After the online open and qualifying tournaments, the first day of the Raleigh Kickoff Major already has attracted over 100,000 concurrent viewers. This is the first offline LAN tournament for Halo Infinite, with a live crowd spectating alongside the teams competing for points and prizes. On top of that, the HCS Raleigh viewership has hit highs that fans haven’t seen in Halo.
The first day breaks records
For Halo tournaments, the Raleigh Kickoff Major proves to be the start of a reinvigoration of the Halo esports scene. With how much investment 343 Industries are putting into the esports side of Halo Infinite, the numbers are showing that their esport is back in business. The first game of the day between XSET and Spacestation Gaming, despite some technical difficulties on Map 2, held consistent viewership thanks to drops on top of the matches themselves.
Tahir Hasandjekic, the Halo Esports lead at 343 Industries, confirmed the record-breaking amount of viewers. Hasandjekic said this event was the most viewed Halo esports event of all time.
Excited to say that the #HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021 is now the most viewed Halo esports event of all time…and it's only Friday.
Thank you so much to everyone watching from around the world!
— Tashi (@Tashi343i) December 17, 2021
The largest Halo esports event up until the first day of this Raleigh LAN tournament was the Halo World Championship 2017 finals. That event ended with 135,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, with over 13 million unique viewers around the world. While the full stats for the first day haven’t been revealed yet, that 2017 record is gone, surpassed by Raleigh. According to the Twitch viewer counts on all their HCS streams, the event surpassed 150,000 concurrent viewers on its first day. This doesn’t even include YouTube, where they are also streaming the event.
Technical difficulties stretch the day
This record was beaten in spite of the day stretching longer than originally planned. Technical difficulties led to the final pool play match ending just before 12 a.m. EST. According to the schedule posted on the HCS website, that was over four hours later than originally anticipated. During the Acend versus XSET match, the final map had to be replayed three times due to server issues. This lead to the viewership noticeably dropping.
Even with those first day issues, the HCS Raleigh event still proved to be the Halo esports event with the most viewership.
About the Author
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.