HCS second year map rotation update | Hello

With HCS 2023 season halfway through and Halo Infinite Season 4 just launching, we’re making some tweaks to gameplay and map rotation.


As we’ve seen in matchmaking since the release of Season 4, new equipment Quantum Translocator and Threat Seeker have entered the scene on various maps. These were not used at HCS Major Arlington but are now in effect and will be used in all upcoming tournaments including the next event on August 4-6 at the HCS Global Invitational hosted by Spacestation Gaming.


Plus, Season 4 brought Solitude, a remake of Halo 5’s fan-favorite map, Plaza. Effective immediately in Solitude in the official HCS map rotation for tournament play with the following modes:

  • the killer
  • strongholds
  • king of the hill


For map rotations, it is important that we not only add but remove at the same time in order to maintain a healthy number of map combinations and modes in the rotation. If there are too many, the overall quality of play drops as teams struggle to practice and master all of them. If there are too few of them, the tournaments will become stale and uninteresting.

Effective immediately, the following map groups and modes have been removed from rotation:

  • The killer is on Empyrean
  • strongholds in the streets
  • King of the hill in the streets

In the spring, HCS conducted a survey with professional league players as well as amateur players who competed on the Faceit platform this year to collect feedback on game descriptions including map sets and modes. These three were, by a wide margin, the lowest rated of all map combinations and modes in rotation. This is the information we used to make this decision, along with in-game telemetry based on balance, and we thank the contestants for taking the time to fill out the survey.

These will remain in the ranked arena matchmaking playlist for a short while longer.


For HCS Major Arlington, we removed recharge from map rotation for the Pool and Tournament play arc due to an issue that caused map recharge to become unstable. We believe we have resolved this issue and our internal testing has restored stability to the map for observers. The recharge will be used as originally planned for the rest of the season.

Unless due to bug fixes or emergency and serious issues that require prompt addressing, these will be the last major changes in the game description until after Halo World Championships October 13-15.

If the first half of the season is any indication, we’re in for a very exciting second half and can’t wait to see this new gear plus Solitude make its way to the main stage.

Good luck to all teams!

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