Aaron "ACE" Elam wins Halo 4 Global Championships and $200,000 along with it
Over the past few years, PAX has slowly risen to become one of the premiere gaming conventions in the world, arguably right up there with E3 or Gamescom. But it's not just one of the key places for developers and publishers to show off their upcoming titles, it's also a celebration of the culture, not to mention a place to make mad bank.
Case in point this past weekend, where PAX played host to the Halo 4 Global Championships. 36 finalists were selected from a five week qualifying period over the last two months, but only one could walk away from the Halo 4 Championships with the grand prize of a cool $200,000 in hard cash. That was Aaron "ACE" Elam.
Elam came out ahead of Justin "iGotUrPistola" Deese at 343's officially sponsored tourney to win the kind of money most of us won't make in the next five to ten years. "This means everything to me," Elam told Gamespot. "I've been playing Halo since I was nine years old, and I have to say, the games against Deese were the most intense games of Halo in my entire life. I just can't believe this. I feel like I'm dreaming."
This wasn't Elam's first Halo victory, having won the Dallas Championships for MLG's Halo: Reach event in 2011, and another Halo 4 tournament from Arena Gaming League in Knoxville, Tennessee.
"No one besides select few friends and my brother thought I had a chance to win this. I knew I was talented enough. I like being the underdog though, it motivates me immensely. All the hard work I put into this game finally paid off. I've played halo since I was nine, competitively since 2006. I've struggled so much to study hard in school and balance this game, I took tons of AP classes in high school and worked very hard."
Suffice it to say, with $200,000 now in the bank, all the hard work sure paid off.
343 Industries Director for Halo Frank O'Connor was on hand to watch Elam's victory, saying, "I watched the final, like everyone, with my heart in my throat and I basically don't have any fingernails left. The Halo 4 Global Championship did something a little bit different, offering every kind of player, from every region of the world, a chance to compete and win a huge individual cash prize. And for the final to come down to a tie break, between two amazingly cool people, and two genuinely excellent players, was a sports fan's dream come true. Congratulations to both players and especially of course, to ACE for taking the prize. I am incredibly excited about the future of Halo in the competitive scene, and we can't wait to do something even cooler in the future."
With tournaments held for every game in the franchise, the future of the game's competitive scene is in the hands of 343, and the franchise's next addition, set to be an Xbox One exclusive. However, though the console's release is just around the corner, we don't know much about the next game. Hopefully Microsoft and 343 can shed the light on some of the game's details, including multiplayer, in the coming weeks.