As they prepare for the Halo World Championship to be held in March, ANZ representatives Team Immunity and Exile5 discuss their form heading into the event, as well as the state of the game so far.
The Halo World Championship will bring 16 teams from around the world to fight for the title of the best Halo team, and a piece of the $2,500,000 prize pool. This impressive prize pool was brought in by Microsoft and 343 Industries who have looked to really push the competitive side of their latest venture, Halo 5: Guardians.
Exile5 is one of the teams that will be representing Australia and New Zealand at the World Championship, coming in as the second seed out of the ANZ regional qualifiers. It was not an easy or clean run through the regional qualifiers, falling the Team Immunity twice throughout the tournament, although that did nothing to discourage the predominantly Kiwi squad.
In talks with “Adz” and “Colt”, they admitted that their strength was in chaotic, fast paced gameplay and decision making, but Team Immunity’s heavy control focus managed to freeze them out. “We have been working on playing a slower style game since regionals, and the results are showing…” They mentioned that should they be matched with teams of a similar style to Immunity, such as Counter Logic Gaming or Denial, so they feel prepared to deal with it.
Despite the losses suffered in the regional qualifiers, Adz and Colt are adamant that the individual skill, determination, and commitment that has brought them to the world stage will take them all the way.
“I believe in myself and most of all I believe in each and every one of my teammates, and yes I’m very confident that we will be placing very well at worlds, I guarantee it.”
In an environment where disparities in skill level are lessened, and a lot of games coming down to mental fortitude and teamwork, the level of confidence that Exile5 has in themselves and each other is a good sign. They believe that should everyone be playing at 100%, there is no team who could stop them, not even Counter Logic Gaming, who they see as their toughest competition.
For that to happen though, Adz said that “we need to make sure we are spot on with our communication,” something that at times they feel can drop off and is their most glaring weakness. If Exile5 is able to dictate the pace of the game, and not succumb to a slower, control focus from their opponents, they’re looking good to make a deep run in the bracket stage of the competition.
Stepping back from the topic of teams and results, I asked the players for their opinions on the state of the Halo esports scene, as well as how they feel about the competitiveness of Halo 5, seeing how it is still quite a young game.
Despite being around for almost 15 years now, the competitive Halo scene does not seem to get the same level of popularity or respect that other scenes draw. Adz believes that this may be a result of the stereotypes and misconceptions regarding console-based shooters. “It is a super high skill game, and the strategy required is on another level.”
Exile 5.Halo // Road to Worlds 2016
This looks to be changing however, with the popularity of Halo 5: Guardians and the level of support from Microsoft in promoting and funding top level competition, the viewership for these events are getting a real boost. According to the players the game feels quite balanced when it comes to a competitive setting, despite a few maps and game modes needing some work.
Exile5 and the 15 other competing teams will come together in Hollywood, Calafornia on March 18-20 for three long days of gruelling competition. Only one team can take the title of best Halo team in the world and the boys from x5 confidently believe that it is their time to shine.
The Halo World Championship will be hosted at in Hollywood, California, with the exact venue to be announced on March 4. Check out the final 16 teams who qualified here.
Photos supplied by Exile5.