AWESOME article. Brings back fond memories of New year's day 16 player madness on 4 consoles. After going to Blizzcon last November, I was hit with the eSports party bug. I'm designing a rig to accommodate all kinds of different eSports. (Similar to your idea of hosting at church and using the big screen for the audience). Only difficult part for me at this point is setting up the observer. As you have probably seen at any tournament there is an observer PC that shows the 3rd person view of the game to the audience. This is pretty easy for PC based games like Starcraft, Overwatch, Heroes, LOL etc. The exception being OW as you have to "rent" a local game host from them.
I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this in a multiple console environment like you have described here. If you have a 16 player cap, how do you set up an observer? Is that even possible? Other than splitting off every console video out two ways and just routing them through a massive switcher. (which I can do, was just hoping there was an easier way) lol. It's really simple for single console fighting games and stuff like that. But if you want the arena feel, you need to be able to not only have the camera in the sky, but also be able to switch to any player's POV instantly.
Let me know what you think.
Haha cheers!! Big Halo LAN parties are truly special.
As far as having a neutral character / perspective / screen actually IN THE GAME, Halo definitely doesn't have that (Maybe Halo 5, but not sure?) I think your best bet for split-screen Halo LANs would be to do 4 consoles, each console split 4 ways. Then have a player from each console stream to Mixer, and have them all get invited to the same co-stream. Mixer supports 4-way co-streaming. Then you would have one website, that has access to all sixteen screens at once.
Here is a gallery of me testing the Mixer co-stream LAN party idea
Alternatively, you could buy an HDMI pass-through device for each console, then route the HDMI signals into a switcher like you said. But I think the Mixer idea is cooler!