Season 2 Announcements

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Season 1 of the Halo Championship Series ended in spectacular fashion earlier this month, and we’re looking forward to an even bigger and better Season 2. Over the past few months, we’ve been working with our partners, team organizations and players, and more to improve the HCS. In Season 2 alone, we'll be giving out over $250,000 by increasing prize pools to all online cups, all LAN events and the Season 2 Finals. We're also adding Forge maps to the map pool, updating roster rules, simplifying the points structure, and adding a brand new element to online cups: The Legendary Bracket.

Now on Halo Channel:

HCS Update #3 is now available to watch only on Halo Channel. In this update, we recap the incredible Season 1 Finals at PAX East in Boston. Evil Geniuses were able to dominate the tournament, but it was the underdogs in Noble Black that really stole the show. Their run through the loser's bracket was one for the ages, and their match against CLG won't soon be forgotten.

We also take a look at the roadmap for Season 2, and provide details on what's to come.

Season 2 Schedule

Online Cup Prize Increase

First, we’ve again teamed up with ESL to update HCS rules, points and online cups. We’ve heard feedback from HCS competitors and fans loud and clear, and are excited about the changes for Season 2. Online cups still occur weekly, but instead of offering a $1,000 prize pool, we’ve increased the prize pool to $3,000 each week. The prize breakdown is as follows:

1st - $1,500

2nd - $1,000

3rd - $500

Online Cup Format

We’ve also changed the format for online cups in the Halo Championship Series. Just like Season 1, all teams will register and compete in a single elimination, best-of-3 format. New to Season 2 is ESL’s new “Open Bracket” of the HCS Online cups hosted on Saturday. If your team is in the Top 8 in overall HCS standings, you’ll be automatically placed in the new “Legendary Bracket,” which will see the Top 16 teams duke it out every Sunday. The Top 8 teams from Saturday’s open bracket will advance into Sunday’s Legendary Bracket with the Top 8 teams, according to the official HCS standings. We’ve made this handy graphic to better visualize how this will work:

With this format, amateur teams will have more opportunities to compete as they won’t be facing the best of the best teams in the early rounds. It is our hope that this opportunity will provide teams with more tournament experience each week. While the Open Bracket will feature a best-of-3 format, the Legendary Bracket will feature a best-of-5 format. Lastly, we’re committed to ensuring Halo Championship Series matches are enjoyed by players and spectators alike. During each online cup we’ll be sharing Twitch streams of players in the tournament and also hosting streams throughout the Legendary Bracket on

For details on how to register your team to compete in the Halo Championship Series, you can visit the ESL Halo site here: Season 2 Registration

PreSeason & Iron Games HCS Atlanta Seeding

Iron Games HCS Atlanta is the first HCS tournament of Season 2, and in order to seed this event we'll be awarding "Preseason points" to HCS Preseason Cups #1 & #2. All teams competing at Iron Games HCS Atlanta will be seeded in the following way:

  • HCS Preseason points
  • Iron Games HCS Atlanta online FFA
  • Teams that didn't compete in either of the above will receive random seeds

HCS Preseason Cups #1 & #2 take place April 5 and April 12.In the event of a tie in points for both Preseason cups, the team with the better placing in Preseason Cup #2 will receive the higher seed going into Iron Games HCS Atlanta. If teams have tied for both Preseason Cups (for example, if both teams placed 17-32), then Iron Games FFA tournament seeding will be used as the first tiebreaker, and teams will be seeded randomly thereafter.

Passes for Iron Games HCS Atlanta are still avaiable here:

HCS Points

We’ve also made some tweaks to how HCS points are given. In Season 1, there were four HCS Points tiers: Online, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. In an effort to create and a simpler and more consistent league structure, we’ve removed the tier system for Season 2, and now simply offer a set number of points for online and LAN tournaments. The HCS Points breakdown is below:

Roster Rules

We’ve made some updates to roster rules in Halo Championship Series, which build upon the changes that were made towards the end of last season. We expanded upon the latest rules to enforce roster consistency, while also allowing teams to make changes during set transfer periods. Here are some high level changes that we’ve made to roster change rules:

  • Any team with a roster of 4 or 5 that loses a player or drops a player will not lose their points.
  • A player can only be added to a roster during a transfer period.
  • The amount of transfer periods has been increased from two to three.

More Maps

We also heard the feedback that players want to see more diversity in the map pool, and we’ve had the pleasure of working with our friends over at Forge HUB to narrow down a list of possible Season 2 candidates. We’re working with HCS players and fans to get feedback and testing on these maps. If you’d like to check out the maps, head here. We’ll be making our final decision on map rotation game type selection soon, and will be featuring these maps in Preseason cup #2 on April 12.

HCS Indianapolis presented by PGL

At the Season 1 Finals, we announced that we’ll be working again with Iron Gaming to host the Season 2 opener: a $25,000 LAN tournament on April 17-19. We’re excited to announce the second LAN tournament of the season, HCS Indianapolis presented by PGL. You can read the full announcement here, but here’s a quick overview:

The tournament will take place at Indy Pop Con 2015 at the Indianapolis Convention Center on June 26-28, and will feature $50,000 in prizing. Team passes are available now, and you can head over to PGL’s website to grab passes and learn more about the tournament. If you’d like to spectate the event and support your favorite teams, you can purchase an Indy Pop Con badge here. Can’t make it out to Indianapolis? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can catch all the tournament action on the Halo Channel and

HCS Indianapolis will be the final tournament of the regular season in Season 2, which means that at the conclusion of the tournament, we’ll find out which teams make it to the Season 2 Finals.

Season 2 Finals

The Season 1 Finals by ESL were one of the most exciting tournaments Halo has ever seen, and we’re partnering once again with ESL host the Season 2 Finals. The HCS Season 2 Finals will take place from July 24-26 at the ESL Studios in sunny Burbank, California. We’re inviting the Top 8 teams to compete for their share of an increased $150,000 prize pool.

We couldn’t be more excited for what’s in store for Season 2 of the Halo Championship Series, and we wanted to offer a special thank you to the players, spectators and HCS fans who will be joining us for another incredible season For more information about today’s announcements head on over to, and stay tuned to @Halo on Twitter for more.


Halo Championship Series

Social Images

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In the event that you’d like to join us in celebrating the announcement, we created HCS profile and header images for your Twitter and Facebook profiles. So go ahead, get fancy.

Halo Championship Series

Season 2 Schedule

By Official HCS -

Take a look at the tournament road map, as well as a week-by-week breakdown for Season 2 of the Halo Championship Series.

Halo Championship Series

Season 2 Standings

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The official standings for Season 2 of the Halo Championship Series. The first tournament to award points for Season 2 of the Halo Championship Series is Iron Games HCS Atlanta, April 17-19.