OpTic Gaming were in top form this season, and worthy winners of the Halo World Championship 2022. They’re one of the most popular esports groups around with an exciting squad that includes the likes of aPG, Lucid, TriPPPeY, and FormaL. However, even their star-studded line-up couldn’t really pull in the viewers this time around.
Grand Final Viewership Numbers Of Great Concern
The grand final had 143,585 viewers, which isn’t great when you consider that the Kickoff Major’s grand final clocked a peak viewership number of 267,279 viewers. The number this time around should have been a bit higher.
It’s extremely discouraging for Halo when they’re up against the likes of Call of Duty. To put things into context, the Call of Duty League 2022 playoffs this year managed more than 3.2m hours combined along with 275,000 peak viewership for its finale.
It is a known fact that finals always have the highest viewership, which is why Halo’s low peak viewership is so concerning. This is even more worrying for Halo when considering that the Call of Duty League was only streamed on YouTube.
Prize Pool Issues
The Halo World Championship was preceded by some controversy after organizers went back on their promise of using a crowdfunded prize pool. This was done just a week before the World Championship, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many of the top Halo esports players.
The hype around the tournament died down, and so did the excitement among many of the players taking part in the tournament. It was suggested that the money received through crowdfunding will be used alternatively, but there’s still no clarity on what these alternatives are. The damage has already been done in a way, and some players will find it hard to trust the organizers going forward.
Halo Infinite Wasn’t A Raging Success
There seems to be a more fundamental issue with the game itself. The Halo franchise is one of the defining video games IPs of the last 20 years, but the latest installment, Halo: Infinite, wasn’t received well by everyone.
There was also a show earlier in the year that didn’t really manage to grab the larger sci-fi audience. It looks like the brand is losing some of its prestige. Once considered video game royalty, the name doesn’t conjure up the same sensation any longer. Players also have alternative titles that they can play, like the aforementioned Call of Duty.
Some Losses In The Year Already
Halo esports had lost some small-time organizers earlier in the year, which didn’t help either. They were serious existential questions about the game’s future, but they’ve retained all the important stakeholders, and it even looks like they’re going to get some new organizers in. Quadrant was the latest and 343 industries had promised an expansion. Promises, of course, haven’t always been kept, but the organizers can’t afford more backlash.
Another Kickoff Major is set to take place in a few months in Charlotte. It’ll be preceded by an invitational hosted by OpTic Gaming, along with a unique event hosted by Spacestation gaming. These events will keep the buzz alive, but the battle seems a long one at the moment.
One of the more obvious reasons why the viewership hasn’t really been up to the mark is because the HCS is still in its infancy as far as Halo: Infinite is concerned. This was just the first year, and things tend to get better over time. A lot of things could’ve been handled better this year, but the organizers will have learned a lot after the first year. They, however, can’t afford too many slip ups again.
- Halo Championship Series Viewership Plummets: Why Is It So Bad?
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