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343 strikes a deal with ESL to back official Halo eSports league

Microsoft internal studio 343 Industries moves to market its games to competitive players by striking a deal with eSports firm ESL to establish an official eSports league for the Halo franchise.
Microsoft internal studio 343 Industries is preparing to launch Halo: The Master Chief Collection next week, and it's hoping to better market the game to competitive players by striking a deal with Twitch and eSports firm ESL to establish an official eSports league for the Halo franchise. It's still relatively rare to see developers back official eSports leagues for their games, though 343 has never hid its ambition to cultivate the Halo community; Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor spoke at length about the company's novels, film productions and other transmedia marketing efforts in a Gamasutra interview conducted in 2011. The deal also seems to be part of a concentrated effort by Microsoft to sell its console and select first-party games to eSports aficionados; last month, ESL launched its own dedicated app for the Xbox One. The new league, dubbed the Halo Championship Series, will see its first season start with an official invitation-only tournament (the Halo: The Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational) held on November 8th, days before the game's release.

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