News

Big Broadcasts

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We're wrapping up a fairly hectic two weeks at the studio, but I couldn't be more excited for what's to come. We continued our partnership with Limbitless Solutions, launched a gigantic Big Team Battle Refresh in Halo 5, updated MCC's online playlist offerings, and that's only the tip of the public-facing work we've been doing. Sadly I don't get to dive into the secret stuff in these Community Update too often, but I do enjoy keeping everyone up to date with the latest and greatest. With that said, let's take look at what's new in the world of Halo!

Limbitless

In December of last year we announced a partnership with Limbitless Solutions to provide Halo-themed sleeves to children. Back then we revealed a Master Chief arm along with a multiplayer variant that allowed for more personalization. Since then we've been working with them to release even more customization options and the result is out of this world. The most recent collaboration, based on the Arbiter's iconic armor from Halo 2, will be on display this weekend at MegaCon Orlando. 

To learn more about Limbitless please make sure to visit them on the web or on Twitter!

Halo 5: Guardians

Big Team Battle Refresh

Featuring seven new maps and the return of 1 Flag CTF, our latest playlist overhaul has officially made its way to matchmaking! Our Halo 5 Sustain Team coordinated with community Forgers for months to ensure we scouted out quality maps, playtested them thoroughly, and polished them before showing them off to the world. To learn more about the work that went into this playlist refresh as well as its contents, click here!

May Calendar

In case you missed our last Community Update, here's the schedule for rotational social playlists for the rest of the month!

  • May 16: Core Play rotates in for Halo 3 Classic Throwback
  • May 16: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • May 23: Roaming King rotates in for Halo 2 BR Slayer
  • May 30: Castle Wars rotates in for Core Play
  • May 30: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

As we roll from May to June, the new Summer 2019 Arena Season will begin and bring Big Team Battle into the ranked playlist offering. Keep an eye out for it on June 4th.

Mixer Matchups – Race to E3

Mixer has kicked off a three week competition that rewards its participants for streaming and playing while we all eagerly await E3's arrival. The Halo 5: Guardians portion of this event pays out $500 to the Top 50 players on the leaderboard and begins this upcoming Monday, May 20, at 10am PT. The event concludes on Sunday, May 26, at 10pm PT. To earn points on the Mixer Matchups tournament, and begin your climb up the leaderboard, simply register online and stream your matches in the ranked Slayer playlist on Mixer.

It’s time to bust out those Energy Swords and jump into some good ol’ fashion Slayer. Rack up as many kills as you can during the week and earn prizes along the way! Achieve a minimum of 50 kills during the week and earn Embers!

For more details on how to participate, earn embers and cash prizes, and potentially win a trip to E3, read the full announcement on mixer.com!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Matchmaking Updates

Per our weekly cadence of tweaking playlists, we've released two updates that should've improved your MCC experience over the past two weeks. Let's take a closer look at the changes included with each one!

Snipers

Last Wednesday's playlist update focused on making changes for the Snipers community based on the input they've been providing. Three of the most frequent pieces of feedback were:

  • Removing BTB maps
  • Re-enabling radar for H3
  • Reducing the weighting of H3 Sniper Hill

With these changes implemented, the map and mode offerings now look like this:

  • H1 Sniper Slayer: Battle Creek, Damnation, Prisoner, Hang 'Em High, Chill Out, Boarding Action
  • H2 Sniper Slayer: Lockout, Ascension, Midship, Ivory Tower, Beaver Creek, Colossus, Sanctuary, Turf, Tombstone
  • H2A Sniper Slayer: Lockdown, Zenith, Shrine
  • H3 Sniper Slayer: Construct, Guardian, Isolation, Narrows, Snowbound, The Pit, Blackout, Assembly, Citadel, Heretic
  • H3 Sniper Hill: Guardian, Citadel, Heretic
  • H4 Sniper Slayer: Adrift, Abandon, Haven, Solace, Landfall, Monolith, Skyline, Pitfall, Vertigo

BTB MAYHEM

In this week's playlist update, we brought in a collection of chaotic community-inspired "Mayhem" modes for 8v8 Halo CE to Social Games. The map and mode combos can be found right here:

  • Enabled Action Sack category for Halo CE in the 8v8 game size in social matchmaking for Mayhem game types
  • Added Mayhem Slayer with 250 kills to win to Battle Creek, Rat Race, Hang 'Em High, Derelict, and Longest
  • Added One Flag Siege with two-minute offense and five captures to win on Battle Creek
  • Added Two Flag CTF to Hang 'Em High
  • Added static KotH to Battle Creek
  • Added moving hill KotH to Damnation, Rat Race, and Derelict

We hope you're enjoying these Wednesday playlist updates and have fun testing them out with friends every week. If you have feedback that you'd like to provide, head on over to the MCC Forums and share your thoughts with us!

Halo Championship Series

DreamHack Dallas

The next HCS Grassroots event is nearly here thanks to our friends at DreamHack! They've been working hard to build out both the 4v4 tournament as well as the recently announced Free-For-All competition at DreamHack Dallas, and we're excited to be supporting them. Those two events, combining for over $50,000 in prizing, are sure to bring some memorable matches to the mainstage in front of thousands of attendees and online spectators. 

The DreamHack crew has also put together a lovely landing page at DreamHack.com/Halo which can point you in the direction of event and hotel information as well as ticket information, so be sure to take advantage of it. 

We hope too see you in Texas or tuning in online to catch the Halo festivities on May 31 – June 2!

Community Tournament Organizers

While we're on the topic of HCS Grassroots, the team just announced that we have accepted the program's first two Community Tournament Organizers. Each of these groups has been hosting events and have helped foster the growth of competitive Halo for years. Read up on what the HCS Team had to say about the two newest recruits to their program below!

EUROPA HALO

With the goals of creating a platform to grow European Halo as a competitive force in the HCS, Europa Halo has been running online leagues and tournaments for over two years. Now partnered with the HCS Grassroots program, Europa Halo will be offering monthly tournaments for Halo 5: Guardians. Here’s a look at the next five months of tournaments:

  • June 9: Double Down (2v2)
  • July 7: FFA Frenzy (FFA)
  • August 4: Team Takedown (4v4)
  • September 8: Double Down (2v2)
  • October 13: FFA Frenzy (FFA)

If you're a European Halo player, be sure to keep an eye out for updates on their channels right here:

Greater Toronto Halo

For over ten years, the Greater Toronto Halo group (GTHalo) have been running consistent competitions and creating content with the goal of growing the love for Halo in Toronto and also fostering Canada’s next greatest Halo players and content creators. Their impact thus far has been immense, and they’ve also begun inspiring other city-based communities to form within North America. Now part of the HCS Grassroots program, we hope even more people will join the cause and participate in their upcoming tournaments:

  • May 24: GTHalo LAN at Lords Gaming Centre (703R Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1L5)
  • June 30: GTHalo Schoolyard Roulette Tournament at Yorkdale Microsoft Store (3401 Dufferin St #305, North York, ON M6A 3A1)

To follow them and get updates on their future events, hit them up on Twitter at @GTHalo!

Microsoft Store Halo

This month's Halo 3 2v2 Microsoft Store Halo tournament is happening this Sunday, May 19, so as to not interfere with Memorial Day in the US next weekend. As for our next Microsoft Store event, we're still working to lock down the specifics, but I hope to have news to share with you in the next Community Update. In the meantime, you can always visit aka.ms/MCCHalo to get the latest information!

For those of you who don't know, Mixer helps us broadcast these monthly events on mixer.com/Halo so that we can highlight players at stores around the country. Tashi and I usually host these together, but unfortunately he'll be on vacation and we'll be unable to keep our casting streak alive. Although that is a bummer, I'm very pleased to say that our very own Richie Heinz will be joining in his place to make sure the show goes on.

Halo: Outpost Discovery

Community Panels 

If you're interested in sharing your passion for Halo with the community, you should consider hosting a panel at your nearest Halo: Outpost Discovery event. Whether it's Forgers discussing best-practices for map design or montage creators presenting their editing techniques, there are countless Halo-related topics that could be covered, and we want to help provide a platform to share your perspectives on them.

By the time my next Community Update comes around, it will probably be too late for you to put together a panel since submissions close on May 31 – so I'm using this as my opportunity to recommend that you reach out to the people you want and gather the details you need.

As a reminder, if your panel is accepted, you'll also receive a complimentary day pass for your participation. Once you've finished wrangling all of the materials, apply here at HaloOutpostDiscovery.com. We're looking forward to seeing what you got!

Xbox Game Pass upgrade

In case you missed the announcement, the 3 month Xbox Game Pass membership that was included with all Halo: Outpost Discovery VIP tickets (3 Day & 1 Day) has now been doubled to a 6 month membership! That was nice of the Xbox Game Pass team, wasn't it?

As a note, even though our first stop in Orlando has sold out of their 3 Day VIPs, you can still snag single day VIP tickets right here. And just because I enjoy hyperlinking out to things, here are links to all of our Halo: Outpost Discovery stops this summer:

Bravo is back

If you've missed his presence, you're in luck! Our very own Bravo will be helping host each and every stop of the Halo: Outpost Discovery tour this summer. Be sure to say hi and let him know how much you miss having him around all the time!

  • Community Spotlight: Snickerdoodle's latest Community Spotlight features detailed drawings, cosmic cosplays, and pleasant paintings. If you want to see the best community creations shared with us over the past two weeks, this is the place to catch them all. 
    Additionally, if your content is shown in a Community Spotlight, you might just get a shoutout from our @Halo Instagram account. We recently started sharing content to bring the more attention to these creators and help spread the word about the Halo Community Spotlight.
  • 343 Social Stream: Our most recent 343 Social Stream invited new guest, Michael Sarchet, to speak about his role at the studio. Among many things, one of his key responsibilities is to help build toolsets that help teams build more specific tools for the game engine. Yes, he's that meta. Give the VOD a gander and watch him play Halo 5's new Big Team Battle Refresh right here!

Warthog

The world-famous Warthog has officially made it's debut at the Petersen Automotive Museum's Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy exhibit in Los Angeles, CA! That means you can visit the museum, see plenty of iconic cars, and participate in the custom curated Halo & Back to the Future HoloLens "Worlds Reimagined" mixed reality experience with a general admission ticket.

By now you've got to know that I wouldn't leave you hanging without a link to more information or a ticket page. I can't wait to get down to Los Angeles and give it a try sometime in the next year!

Art

Do you remember the first Collector's Edition you ever got of a video game? I know certainly do, because mine was the Halo 2: Limited Collector's Edition, which came in that memorable silver-colored steelbook. Well, this piece of art stood out immediately because it's the graphic that was on the back of those steelbook cases but in full color glory. Seeing it like this, knowing how meaningful it is to me, and realizing how important it's gotta be to some of you, I knew I had to share.

Since it's a portrait orientation, I couldn't get a decent crop for Facebook and Twitter headers like I normally do, so hopefully you just enjoy the 4k version of it by clicking here on the photo itself below!

Thanks for joining me for another Community Update!

Until next time,

- Uny

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