343 Industries announced that Esports Engine will be the Global Management partner for Halo Infinite esports. The revival of the Halo Championship Series (HCS) will coincide with the release of Halo Infinite during the 2020 holiday season.
Esports Engine and their Halo roots
Many fans of the Halo franchise have been patiently waiting for this update. Last November, 343 Industries put out a blog post that announced their plans to bring back the HCS. The post detailed their goal of “building a platform and thriving ecosystem for players, teams, and partners to find success on.” They also committed to unveiling a fully detailed 12-month road map for the program before the competition kicks off.
Esports Engine launched last October as part of the esports infrastructure platform Vindex. The company is led by Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, both former MLG co-founders. The Esports Engine team has integrated with the HCS team to build out the program. This includes things such as ecosystem design, format and league operations, broadcasts, and more.
Adam Apicella serves as the CEO of Esports Engine. He was one of the first employees at MLG and has tremendous experience with Halo esports. He commented on the partnership:
We are extremely excited to work with 343 Industries as their Global Management Partner and leverage our rich Halo history and 20 years of esports operations experience to help build the best program for players, fans, teams, and tournament operators around the world.
From our experience running Halo for so many years and also being a third party operator trying to make ends meet – now being able to help design a program that’s something the fans want, something the players want, that’s great for the teams, great for the other operators – it’s super exciting to be involved in such a monumental project.
It appears Microsoft is serious about becoming a key player in the esports space. Partnering with a company that has deep roots in the Halo scene should help them successfully reinvigorate the scene. With Mixer’s influencer line up continuously growing, Microsoft looks well-positioned to take the esports industry by storm.