Halo Infinite Previews Competitive Settings, Showing Off Halo’s Esports Potential
Competitive Halo’s seeing a resurgence in 2021, even though Halo Infinite’s not even out yet. Last month, the Halo Championship Series announced that it would host its first major Halo Infinite LAN event in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021. It was a huge announcement that perked the interests of Halo fans and competitive FPS players as Halo Infinite looks to enter the FPS arena for competitive, FPS esports titles. While Halo’s been a popular game in North America, the game lacked presence in other parts of the world, something that the HCS looks to address in 2021 by partnering with teams beyond the boundaries of the United States. Now, 343 Industries has released a preview of the competitive settings and features coming to Halo Infinite, which should provide a basis for esports competition in Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite’s Competitive Settings: Deepening the Skill Pool for Halo Esports
Admittedly, I’m a neonate when it comes to competitive Halo, so please take what I say with a grain of salt.
In the video preview posted to the official Halo YouTube channel, Competitive Insights team member and former Halo pro, Visal ‘El Town’ Monahan and lead multiplayer designer Andrew Witts went over some competitive settings for Halo Infinite and how they set up an even and involved environment for competitive Halo.
The following settings will be standard for the Halo Infinite game mode that the competitive settings reveal focused on: 4v4 Stronghold.
- Battle Rifle starts only
- No secondary weapon
- No motion tracker
- No grenade hit ticks
While I may not be super informed on competitive Halo, what can be seen in the reveal shows that competitive Halo settings will set a solid foundation for Halo Esports. These settings will remain standard across maps in the competitive playlist, ensuring that competitive Halo feels like a battleground that rewards skill and creativity. Based on the Stronghold preview shown during the reveal, movement, info relay, and solid gunplay set the foundation for competitive success. The emphasis on movement and scavenging to find pick-ups to have a competitive edge shows influence from the arena shooters of yore such as Quake 3. Seeing a player use the grappling hook intelligently creates so many new ways to approach a gunfight, disengage from an opponent, or create pinches for you and your teammates.
Callouts and in-game leadership are core skills many esports demand from their players, and Halo Infinite’s competitive settings create an environment where this skill can shine. The lack of a motion tracker will encourage players to rely more on information relayed by teammates, making callouts a necessity to achieve victory. Those who are uncomfortable making call-outs due to lack of practice may feel hampered by this feature. Still, I genuinely think that 343 and their competitive team encouraging players to develop this skill is a fantastic decision.
Finally, new in-game statistics will be tracked in the carnage report to better represent the game’s happening. One of the statistics featured in the Halo Infinite competitive settings revealed damage is taken, an important stat in other team-based arena shooters and games. El Town makes an excellent point in how this statistic can better inform a team of an individual player’s performance. Damage taken compared to damage dealt, kills, and shots landed can indicate a player creating space for the team’s top fragger or an indicator of a player that’s objective-focused.
Overall, the Halo Infinite competitive settings preview does a great job showing Halo Esports’ future. It won’t be surprising to see teams jump into the Halo Infinite community looking to capitalize on what seems to be a great environment for a new competitive FPS title and the Halo brand. As the first HCS event draws ever closer, it’ll be interesting to see what the future will provide for Halo Infinite and the esports industry in North America.