While not as publicized as the US presidential inauguration crowd sizes, the crowd attendance at this year's Halo World Championship has been put into similar scrutiny with accounts ranging from a handful of disparate gatherings to a swarming of masses. The in-person attendance across the globe was a varied experience judging based on user accounts and photos where some attended the tournament in parking lot tents set up for small viewership while others waited in long lines with cosplay entertainment akin to ComicCon.
Despite the gulf between the physical attendance at each location, Microsoft is touting this year's Halo World Championship as a record-setting event that broke viewership online.
According to Frank O'Conner, the franchise creative director at 343 Industries, this year's Halo World Championship was viewed by more than 13 million unique viewers in one weekend.
The Halo World Championship 2017 Finals by ESL broke digital viewership records across the board. At its height, the broadcast reached more than 135,000 concurrent viewers across Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and Beam. In addition, more than 13 million unique viewers tuned in over the weekend to see competitive Halo played at the highest level across digital platforms. 10.3 million of these unique viewers watched the competition live on Twitter—a first time streaming destination for Halo esports.* These metrics exceeded last year’s tournament and make the Halo World Championship 2017 Finals the most watched digital broadcast in Halo esports history.
As for the outcome of the tournament, (spoilers ahead)," OpTic Gaming’s Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom, TJ “Lethul” Campbell, Mathew “Royal 2” Fiorante, Paul “SnakeBite” Duarte and Coach Chris “Royal 1” Fiorante brought the #Greenwall a victory in the form of a convincing 4-0 finish against Team EnVyUs in the Grand Finals!"
Perhaps, as eSports continue to evolve, physical audiences will as well and fans can then garner a better understanding of which events to attend in person and where. Until then, it looks like online and perhaps in the comfort of your own home is where best to view the next Halo World Championship.