343 has revealed a partnership program for the Halo Championship Series, which will see a number of notable teams given certain benefits, including their own branded in-game cosmetics on day one of Halo Infinite’s launch.
While the exact number or identities of the teams are yet to be announced, Microsoft and 343’s Halo esports lead Tahir ‘Tashi’ Hasandjekic says that organisations in North America and Europe were consulted about what they would like to see from some form of partnership scheme.
After several revisions, the HCS Team Partnership Program has now been revealed. While the HCS will remain a completely open scene where both big organisations and amatuer Halo Infinite teams have as many opportunities to compete and win as each other, those accepted into the Partnership Program will get some extra bonuses. These aim to make fielding a team in Halo esports more attractive and viable for them, while in return 343 guarantees that big names will want to continue to play in the HCS.
Tashi outlines the benefits of being a partner team in a blog post.
“Each partnered team has designed their own in-game content which will be sold in the game on day one of Halo Infinite’s release, with more drops releasing over time,” he says. “Teams will receive a significant portion of the revenue from each sale.
“Additionally, we’re looking to enable teams to create as much content as possible to drive interest in the league. We’ll be providing all access to broadcast VODs and footage captured at the event, as well as providing access for teams to film their own content, including backstage and on stage while their team is competing. Each partnered team’s roster and coach will also get their travel covered for every event they’re eligible for, even if they start in the open bracket.”
Enabling the success of our partners is critical to the success of #HaloInfinite esports. Join @Tashi343i for this month’s update to the Esports Ecosystem blog series, and learn more about the HCS Team Partnership Program!
— Halo Esports #HCS (@HCS) June 30, 2021
Tashi also says that, so long as they don’t conflict with the HCS’ own commercial partners, teams will have opportunities for their own individual sponsors to get air time and visibility throughout the HCS.
While the HCS will not be adding any more partners to its program before the launch of Halo Infinite, it will continue to accept more applications once the game’s competitive scene is underway. This includes in regions outside of Europe and NA.
No specific date was issued for the reveal of the HCS partner teams, but Tashi says that they all have “awesome” announcements planned for “later this summer.”