – HCS Cup #2
  • December 28th 2014 – HCS Cup #3
  • January 2nd-4th 2015 – UGC St. Louis (LAN event)

Halo 5: Guardians beta mid-season break

  • January 25th 2015 – HCS Cup #4
  • February 1st 2015 – HCS Cup #5
  • February 8th 2015 – HCS Cup #6
  • February 15th 2015 – HCS Cup #7 (HCS Season 1 finalists announced)
  • February 22nd 2015 – Open Cup #1
  • March 1st 2015 – Open Cup #2
  • March 2015 – HCS Season 1 Finals

Please note that additional LAN events may be announced. For more details and the latest HCS updates, keep an eye on esl.gg/haloesports.

HCS by ESL online cups

  • First place: $750
  • Second place: $250

Game and game types

The Halo Championship Series will be using Halo 2: Anniversary (part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One). The following game types will be used for the first season:


As of now, Capture the Flag won’t be used, with our friends at 343 Industries currently hard at work ensuring that issues regarding flag juggling and dropping are resolved, and that the game type is ready for competition. We’ll have an announcement regarding this game type soon.

You can download the game types from the Xbox Live gamertag Official HCS.


HCS Handbook
The Halo Championship Series Handbook contains the official rules and guidelines for all parties involved in the HCS including players and tournament organizers.

The full handbook for the Halo Championship Series can be found here.

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About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site, Halowaypoint.com, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/halofanforlife11. Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal