Matt Pryor
Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.

HCS Announces $250K Raleigh Kickoff Major To Open Halo Infinite Season

The Halo Championship Series logo appears with three Spartan soldiers in it with lights behind it.
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The Halo Championship Series (HCS) announces the first major LAN tournament for Halo Infinite.


Competitive Halo is iconic in every sense of the word. Since the early 2000s, the Bungie Studios turned 343 Industries franchise has been responsible for paving the way for esports as we experience today. While Halo has undergone many fundamental changes over time, the lead-up to a new entry in the series is always exciting.

With that said, the Halo Championship Series has officially unveiled plans for the first major LAN competition of the first Halo Infinite season. Competitive players should mark their calendars just one week after Infinite releases worldwide. The HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021 is upon us.

HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021

HCS has targeted the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, as the spot for Halo Infinite’s first offline tournament. While many of the game’s most significant professional players are expected to attend, the competition is open to anyone and everyone. The Kickoff Major will occur one week after Halo Infinite hits the worldwide market from December 17 to December 19, with a $250K USD prize pool.

HCS Kickoff Tournament Format

Halo protagonist Master Chief holds an assault rifle.

Halo Infinite’s kickoff competition features an Open Bracket, Pool Play, and the Championship Bracket. It’s unclear how many team passes will be available. However, we do know that 32 teams will reach the Championship Bracket through Opens and Pool Play.

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Here is the complete tournament format breakdown:

Open Bracket

  • Double elimination
  • Top 16 teams advance to the Championship Bracket
  • Eight teams move to the winner’s side
  • Eight teams move to the elimination side

Pool Play

  • 16 qualified teams from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Australia / New Zealand will receive a full ride to the event
  • Four pools made up of four teams
  • Round Robin format
  • The top two teams from each pool receive a BYE and advance to the second round of the Championship Bracket
  • The bottom two teams advance to the first round of the Championship Bracket

Championship Bracket

  • 32 teams
  • Double elimination

Addressing the Pandemic

Despite the ongoing global pandemic, HCS believes they’ve taken precautions to ensure safety during the event.

“With Halo Infinite’s release moving to 2021, the proliferation of vaccines around the world, as well as regulations and health policy changes, we knew it was time for us to bring the Halo community back together again,” the announcement reads.

Here are the regulations that HCS has established that all attendees must follow:

  • To enter the venue all attendees and staff must attest to their health status, each day. Entrance into the venue will not be allowed without attesting each day, and no exceptions will be made.
  • All attendees must also present proof of vaccination as well as a photo ID each time they enter the venue.
  • For those not vaccinated, you must provide proof of NEGATIVE COVID-19 PCR test results, from within at least the prior 72hrs each day along with a photo ID each time they enter the venue.
  • Per state law, masks will be required to enter the venue.
  • Inside the venue, masks must remain on all attendees including players and staff, at all times without exception. This is a local legal requirement.
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How/When to Buy Tickets

Spectator tickets go on sale tomorrow, September 29 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. General admission costs $50 USD per ticket and limited VIP tickets go for $100 USD each. Team passes can be purchased starting November 17.

Here is a list of teams that should be in attendance the weekend of December 17:

  • Cloud9 – Penguin, Eco, Stellur, Renegade
  • Envy – Pistola, Tripppey, aPG, Lucid
  • eUnited – Rayne, Ryanoob, Spartan, Nick
  • FaZe Clan – TBD
  • FNATIC – TBD
  • G2 Esports – TBD
  • Natus Vincere – TBD
  • Sentinels – Snakebite, Lxthul, Royal2, Frosty
  • Spacestation – Ace, Tylenol, ?, ?

Less than two months remain until Halo Infinite launches worldwide. The HCS Raleigh Kickoff is another reason to be excited. Click here to read the full announcement over on the Halo Waypoint website. Prospective spectators can visit this website to purchase tickets tomorrow.

Featured Image: 343 Industries

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