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Summer Send-off

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Time marches on, as time is wont to do, and it's somehow already September, can you believe it? I'm definitely still in denial about this but I know plenty are happy that Pumpkin Spice Latte season is upon us. As we get closer to launch, things are getting busier as we are making sure everything is shipshape. To that end, I wanted to give you a heads up about a blog change we're making: the Halo Community Spotlight blog is going to be on hiatus for the foreseeable future. This was not a decision made lightly and we know it will cause some disappointment but the blog isn't gone forever and we are aiming to bring it back early next year. 

In the meantime, we have a decent chunk of ground to cover from MCC to Infinite and a smattering of things in between so I will stop dillydallying and we can get right to it!

HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION

Another MCC update is on the horizon and to help get us to that point, Season 8 flighting is well underway. It's slated to wrap up on September 13 so if you've been invited, be sure to jump in and check it all out. There's a ton of really great content to poke around and play with and if you want the run down, you'll want to read the latest Dev and Flighting Update. We've got things like Custom Game Browser, some incredibly sick new armors, and, my personal favorite, Turf Icebox for Halo 3. Yes, that's yet another new map for Halo 3 in 2021. 

   

As Grim noted in Canon Fodder 118: Myths & Mysteries, there is some definite Mythic Mjolnir Madness happening. The art crew on MCC has absolutely outdone themselves with some of these new armors as they are stunning. I think my personal favorite might be the Blackguard Carrion Crow, how about you? Which one are you going to be rocking?

 

HALO ESPORTS

The HCS team has been on a roll lately with some really exciting news. It's all coming together now and it's very fun to see. I know they've been hard at work on some of this for a very long time and it's been great to see your enthusiasm for programs like the Top 25 list! 

Launch Partners

Months of reviewing applications, collecting feedback, a ton of behind the scenes work, and it's all paid off in spades. We have finally announced our nine launch partners for Halo Infinite's esports infrastructure. They each have long, successful records in esports and we are thrilled to work with them to help build and grow our ecosystem as a whole. 

For the full scoop, check out Tashi's latest Designing the Halo Esports Ecosystem blog!

Top 25 Halo Players

From Halo: Combat Evolved all the way to Halo 5: Guardians, certain players have made names for themselves and cemented their legacy and contribution to Halo. The larger question then becomes just where do players fall when you start stack ranking the top players of all time? Not an easy feat and the community has been discovering that for themselves. I'm loving all the community generated lists of who they think is in the Top 25 of Hallowed Halo players by all corners of the Halo world. Consensus seems to be that Ogre 2 stands atop the mountain but the rest of the slots are up for grabs!

To check out the full story, learn who did the judging, and more, read up on the Top 25 Greatest Players of All Time blog. As an added bonus, HCS now has their very own HCS and esports-focused YouTube channel! If you have been looking for a place to watch all competitive related Halo content in one place, this is the channel for you! Be sure to subscribe today so you can stay in the know! 

HALO 5: GUARDIANS

Whether you've been looking for a Roaming Hill to be King of or a Castle to storm, Halo 5 is there for you. Some of my favorite playlists are coming up so I guess I'm gonna be clearing my calendar to make time for some games!

UPCOMING CALENDAR

September

Two Blue Spartans standing in the hill as it roams around the map, 'Plaza'

  • September 2: Fall 2021 Arena Season begins
  • September 2: Ranked Mythic Arena rotates in for Ranked Snipers for the month
  • September 2: Rock 'n' Rail rotates in for Covenant Slayer
  • September 9: Roaming King rotates in for Rock 'n' Rail
  • September 16: ODST Slayer rotates in for Roaming King
  • September 16: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • September 23: Grifball rotates in for ODST Slayer
  • September 30: Community Slayer rotates in for Grifball
  • September 30: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

October

  • October 7: Ranked Free-for-All rotates in for Ranked Mythic Arena for the month
  • October 7: Action Sack rotates in for Community Slayer
  • October 14: CE Anniversary Throwback rotates in for Action Sack
  • October 14: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • October 21: Rock 'n' Rail rotates in for CE Anniversary Throwback
  • October 28: Castle Wars rotates in for Rock 'n' Rail
  • October 28: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

HALO GEAR

If you've ever felt like your paycheck is going from your bank straight to the @HaloGear team, well, you're not alone. There's a ton of great stuff so clear some space for new merch!

New 20th Anniversary Gear

Our partners over at @NumskullDesign recently announced their Halo 20th anniversary range which includes a game locker (This looks so cool! I'm totally adding this to my birthday list!), drinkware, apparel, and accessories. Holidays are coming up and people have birthdays so better grab them while they're hot!

Dynamic Duo

Even the best duos sometimes need backup. The Special anniversary 2-pack from Cable Guys features Master Chief and Cortana from Halo: Combat Evolved so let them watch your back, and show off your controllers, in style. Available for preorder now

Razer x Halo Infinite

Introducing the Halo Infinite collection from Razer, build your arsenal with this epic hardware worthy of a Spartan! This robust collection was inspired by the Master Chief’s war-torn armor as seen in Halo Infinite. The collection includes the Razer Kaira Pro for Xbox headset, BlackWidow V3 keyboard, DeathAdder V2 mouse, and the Goliathus Extended Chroma mat. It will all be available October 2021, so preorder now at GameStop or sign up to be notified

Showcase of upcoming Razer branded / themed Halo gear including keyboard, mouse, headset, and mousepad

Seagate Game Drive for Xbox: Halo Infinite Edition

Meet the new Halo Infinite Special Edition Game Drive for Xbox from Seagate! This powerful drive (available in 2TB and 5TB options) is pocket-sized with seamless compatibility with Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Game Pass. Preorders are coming soon so visit Seagate to stay in the know.

Well I don't know about you but... 💸💸💸

  • Community Spotlight: Just a reminder that we are kicking it old school for a bit as we go back to having a Community Update/Spotlight wombo combo. As such, there's some artwork further down the blog for you to check out!
  • Halo Xbox 360 Service Sunsetting: We’re headed into the Fall season, and one step closer to December. Here’s your reminder that services for legacy Halo Xbox 360 titles will be discontinued soon. Game owners will be able to play these titles indefinitely, but be sure to check out the blog for all the details.
  • Hoonigan Warthog: The Free Guy premiere was just the beginning. Find out how the Halo Infinite Warthog was made by Hoonigan and 343 Industries as part of a 10 episode series that digs into all the gearhead goodness. Episodes are slated to roll out starting next week so bookmark the Official Hoonigan YouTube channel for the latest.
  • Brie & Bots: We pulled back the curtain on Bots with some help from Senior Gameplay Engineer Brie Chin-Deyerle. A talented leader working on the next iteration of fearsome foes, Brie also heads up the studio Internship program, making it clear that she’s all about helping people level up, whether that’s in-game or in life.
  • Xbox Dynamic Background: Looking for a way to spice up the dash of your Xbox Series X and S? Maybe blind someone with its majesty? If so, today's your lucky day and we’ve got you covered! Check out the gorgeous, animated Halo Infinite key art and then make it part of your gaming experience. Apply the Halo Infinite dynamic background to your home screen now, via the Settings app. Navigate to General > Personalization > My background > Dynamic backgrounds. (I'm using this and I never get tired of seeing Chief when I boot up my console!)
  • Mondo Yoroi: If you were enthralled by @MondoNews's stunning Yoroi poster earlier but missed out, today is your lucky day. Enjoy this beautiful, high-quality, 4K, Mondo digital fan kit!

HALO INFINITE

We are officially in double digit days until launch. At least, I think that's what I saw on one of those Twitter countdown accounts and now I need a moment to process this information... *moment* Okay I'm good, we can look back at all the Halo Infinite news now. News like our release date! Yes, it's true. There were those who said this day would never come. What are they to say now? Oh you want the date, right. December 8, 2021: Save the date, schedule your vacation, or whatever you need to do because that's the day that Master Chief takes on his toughest foe yet. Zeta Halo beckons and the Banished are waiting in the wings – are you ready for battle?

Spartan Academy

Not only will you get to go toe-to-toe with all that Zeta Halo throws at you, you'll also be able to face off against other Spartans (or Bots!) in matchmaking. Luckily, we have Spartan Commander Laurette Agryna to show you the ropes in our Spartan Academy. You can catch a glimpse at her life and path to becoming the Academy Commander while you wait for Season One of Halo Infinite's multiplayer. 

I get goosebumps every time I see [REDACTED].

If you want to get all your ducks in a row and want to pre-order the campaign ahead of time so you can join us Day One, choose your platform of choice:

PS – Don't forget that Halo Infinite's multiplayer is free to play!

Inside Infinite

By now you are surely (hopefully) aware that we have been striving to be as open and communicative with you, the community, as much as we possibly can. More often than not this has been taking the form of our montly Inside Infinite blog series that began December 2020. We've covered a wide variety of topics thus far ranging from Live Services, to Halo Waypoint, to flighting, and so much more. 

Our August 2021 edition shines the spotlight on the surprise star of our recent Tech Preview: Bots! We chatted with the team behind building Bots and our Multiplayer crew so if either of those subjects tickle your fancy, this is one you won't want to miss. We also chatted a bit about our Tech Preview and if you wondered who killed the most Bots or won the most matches, be sure to take a peek at the infographic!

Tech Preview Outcomes

A render of the Ravager, a Banished weapon. Flighting and tech previews are awesome and we always gather a ton of data but what do we do with it? What does it all mean? We know some people are curious and wanted to know what came from the flight. While the feedback contained isn't 100% exhaustive, it does represent the most common trending topics we observed via forum posts, social media, video content, and official Insider surveys. We took that information and chatted with the relevant teams in our Tech Preview Outcomes blog to talk about what the teams are doing with the feedback received and what to expect as we get to Halo Infinite, and beyond. It's definitely worth the read so check it out today.

That's a wrap! For those of you who had artwork featured, don't forget to fill out the latest form so we can hook you up with your Fire Unicorn rewards. 🦄🔥

Now that we've reached the end, I am once again asking you all to register yourselves for the Halo Insider program. If you don't register, you won't be eligible to join us when we do flights, previews, or anything else requiring Insider registrations. Maybe you're already registered but you've since upgraded consoles or PCs, double check your registration and make sure it's all up to date with the proper DxDiag. If you're all set then that's excellent. I bid you all adieu for now and we shall see you again soon!

Ciao! xx

--Sam

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