ESL Master Chief Collection Launch Tournament Details: These Eight Pro Teams Will Compete In Halo 2 Anniversary For $50,000

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Oct 31, 2014 06:01 PM EDT

The launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One is being celebrated in a number of ways, but few of them are larger than ESL's Halo 2 Anniversary tournament.

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A Master Chief Collection bundle for Japan is great--it will hopefully come to other parts of the world--and a live streaming event the night of launch will no doubt be enjoyable, but ESL is putting a $50,000 prize pool on the line. As a result, some of the best past and current Halo pros are returning to the scene, creating teams of four to compete in the tournament.

The Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational will take place on November 8 and 9. The event is not an open tournament--only the best players in the Halo community were invited, resulting in eight very strong squads.

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Dominant winners of the PAX Prime Showdown (Ace, Pistola, and Snipedown) will be returning with Strongside swapped for Flamesword as their fourth member, and will look to repeat their impressive performance. This Optic Gaming lineup possesses several of the most individually skilled players in the game: Aaron "Ace" Elam and Justin "Pistola" Deese faced off in the Halo 4 Global Championship free for all final with Ace bringing home the $200,000 prize, and Eric "Snipedown" Wrona is arguably the best current player in Halo.

The legendary Tom "Ogre 2" Ryan will be competing alongside Heinz, Snakebite and Royal as StK, and VwS Gaming (Mikwen, Goofy, Naded, and Legit) will be attempting to improve on their solid PAX Prime showing. Halo 1, Halo 2, and general eSports icon Walshy will be coaching former rival Str8 Rippin, led by the returning Tom "TSquared" Taylor and made up of top Halo 3 player Roy, Str8 Sick, and Ryanoob.

Believe The Hype (Formal, Lxthul, aPG and Maniac) perhaps don't have as flashy of a roster, but possess some highly skilled slayers: Formal is the only pro to have won both a Halo and Call of Duty event. The Agency is not to be ignored, either--community favorite Ninja leads some of the best Halo 3 players (Hysteria, FearItSelf, Victory X) into battle. TCM Gaming (Riotz, TuFoxy, Ramirez, Chalkie) is the seventh squad, and Chalkie turned many heads at the PAX Prime tournament with his sniping.

Finally, and bringing some humor to the affairs, old school side Purple Rain completes the list of competitors. Maven and Gandhi (a former Halo National Champion with Carbon and current eSport Administrator for Hi-Rez Studios) are joined by Elitest and Legion, and are looking to make some noise--the tongue in cheek trash talk has already begun in earnest.

The winners will take home the $20,000 prize, and Optic Gaming look to be the early favorites. Beyond Entertainment has the full lineups listed, as well as the tournament's gametypes. Check back for more details and the livestream when the tournament approaches.

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