Microsoft Bags eSports Partnership With ESPN For Halo 5

Microsoft has recently entered a sponsorship agreement with the popular company, ESPN, to enter its first party exclusive title, Halo 5 Guardians at the upcoming X Games Aspen 2016.

According to recent reports, it looks like the first person shooter from 343 industries is going to be featured in one of the biggest eSports tournaments of the year where eight of the top eSports teams in the world are going to compete on the Xbox One at the Halo World Championship Tour at X Games Aspen 2016. The invitational teams at the event are going to include Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid and Dream Team.

The vice president for X Games, Tim Reed said that the three-day competition is going to take place at Gaming Shacks in the villages and these are going to be sponsored by Microsoft themselves. He also added that for the very first time, highlights and clips from the eSports competition are going to be included in their broadcasts on ESPN. For those who do not know, the event is also going to be available livestreams as well and those who are interested will be able to watch it through the Halo channel on Twitch, MLG TV and ESPN’s own WatchESPN.

This is the third time in three years when ESPN has included eSports in their X Games competition but it marks the debut of Halo 5 into the world of X Games and eSports. Previously, ESPN had worked with Major League Gaming to bring many games in their competition including Call of Duty and Counter Strike Global.

Teams were invited based on merit and positions held during the ongoing Halo World Championship. However, it has been mentioned that the results from this tournament are not going to have any sort of effect on Halo World Championship standings. As for the prizes, the winning teams get real Gold, Silver and Bronze medals which is in line with other athletes in the world. Other than that, there is a cash prize of $30,000 up for grabs as well at the competition.

Reed also said that they are going to plan on the future direction of the X Games Austin after the Aspen event has concluded and added that Microsoft has not signed any partnership deals beyond the Aspen event so far.

Stay tuned for more from X Games Aspen 2016 and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.