Competitive Halo players are right to be pissed off

Halo Championship Series
Halo Championship Series (Image credit: 343 Industries)

It's undeniable that 343 Industries, developers of Halo, cares a lot about the game's community, based on the massive amount of advertising and attention it direct towards it. Clearly, the company wants Halo to return to its place as one of the industry's leading games. However, it needs to realize that this won't happen unless the competitive community's wants are addressed.

Due to the fact that many things competitive players dislike about the game are present within the various forms of competitive play (such as automatic weapons or hit-markers on grenades), and 343 Industries hasn't fixed the issues in the over two years since Halo 5 launched, the competitive community has grown incredibly agitated.

HCS-only changes would be healthy

A common argument I see people make is that 343 shouldn't make changes to the entirety of Halo 5 based solely on what the competitive players want. What these people don't realize, though, is that the competitive Halo fans only want their changes implemented for their own playlists and tournaments.

343 wouldn't have to worry about Halo's more casual fanbase being dissatisfied with the different settings because the casual players wouldn't be playing Halo competitively anyways. Both competitive and casual players would be getting a version of Halo 5 that played the way they wanted. It's a win-win.

Pleased players are important for HCS success

It's obvious that 343 wants the Halo series to make a large comeback in the esports department. However, this isn't possible if you don't create an experience in which players want to compete and viewers want to watch. Such is the case with Halo 5 in its current state; almost every single pro player has expressed frustration and anger at their feedback not being heard and responded to, with Tyler "Spartan" Ganza considering leaving Halo entirely in a recent video on Youtube.

There's really no reason that the HCS players shouldn't get what they're asking for, especially because the players are the ones who drive Halo competition in the first place. Without them, there would be no tournaments to watch and no championships to compete in.

In the grand scheme of things, the competitive community isn't even asking for that much. All they want is a specific version of Halo 5 that has been tweaked in order to suit their preferred competitive experience. By not giving them this, 343 runs a serious risk of making Halo even less popular as an esport.

I think it's important to note that a system akin to what the competitive community is advocating for has been in place before in Halo 3, and it worked fantastically. Halo 3 competitions sported unique weapon layouts specifically created with competitive play in mind, with six total weapons being available in the sandbox. These layout rules were enforced by Major League Gaming, which created the layout based on (you guessed it) what the players wanted.

Things are looking up

While things overall still feel unresolved for most of the members of the competitive scene, 343 has notably responded to feedback as of late. In a recent update, lead engagement designer Joshua Menke informed competitive players that their requests for magnum starts to return would be granted. In addition, Oddball looks like it's going to be added to the pool of game types for the HCS next year.

While there are still quite a few things left for 343 to do to give the competitive community the experience it wants, this recent show of feedback response gives me hope that things will start to look up as Halo 5 enters the latest stage of its lifespan.

Your thoughts

What's your opinion on the frustration of the competitive community? Do you agree with me that it's justified, or do you think that they're overreacting? Let me know what you think.

Halo 5: Guardians is currently available on Xbox One for $26.95 on Amazon.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • So what do they want? The only thing the article mentioned was magnum starts, which has been the starting weapon from the get-go anyway. I also doubt all of the pros want the same things, and I doubt even more that the viewers also want the same things too.
  • Is thinking the same.
  • This piece was less about the specifics of what they wanted and more about the logic behind how competitive Halo is being handled. Basically in short, the comp community has a set of settings they prefer to use for the game. Several things like special weapon placements and layouts, the omission of specific maps and inclusions of others, more modes, stuff like that. I could go on for a while about what they want for tournaments but essentially it can be summed up by saying they want their own specific settings JUST for them. Which I think is perfectly reasonable.
  • Catering to esports and pro's IMO is not worth it. So many games are trying to be the next esports game and it ends up hurting the game. Prime exmaple of  this was the incomplete rush job of Street Fighter 5.
  • I don't see how it can hurt the game if the changes they want are made ONLY for their tournaments though. They're not asking for the entire game to change.
  • 343i wasted alot of time on mode such as break out , thinking it would be the next best mode in halo esports. They keep changing the playlist around taking maps out in arena playlist. They keep on tweaking playlist catering to pros. Than they finnally added HCS playlist. and never reverted the other playlist for the more casual players. 
  • Competitive players have no (game related) rights. Maybe if they were Unionized and 343i was obligated to provide certain services, a contractual obligation may have to be met. Saying that a game developer has to maintain 2 code streams for one product is not as easy as it sounds. It literally doubles the quality assurance commitments no matter how simple the change. Competitive players don't need to be nor should they be mollycoddled. 343i should stick to producing games that people want to buy and play, not just watch. All of this competitive garbage is taking away resources from Halo 6.
  • Deep, tell us how you really feel.
  • I see what you mean, but really, all 343 has to do in order to make them happy is use custom games to set it up. Halo's multiplayer has always been modular and sandbox elements can be added or taken away and it still leaves the core experience.
  • Sounds like crybaby Millennial Snowflakes. Get over yourselves, be professional and do your job. Play the game!
  • You're not an epic troll sticking it to the snowflakes, you're just some a**ehole
  • "It's undeniable that 343 Industries, creators of Halo, cares a lot about the game's community, based on the massive amount of advertising and attention it direct towards it."
    I think more than the gaming and the competitive communites MS/343i cares more about investors and making profit for them. Why would they invest in changing things if it doesn't bring money for their investors?
      Personally I'll always try to side with gamers/consumers. It would be great for MS/343i's image if they listen to the community and change things to make them happy. I also totally understand gamers/consumers asking for things to improve. Not listening to their community for over 2 years is not great imo...
  • I stopped reading at the first sentence of the second paragraph. Bungie created Halo, not 343.
  • lol yeah that whole sentence had me laughing...
  • Yeah, my editor made a mistake there. Trust me, I'm well aware who created the series.
  • He didn't say that 343 created Halo, just that they are the developers which, technically, is correct now.
  • 343 are just a trash developer really. You've only gotta compare the numbers of H1-Reach, and H4, MCC and H5.
  • Halo used to be regularly in the 90s in metacritic. Now it's in the 80s. The amount of microtransactions increased so much and they introduced loot box while removing features that was popular like local split screen mutliplayer...
  • Sounds like the same crap that's going on with Gears of War.