Microsoft Announces Halo eSports League

First Halo Championship Series season features Halo 2 and starts this month.

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Ahead of the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on November 11, series developer 343 Industries has now announced the Halo Championship Series. The HCS, as it will be known, is an official esports leagued dedicated exclusively to the popular sci-fi shooter franchise.

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According to the announcement post on Halo's website, the HCS was created to serve as a platform for professional Halo players, enthusiasts, and spectators. It will operate as the single sanctioning body for Halo, Microsoft explained. The company is getting help from Twitch, the ESL, and "various tournament organizers" as it rolls out various Halo tournaments.

The first season of the HCS will begin just after the release of The Master Chief Collection and run through March 2015. Per rules published on the Halo website, teams of four Spartans will compete in a "structured series" of online and in-person Halo 2: Anniversary tournaments.

The top teams from these tournaments will be awarded HCS points, and at the end of each season, teams with the highest point totals will be invited to play in the season finals in March 2015.

More information about the HCS is available at its official website. In the coming weeks, 343 Industries will release the official HCS rules handbook, and begin to accept registrations for teams looking to compete in the first season.

More details on the HCS will be shared during the $50,000 Master Chief Collection launch invitational tournament that kicks off on November 8.

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