What better way to kick off the resurrection of a beloved esports scene than with a massive, 32-team offline major? The 2021-2022 Halo Championship Series is opening with the HCS Kickoff Major in Raleigh, North Carolina from Dec. 17 to 19.

The Kickoff Major is the first stop in a long road to the eventual Halo World Championship in Seattle at the end of 2022, and the teams at 343 and Microsoft are going all out with an expanded format to get the oddball rolling. A massive trove of HCS points will be on the line in addition to a $250,000 prize pool.

We made it to the promised LAN 🙌

📅 Dec 17-19

💰 $250K + Crowdfunding

⚔️ 272 Teams

⭐️ @Twitch Drops

We’re proud to present the SOLD OUT @HCS Kickoff Major Raleigh 2021 – kicking off this Friday at 9am PT / 12pm ET! pic.twitter.com/wZ1d2obq2L

— Halo Esports #HCS (@HCS) December 14, 2021

Here’s everything you need to know about the HCS Kickoff Major.

HCS Kickoff Major format

The HCS Kickoff Major consists of a pool play of 16 teams in addition to an open bracket, both of which will feed into a huge, 32-team championship double-elimination bracket that will determine the eventual winner.

The pool play stage features 16 teams that directly qualified either through their regional qualifier bracket, or by earning enough HCS points via regional open series. The 16 teams will be split into four round-robin groups of four. The top two teams will advance to the second round of the championship upper bracket, and the bottom two teams will advance to the first round of the championship upper bracket.

The open bracket is an open signups bracket that will produce 16 teams that will join the pool play teams in the championship bracket. The top eight teams from the open upper bracket will advance to the championship upper bracket, and the top eight from the open lower bracket will advance to the championship lower bracket.

All the matches will be best-of-five, consisting of Slayer, Oddball, CTF, and Strongholds matches on Bazaar, Live Fire, Streets, Recharge, or Aquarius. Here’s the breakdown of what game modes are playable on each map:

  • Aquarius: CTF and Slayer
  • Bazaar: CTF and Slayer
  • Live Fire: Slayer, Oddball, and Strongholds
  • Streets: Slayer, Oddball, and Strongholds
  • Recharge: Slayer, Oddball, and Strongholds

Teams attending the HCS Kickoff Major

Here’s the list of the 16 teams that have qualified for the pool play stage and the means by which they qualified.

  • OpTic Gaming: Top four at NA Qualifier
  • FaZe Clan (formerly Inconceivable) Top four at NA Qualifier
  • eUnited: Top four at NA Qualifier
  • G2 Esports: NA HCS Points
  • Cloud9: NA HCS Points
  • Kansas City Pioneers: NA HCS Points
  • Oxygen: NA HCS Points
  • Acend (formerly Cartel): Top two at EU Qualifier
  • Quadrant (formerly OEX): Top two at EU Qualifier
  • Natus Vincere: EU HCS Points
  • Bing Chilling (formerly HMDA): EU HCS Points
  • Chiefs ESC: Winner at Oceania Qualifier
  • Divine Mind: Oceania HCS Points*
  • The Boys: EU HCS Points*
  • Spacestation: NA HCS Points*
  • XSET: HCS Points*

*Changes regarding pool play teams:

  • Sentinels forfeited their pool play spot as a result of the HCS’ competitive ruling regarding Royal2’s use of geo-filtering during the NA Qualifier. Sentinels will play in the open bracket with FormaL in place of Royal2. XSET have been given Sentinels’ pool play spot based on HCS points earned.
  • The three teams qualified from the Mexico region (Pittsburgh Knights, Fire N Ice, and LeaveNoWitness) are all unable to attend the event due to visa issues. The top remaining teams in HCS points from each of NA, EU, and Oceania (Spacestation, The Boys, and Divine Mind) will take their place.

Groups, brackets, and schedule

Here are the four round-robin groups set for the pool play stage:

  • Group A: OpTic, Pioneers, Bing Chilling, Chiefs
  • Group B: FaZe, G2, Na’Vi, Divine Mind
  • Group C: eUnited, Quadrant, Oxygen, The Boys
  • Group D: Cloud9, Acend, XSET, Spacestation


Times in CT and subject to changes and delays.

Friday, Dec. 17

  • 10am to 10pm CT: Open bracket play
  • 11am to 6:15pm CT: Pool play and broadcast

Saturday. Dec. 18

  • 9am to 12pm CT: Open bracket play
  • 12pm CT: Championship bracket begins

Sunday, Dec. 19

  • 9am CT: Championship bracket resumes
  • 4:15pm CT: Grand finals ceremony

Championship Bracket and Results

Image via Liquipedia

Upper bracket round one

  • LIVE: Sentinels vs. The Boys (SEN 250-43 Strongholds on Live Fire)

Pool Play Results

The top two teams from each group advance to the second round of the championship upper bracket. The bottom two teams from each group advance to the first round of the championship upper bracket.

Group A

Team Series Record Map Record
OpTic Gaming 3-0 9-0
Kansas City Pioneers 2-1 6-4
Chiefs 1-2 4-6
Bing Chilling 0-3 0-9
  • Chiefs def. Bing Chilling (Chiefs 250-248 Strongholds on Live Fire, Chiefs 50-46 Slayer on Aquarius, Chiefs 3-1 CTF on Bazaar)
  • OpTic def. Chiefs (OpTic 5-0 CTF on Aquarius, OpTic 50-33 Slayer on Recharge, OpTic 2-1 Oddball on Live Fire)
  • Pioneers def. Bing Chilling (Pioneers 2-0 Oddball on Streets, Pioneers 50-30 Slayer on Bazaar, Pioneers 250-246 Strongholds on Live Fire)
  • OpTic def. Bing Chilling (OpTic 250-71 Strongholds on Recharge, OpTic 50-29 Slayer on Live Fire, OpTic 3-0 CTF on Bazaar)
  • Pioneers def. Chiefs (Chiefs 4-1 CTF on Bazaar, Pioneers 50-42 Slayer on Recharge, Pioneers 2-0 Oddball on Live Fire, Pioneers 250-43 Strongholds on Streets)
  • OpTic def. Pioneers (OpTic 2-0 Oddball on Recharge, OpTic 50-48 Slayer on Live Fire, OpTic 250-8 Strongholds on Recharge)

Group B

Team Series Record Map Record
G2 Esports 3-0 9-2
FaZe Clan 2-1 6-4
Na’Vi 1-2 6-6
Divine Mind 0-3 0-9
  • Na’Vi def. Divine Mind (Na’Vi 250-30 Strongholds on Live Fire, Na’Vi 50-28 Slayer on Aquarius, Na’Vi 5-0 CTF on Bazaar)
  • FaZe def. Divine Mind (FaZe 5-1 CTF on Aquarius, FaZe 50-35 Slayer on Recharge, FaZe 2-0 Oddball on Live Fire)
  • G2 def. Na’Vi (Na’Vi 2-0 Oddball on Streets, Na’Vi 50-38 Slayer on Bazaar, G2 250-236 Strongholds on Live Fire, G2 3-2 CTF on Aquarius, G2 50-30 Slayer on Recharge)
  • FaZe def. Na’Vi (FaZe 250-228 Strongholds on Recharge, FaZe 50-42 Slayer on Live Fire, Na’Vi 2-0 CTF on Bazaar, FaZe 2-1 Oddball on Streets)
  • G2 def. Divine Mind (G2 4-0 CTF on Bazaar, G2 50-33 Slayer on Recharge, G2 2-0 Oddball on Live Fire)
  • FaZe def. G2 (G2 2-0 Oddball on Recharge, G2 50-36 Slayer on Live Fire, G2 250-242 Strongholds on recharge)

Group C

Team Series Record Map Record
eUnited 3-0 9-2
Quadrant 2-1 6-3
Oxygen 1-2 5-6
The Boys 0-3 0-9
  • Oxygen def. The Boys (Oxygen 250-51 Strongholds on Live Fire, Oxygen 50-41 Slayer on Aquarius, Oxygen 3-0 CTF on Bazaar)
  • eUnited def. The Boys (eUnited 5-0 CTF on Aquarius, eUnited 50-36 Slayer on Recharge, eUnited 2-1 Oddball on Live Fire)
  • Quadrant def. Oxygen (Quadrant 2-0 Oddball on Streets, Quadrant 50-44 Slayer on Bazaar, Quadrant 250-67 Strongholds on Live Fire)
  • eUnited def. Oxygen (eUnited 250-149 Strongholds on Recharge, Oxygen 49-38 Slayer on Live Fire, Oxygen 3-0 CTF on Bazaar, eUnited 2-0 Oddball on Streets, eUnited 50-43 Slayer on Aquarius)
  • Quadrant def. The Boys (Quadrant 3-0 CTF on Bazaar, Quadrant 50-38 Slayer on Recharge, Quadrant 2-0 Oddball on Live Fire)
  • eUnited def. Quadrant (eUnited 2-1 Oddball on Recharge, eUnited 50-43 Slayer on Live Fire, eUnited 250-140 Strongholds on Recharge)

Group D

Team Series Record Map Record
Cloud9 3-0 9-2
Spacestation 1-2 5-6
XSET 1-2 5-7
Acend 1-2 4-8
  • XSET def. Spacestation (Spacestation 250-41 Strongholds on Live Fire, XSET 50-41 Slayer on Aquarius, XSET 2-1 CTF on Bazaar, XSET 96-87 Oddball on Recharge)
  • Cloud9 def. Spacestation (C9 5-0 CTF on Recharge, Spacestation 50-45 Slayer on Recharge, C9 2-0 Oddball on Live Fire, C9 250-17 Strongholds on Streets)
  • Acend def. XSET (XSET 2-1 Oddball on Streets, Acend 50-42 Slayer on Bazaar, Acend 250-129 Strongholds on Live Fire, XSET 5-4 CTF on Aquarius, Acend 47-44 Slayer on Recharge)
  • Cloud9 def. XSET (C9 250-0 Strongholds on Recharge, C9 50-39 Slayer on Live Fire, C9 3-0 CTF on Bazaar)
  • Spacestation def. Acend (Spacestation 1-0 CTF on Bazaar, Spacestation 50-41 Slayer on Recharge, Spacestation 2-1 Oddball on Live Fire)
  • Cloud9 def. Acend (C9 2-1 Oddball on Recharge, C9 50-42 Slayer on Live Fire, Acend 250-213 Strongholds on Recharge, C9 4-2 CTF on Aquarius)

The championship bracket will be posted here once it becomes available. Visit the HCS Kickoff Major page on the Halo Waypoint website to view the full schedule including in-person check-in times and FFA tournament times.