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The Halo Championship Series Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021, in North Carolina, was a smashing success despite some occasional technical bugs. With viewership hitting all-time highs, a successful open bracket and Cloud9 taking home the trophy, there were a lot of positives this weekend.
HCS reaches peak viewership
HCS Raleigh was already a major success after selling out both spectator and team passes for the first LAN event of Halo Infinite. Not only was there a large crowd in attendance at Raleigh, but there were also a couple hundred-thousand people tuning into the Twitch streams throughout the whole event.
According to “Tashi,” the Halo Esports and Viewership Lead at 343 Industries, the HCS Raleigh event broke several viewership records for the franchise. Halo Infinite has been a highly anticipated release in 2021 and, on the day of finals, over 260,000 viewers (including watch parties) were watching across all platforms.
— Tashi (@Tashi343i) December 19, 2021
Open bracket was a hit
With over 200 teams competing in the open bracket of HCS Raleigh, there were a lot of positives. Not only did it allow any minor teams to come and compete, but it also allowed teams to come to the forefront in the eyes of organizations.
Teams like BLVKHVNO, Team WaR, and FootFungus792 all made it through to the Championship Bracket portion of the tournament. While they did not surpass the partnered teams, they were still able to gain a lot of attention through the event. This benefits organizations like Fnatic as well; those have not yet entered the scene with a team but have been looking for players to sign.
Cloud9 take home the HCS Raleigh trophy
Emanuel “Hoaxer” Lovejoy, Cloud9’s coach for Halo, said that it would be a disappointment if the team did not win HCS Raleigh and that the team came to win. They proved that they were not all talk by making their way to the grand finals of Raleigh through the upper bracket. Teams like OpTic Gaming, eUnited and FaZe Clan proved to be no match for the boys in blue as they plowed their way through the tournament.
— Halo Esports #HCS (@HCS) December 20, 2021
In a one-sided grand final against eUnited, Cloud9 came out victorious after defeating them 4-1. After spending the last month and a half struggling to finish out online tournaments, at HCS Raleigh, Cloud9 were finally able to showcase what they were capable of in an offline setting.
Danny Appleford is an esports journalist for Upcomer that started writing for Daily Esports in 2020. He now specializes in articles surrounding League of Legends, Call of Duty, VALORANT and Halo.