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Charlotte Format and Qualifiers

Team Quadrant's player, Tchik, roaring on the HCS mainstage
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  -  a year ago

With the offseason coming to a close shortly we’re providing updates about the 2023 season of the Halo Championship Series so competitors and fans know what to expect for qualifiers as well as format for the Charlotte Major. Let’s jump right in.


Format: The event format will be very similar to what we saw in Year 1 but we’ve made a few refinements now that we’ve got a full year of global competitive results to build from. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Open Bracket: As is customary, there will be an open bracket featured at the Charlotte Major (and every Major in 2023). This will take place on Friday, February 24 and will start and end on the same day. The bracket will be filled by the first 96 teams to purchase a pass. The top 4 teams from the Open Bracket will move on to Pool Play (2 from the Winner’s bracket, 2 from the Elimination Bracket) They will be placed into Pool Play and will have a shot to earn a spot in the Championship Bracket.
  • Pool Play: The Top 12 teams from qualifiers will be starting the tournament from Pool Play on Friday, February 24 competing in a Best of 5 round robin format as is customary. You’ll notice this number is slightly reduced from Year 1. We made this decision to increase the competitiveness of Pool Play, as well as the competitiveness of the Open Bracket. We expect to see more intense matches, a more intense Championship Bracket, as well as more competitive teams coming out of the Open Bracket. As with last year, each of the 4 competing regions will have a set amount of slots in Pool Play and Open Bracket which we’ve also adjusted based on Year 1 results. The regional breakout is as follows:
    • North America: 8 Pool Play slots, 2 Open Bracket Travel Coverage slots
    • Europe: 2 Pool Play slots, 2 Open Bracket Travel Coverage slots
    • Mexico: 1 Pool Play slot, 1 Open Bracket Travel Coverage slot
    • Australia and New Zealand: 1 Pool Play slot, 2 Open Bracket Travel Coverage slots

IMPORTANT NOTE: As with last year, all teams in pool play will receive travel stipends. Additionally, as with last year, we’re still providing regional travel support for the next top teams regionally so that there’s still meaningful global participation at the Majors and those teams have the chances to prove themselves worthy of qualifying for pool play and the championship bracket.

  • Championship Bracket: For HaloWC 2022 the top 2 teams from each pool went to the Winner’s Bracket, the 3rd place team went to the Elimination Bracket, while the 4th place team was eliminated from the competition. In 2023, we’re going to replicate this format for the Majors. Like with the Pool Play changes, our aim is to overall create a more competitive format where the matches are also higher stakes along the way. We felt this was a success for HaloWC and we’re excited to see it in action for the Majors.
  • Qualifier Dates: As announced back at HaloWC, online qualifiers for the Charlotte Major are taking place later this month for all 4 regions. See the dates below:
    • Charlotte Online Open: February 4-5 in NA, Feb 5 for rest of world.
    • Charlotte Main Qualifier: February 7-8 in NA, Feb 8 for rest of world.
    • Charlotte Roster Lock: February 9 (For Pool Play teams)

Qualifier Format:

  • Year 1 Points: Players fought all season long in 2022 and we want to recognize their efforts as well as ensure the first competition of the new season is as balanced as it can be. To accomplish this, Year 1 points will be used for seeding for Charlotte Online Open. Once the Online Open has concluded, all Year 1 points will be wiped and only Year 2 points will be used going forward.
  • Qualification: In Year 1 we leaned heavily into rewarding teams for earning spots in those specific qualifiers as opposed to points accumulated across all qualifiers. In Year 2, we’re going to balance this out a bit more so that teams that perform well in the main qualifier are rewarded, but that we’re accounting for consistent performances by rewarding teams that have accumulated points through consistent performances during the qualification period. You’ll see this philosophy throughout the season as well as we look to strike the right balance. Here’s how it breaks out per region:
    • North America: 6 with placement qualification, 2 with points.
    • Europe: 1 with placement qualification, 1 with points.
    • Mexico: 1 with placement qualification
    • Australia and New Zealand: 1 with placement qualification

Note: Teams that qualify for Open Bracket travel coverage per the breakout above will be determined based on points only.  

Just like with Year 1, all online tournaments will be run on the FACEIT platform and registration opens tomorrow, January 26. Keep an eye out for registration links by following @HCS on Twitter.


Looking forward into 2023 we’re thrilled to get back out on the road and put on a great tournament experience and show for all fans and players. I think we all needed a bit of a break after the wild action in Year 1, but it’s now time to kick off Year 2!

Next up we’ll talk about the HCS Team Partnership program and what you can expect this year, as well as the full roadmap for the year.

Keep it locked to, HCS on Twitter, and HCS on Instagram to see the latest updates on the Halo Championship Series.