Beauty of a Beast

By -

Hey all! We’re back with another doling out of the latest Halo happenings. Your humble penman arrived back in Seattle (very) early Tuesday morning after a fun (and food) filled weekend in Louisiana with the team at HCS New Orleans. I could easily measure in pounds (or maybe even stones, for our friends across the pond) the amount of crawfish etouffee and seafood gumbo devoured when not behind the scenes at the tournament itself. It was absolutely glorious. Anyway, speaking of the tournament, let’s kick things off there.


HCS New Orleans featured top Halo esports teams from around the world battling it out for the lion’s share of a $250,000 prize pool. And while the Grand Finals themselves might have ended in a seemingly predictable world championship rematch between Splyce and TOX Gaming, the path on which we arrived there was anything but predictable.

The was a number one seed getting upset and denied even a Top 4 finish. There was an epic underdog run through the Elimination Bracket. There were heated exchanges from bitter rivals. There was Berserker Esports making a historic run with a Top 8 finish – the first ever for a LATAM squad on U.S. soil. There was a Grand Finals bracket reset. New Orleans provided it all.

Photo by the awesome David Doran  

In the end, Splyce would once more claim the crown as the team to beat, their squad of Shotzzy, Renegade, Eco, Stellur, and their coach Skeptical taking home their fourth straight major tournament title. It was another unforgettable event from our friends and partners at MLG, and was made even better by getting to hold it under the same roof as the Gears esports team, who were running an epic $250k tourney of their own.

To everyone the tuned in online – and turned up in person – to cheer on their favorite players and celebrate their favorite franchise, thanks so much. We can’t wait to see you all again in London come September. For the full results and recap on the entire event, make sure you check out our official event recap blog. If nothing else, it will make me happy knowing you’ve read it.


One of the most exciting things to come out of HCS New Orleans was the official announcement of the HCS 2018 Finals, which will be held at DreamHack Atlanta, combining awesome Halo esports with other amazing aspects of humanity such as Chick-fil-a and SEC football. Teams from around the world will descend upon northern Georgia to battle for the Halo 5 crown and $300,000.

Speaking of 3, fans were in a bit of a frenzy over the addition revelation that the HCS 2018 Finals would also feature a Halo 3 Doubles tournament to be played in the updated and revitalized MCC, all with a $10,000 prize pool of its own. For more info on how you can get involved, make sure you keep an eye on and @HCS on Twitter.


If you happen to be travelling to southern California to attend the San Diego Comic Con this weekend, there’s at least a couple of Halo-related stops you should make.

  • DARK HORSE HALO SIGNING – Love recent Halo comics like Halo: Tales from Slipspace, Halo: Rise of Atriox, and Halo: Collateral Damage? On Friday (July 20), from 3pm-3:45pm PT, head over to the Dark Horse Comics Booth (#2615) and say hello to Alex Irvine, Jody Houser, Jonathan Wayshak, Tyler Jeffers, Frank O’Connor, and Kiki Wolfkill, get some signatures and chat Halo storytelling!
  • MATT FORBECK SIGNING – Mr. ForBuck- err, Forbeck will be celebrating the new release of Halo: Bad Blood with a meet ‘n greet signing opportunity at the Simon & Schuster Booth (#1128), Friday (July 20) at 11am PT. Go say hello and get him to scribble his name on something!
  • XBOX GEAR BOOTH – The awesome Xbox Gear booth will have all sorts of awesome Xbox, well, gear, on sale and display – including a sweet new classy Needler shirt that I really need to get. Go see them in booth #100 in Hall A.


This week we revealed the new Halo Icons figure, and this time Carter-A259 joins the fray. Make sure you secure yours soon!


Earlier today, Mythic Shotty Snipers went live in Halo 5 matchmaking, letting you play the role of Linda-058 and Kelly-087 by using the Nornfang sniper and Oathsworn shotgun to vanquish the sweatiest of foes.

Taking a little break from the action will be the Core Play playlist, the performance of which necessitated some time on the bench. On the flip side, next weekend will see the glorious return of Warzone Turbo! Get your REQ-fest on with supercharged energy gain and full access to your arsenal – the enemy core stands no chance.

And now, a word from our sponsors.


Hey Everybody,

Postums and Wrensi here with an update on Halo Wars 2. On July 18 (yesterday) we released a brand-new update with a lot of game changers to continue to improve the balance. This update is massive and heavily curated from players from all over the community. As well, with this update we invited a small subset of players from various parts of community to a Public Test Server (PTS) and help preview the patch prior to releasing it. This process has helped identify key imbalances that may have been too weak or too strong prior to release. A full list of changes can be found here.


  • Season 11 has started.
  • All Playlists are now Crossplay.
  • Per community request: 2v2 Deathmatch is now crossplay.
  • Non-crossplay 3v3 Deathmatch was removed from Xbox.
  • First major balance update to Blitz.
  • Daily Login Blitz Packs are now available.

We are already starting the planning for our next mid-season balance update. A couple key themes that have already come to the front for requests is to update Tier 3 units across the board, possible change to interactions of air units to other air units and continuing the update and monitor the recent Blitz changes. As well, we are going to be keeping an eye closely on the Hunter Captain with his recent update as his hero unit may still need more adjustments.


Postums and Wrensi


Thanks guys! One of the coolest parts about being in New Orleans (other than the food) was hanging out at the local Dave & Busters on Sunday night after the finals and watching folks get their first hands-on with the Halo: Fireteam Raven arcade experience. From regular joes to HCS pros, it seemed like everyone’s face lit up when they took a set in this beautiful beast of a cabinet and started laying waste to Covenant forces and Flood infestations across Alpha Halo. We’re getting reports that nearly every D&B location has received – or is in the process of receiving – their “copy” of the game, so keep your eyes peeled! Also remember that it’s also beginning to roll out to other regions as well, so be patient and keep an ear out for more details there as well.

One cool feature that we’ve mentioned before is the ability to scan a QR code generated from Halo Waypoint and log into Fireteam Raven with your gamertag for some sweet high-level stat tracking, letting you share your experience a little easier with friends and foes alike. To activate the feature, simply sign into Halo Waypoint with your Xbox Live/Microsoft account and head to HERE for full instructions on how to generate a QR code that you will scan into the FTR arcade cabinet.


Archangel470 did up this really awesome SFM render and pose of Noble Team. 

The last thing that HatCS should have is a lack of confidence, because this sweet, stylized drawing of our favorite hero is freaking rad. 


Bailey back at it again with another Legendary Crate figure-inspired SFM piece. 

Love this awesome Fred-104 piece!


And with that, we close. See you all soon, and don't forget to check out our next 343 Social Stream on, next Wednesday at 1:30pm PT! 

Until next time… Live well, play Halo, and tweet someone you respect to tell’em so.

<3 Grim


Flag Caps & Gowns

Halo Community Update

Flag Caps & Gowns

By GrimBrother One -

When last we met, we were fresh off Grim’s Etouffee Extravaganza, or I guess as some people called it “HCS New Orleans.” This time around, we’re catching up on a few different things – a light week overall, but still some important happenings in the Halo sphere to chat about, so let’s get to it!

Lowdown Lite

Halo Community Update

Lowdown Lite

By GrimBrother One -

Hey everyone! We’re back with another Halo Community Update. We’ve got a light-ish week overall this time around but are still excited to spend a few moments with you – let’s take a look at what’s going on lately!

Soldiering On

Halo Community Update

Soldiering On

By GrimBrother One -

Welcome back, gentlecreatures – hope this regular dip into recent Halo news and notes finds you well! Over the past week or so, it’s been fun to see various parts of the studio buzzing about heads-down and hard at work on everything from awesome MCC updates, upcoming HCS events, new books, comics, and yes, even other far-off future fancies. Ready? Let’s go.