ACEND exits Halo, CEO criticises 343 Industries

Screenshot credit: ACEND

European esports organisation ACEND Club has announced its departure from Halo esports, with its CEO Benjamin ‘bencb’ Rolle posting a lengthy explanation of alleged poor league management and communication from game developer 343 Industries.

In a statement on Twitter, Rolle commented that he did not feel that 343 and HCS understood how to create an attractive esports ecosystem for organisations “especially outside of the North American region and partnership programme”.

ACEND Club missed out on 343’s partnership programme for the upcoming Halo Championship Series. Another European esports team, Team Quadrant, was added after the initial round of teams. Despite, this, ACEND stated that it would continue to field a roster for the game.

Continuing his statement on Twitter, Rolle added that his team’s primary issue was the “incredibly poor communication”. He said that while his team redoubled efforts to support its Halo outfit in spite of not being partnered, ACEND had not received information from 343 on how to improve as an organisation since being rejected.

Rolle also described instances where ACEND had struggled to make content because only partnered teams were allowed backstage to access players. As a European team, ACEND reportedly had to spend fairly heavily on content because of the additional cost of flying content producers to events in the US.

The 2022 World Championship finals for Halo were held in Washington, Seattle, which would compound issues for European teams because of its distance from Europe and ACEND’s headquarters in Austria.

To that point, Rolle felt that European esports was not receiving enough attention from Halo esports. Rolle commented that his team really believed that “with some support, Halo could grow to become a successful esports title across multiple regions.”

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Rolle concluded by wishing his players success in future careers and noting his sadness that ‘Halo veterans’ were alleging similar mistakes had been made with Halo Infinite as had been made before with ‘other Halo titles’.

ACEND now fields five roster across four games, all of them first-person shooters.

Halo Esports and 343 have been approached for comment and this article will be updated accordingly if a response is provided.

Patrick Walker

Patrick is a freelance writer for ESI based in London, reporting on esports marketing and partnerships trends. He’s currently playing VALORANT and Overwatch but always looking for the next big thing in competitive gaming.

Esports organisation eUnited reportedly closes doors

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: eUnited

North American esports organisation eUnited has closed down and parted ways with all of its employees, according to a report from The Esports Advocate.

According to TEA sources, only eUnited CEO Adam Stein remains employed by the company, with the last members of the team leaving in late 2022.

The organisation, founded in 2016, is a North American esports brand that featured teams across multiple games, ranging from PUBG and CS:GO to Halo and Gears of War. It is perhaps best known for its presence in Call of Duty and PUBG, with the latter finishing fourth at the PUBG Global Championship in 2022.

As of this writing, the company has not shared any public information about the recent news, however, most of its rosters, including the PUBG roster, left the organisation in early December 2022. The organisation has not announced any new rosters. Its website shows rosters in Gears of War and Halo, however, its esports efforts in the former concluded in 2022.

This leaves us with eUnited’s Halo roster. The team is a partner in the Halo Championship Series, but has yet to announce a roster for the 2023 season or share any news regarding it.

The last high-profile employee to leave the company was Matthew Potthoff, its VP of Esports, who announced his departure on December 31 via Twitter.

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The company attracted attention in 2020 by announcing a merger with Backstageplay, a mobile and Web 3 company. Unfortunately, the deal fell through, with Backstageplay citing the pandemic as the main reason for its demise.

The company also interestingly partnered with Apple Pay, Apple’s payment division, for a tournament in 2021. This was one of the rare occasions in which Apple partnered with an esports brand.

Ivan Šimić

Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.