Hey everyone, Tashi here with details on a variety of Halo esports items.

GAME SETTINGS – SUMMER 2017 SEASON

We know many of you have been anxiously awaiting updates on map and gametype settings for the Summer 2017 Season of the HCS, and today we’re happy to get into some details. Immediately following the Halo World Championship 2017 Finals, our team has been on a mission to collect and document as much player feedback from top players around the world. I want to take a moment to thank all of the players for their detailed input they have provided so far. Since the culmination of the Halo World Championship, the esports team has been meeting with various teams here at 343 (Multiplayer, Sandbox, Data Analysis, and more) to determine next steps for implementing updates.

Beginning next week, we’ll be rolling out a new set of test settings with updated maps and gametypes based on the feedback we’ve received during and after the Halo World Championship.

Here’s a quick overview from the Multiplayer Team:

ASSAULT RIFLE

Players have been providing feedback that the current gameplay around the Assault Rifle has become unfit for competition. After extensive review, we have determined that the data supports this feedback. The Assault Rifle’s effectiveness is similar across a wide range of skill levels, which is not intended. As a result, the weapon will not be featured in competitive play during the Summer 2017 season. We’re actively evaluating best ways to update the weapon and reintroduce into it competitive play once the weapon has been retuned and tested.

ENERGY SWORD

With the Energy Sword, we’ve heard your feedback and have seen that the movement speed increase has negatively impacted CTF on Truth, making flag captures a bit too easy and exploitative. This is not ideal for players or viewers, so it will not be featured during the Summer 2017 season. We’re evaluating changes to this weapon and looking to reintroduce it into competitive play in the future.

SPLINTER GRENADE

We’ve both heard and observed that the Splinter Grenade is exceling outside of its intended role, which is area denial. Currently, it is used to kill instantly without warning, so we are evaluating ways to improve and bring back into competitive play. In the interim, Splinter Grenades will not be featured during the Summer 2017 season.

BRUTE PLASMA RIFLE

The Brute Plasma Rifle is stripping shields quickly, but feedback and data show that it is too effective at this, hurting the balance of this weapon. We like what the weapon adds to gameplay and are investigating balance updates, but the Brute Plasma Rifle will not be a part of the Summer 2017 season.

WEAPON RESPAWN TIMERS

We’ve heard feedback that certain weapons on the map (such as Battle Rifle, Storm Rifle, Carbine, Scattershot, Shotgun, and others) respawn too frequently, so we’re looking into increasing the respawn time of these weapons. As a note, these changes will not impact weapons on Weapon Pads.

MOTION TRACKER (RADAR)

The changes above will heavily influence gameplay on all maps, and early next week, we’ll be collecting feedback as well as working with top players on motion tracker options that play best with the updated settings.

Next week we’ll be updating the Official HCS File Share, the Proving Grounds playlist (so all players can play on these new settings and give us feedback alongside the pros), and collecting feedback from competitive players as well as regularly discussing updated settings with HCS Pro League players.

Let us know what you think here!

HCS PRO LEAGUE

We are working diligently with ESL to put a bow on the full release of HCS Pro League details and roadmap. I know we promised these details to hit this week, so I apologize for the delay as we work to build the best experience we can for players and viewers. After the Halo World Championship 2017 season, we’re excited to see the top teams in Europe and North America duke it out each week again. Also, don’t forget that the HCS Pro League Finals are now open events (meaning not only will all HCS Pro League teams be in attendance, but also any open teams looking to prove themselves) and will take place at DreamHack Atlanta (July 21-23) and DreamHack Denver (October 20-22). We hope to see you there!

CROWDFUNDING

As you may have noticed with the announcement of HCS Daytona by UMG, this tournament features a $75,000 prize pool, which is actually the largest for an open event since the HCS began. Originally, this tournament was set at $25,000, but thanks to community REQ contributions, we have been able to increase the prize pool by $50,000! Additionally, we have heard the feedback from HCS Open Circuit team organizations and players that you’d like to see prize pool distributed outside of just the Top 8. For HCS Daytona, I’m pleased to say that we’ll be paying out to the Top 16 teams. It’s worth noting however, that to earn the big bucks, you’ll still need to take down the finest teams in the HCS and earn a higher placing. You can look for detailed prizing breakdown later this month.

Next month, we’ll also be releasing prizing information for both HCS Pro League Finals tournaments, which will also feature a prize pool boosted by crowdfunds. While I can’t reveal exact numbers just yet, you can expect that these events will feature a significantly higher prize pool than HCS Daytona.

It’s been amazing to see the crowdfunding support from the entire Halo community!

That will do it for me today. Thank you again for the continued support of the Halo Championship Series, and have a great weekend!

-Tashi – via HaloWaypoint

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