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Team Partnership Program 2023

Portrait of Tashi, Esports Lead
  -  a year ago

The Team Partnership Program is a critical component of the HCS and our esports strategy overall. Today, we wanted to shed more light on the overall goals and philosophy, list out the partners joining us in 2023, share what you can expect from Partnered Teams in 2023, and then close with a brief look at our strategy for the partnership program in the near future. Let’s dive in! 

At a high level, we believe that teams are crticial to the Halo esports ecosystem. They provide salaries to players, bring in fans who watch, give fans an anchor point to root for and engage in the ecosystem around, and can also help cultivate deeper connections between fans and the league. At the same time, it’s important for HCS, as well as for our partnered teams, that we do things in a way that’s sustainable. At the end of the day, this is a business for teams, and we understand that revenue is what’s required from an ecosystem in order to sustainably afford their participation in the league. Because of that, during Halo Infinite’s development we learned as much as we could from teams in order to design a program and features with that in mind. Across all teams combined, Year 1 was a massive financial success for the program and we were excited to open up applications for Year 2. The program is a built in a way that gives teams some control over their own destiny. They design the skins and they control their ability to promote and market the skins. While the freedom is great, it also means that not all teams had the same level of success which is important to note.


In terms of how we measure success for the program, revenue directly to the teams is the most important because it’s most important to the teams. Next, we look at fan engagement on social media, content creation, fan engagement at events, and more along those lines. Finally, it’s important that our partners are just that – partners. We expect them to be philosophically aligned with us in supporting the game and league, putting in the effort to build a fanbase, and often asking, “what we can do to support Halo?” rather than just “what can Halo do to support me?”. How that last part manifests is in the different ideas brought to the table, teams taking advantage of the various opportunities we provide, teams bringing opportunities to us, supporting the game and league beats directly, and generally the attitude and approach when working through issues together.  

In the long term, we see teams growing more and more integrated with the Halo ecosystem, and not just the core HCS league (though that will always be at the center of the partnership). We think the teams that are more than just player managers will be the ones who will fit best in Halo, as the franchise has a wide breadth of experiences to offer and ways to entertain Halo fans.  

2023 TEAMS 

We’re excited to officially confirm the 8 partnered teams that will be joining us for the 2023 Season. Please welcome, and welcome back: 

  • CLOUD9
  • NAVI 

G2, FNATIC, and EUNITED, we want to say thank you for being part of a historic year in Halo esports.  

We’re very thankful for the teams that are participating this year and we’ve already begun working together closely to deliver even more for Halo fans than last year. Keep reading to see what I mean! 


For 2023 (as well as beyond) we thought deeply about what a team’s involvement in the Halo ecosystem could look like. First and foremost, we felt it was most important that teams focus on cultivating a fanbase in Halo. And then we thought about, what are the things that teams can do in order to cultivate a fanbase. Finally, we thought about how teams can generate revenue off of those things either from fans or from us. Obviously, the skin bundles sold in the game and Waypoint are the “hero” offerings and ones that fans seem to love the most. However, we thought it was critical for the long-term success that teams not solely rely on the skins for their sustainability.  

While we’re on the topic of skins, we’re excited to say that each team will receive 4 bundle drops in 2023 compared to 3 last year. And, while we can’t share the specifics quite yet, we’ve given teams access to more options in terms of design, and more new pieces of content to customize compared to last year. Finally, the team that wins the Halo World Championship will also have an event bundle, and we will share revenue with that team exclusively just as we did in 2022. 

Fans have asked for more transparency around what they should expect from Partnered Teams in the Halo ecosystem and today we’re going to provide even more insight than ever before. First, the business terms are the same across all teams and that’s how we approached it in Year 1 as well.  

Next, the teams have opportunities to earn additional bonus revenue directly from their skin sales by promoting the game and league more on social media, as well as creating content on YouTube.  

On top of that, teams are accountable for engaging and supporting the community in various ways including hosting various tournaments or show matches, and hosting various activations either online or in-person.  

Finally, teams will also have the opportunity to create merch collabs with us just as they did in Year 1, but this time two drops instead of one. 

Our ambition is that if you’re a fan of any of the partnered teams, then they’re going to give you a lot more reasons to love them. And if you’re not a fan of any of the partnered teams and you’re new to the scene, then the partnered teams have the freedom and incentives to make you a fan. 


We know there’s a lot of interest from other teams in HCS that are not partnered, and we want to say thank you for your continued support, it does not go unnoticed. At the moment, the biggest impact that we can have is to focus on Halo Infinite, the platform that HCS resides on. It’s important that we continue to create and release more content for players, deliver on the features fans expect, and build a strong platform for the HCS to build upon. With the Winter Update and recent update having released, we feel we’re moving in the right direction but there’s still more work ahead of us. We’re excited to share more about what’s coming with Season 3 as well as future Seasons and updates that fans can expect. 

On the HCS side, it’s important that we work to deliver a great experience for the teams that we have now today before we expand again. This is because we want to ensure that when we bring new partners in, we’re confident that the program will deliver based on their expectations. Our strategy at the moment is to be heads-down focused on the game and delivering the best experience to fans and players everywhere, and then we will pick our heads back up in the middle of the year to re-evaluate when the right time to bring in more partnered teams will be. The HCS and its partnership program are important parts of the Halo Infinite ecosystem and strategy, and we will continue our mission to deliver epic entertainment to Halo fans around the world. Thank you to everyone for all of the support – we absolutely cannot wait for the season to start and to see you all in Charlotte. To learn more about our HCS Kickoff Major in Charlotte, head here for the full event breakdown.