I’m back home from L.A.. I have to say I didn’t get over the jet lag feeling yet. I won’t complain though because I had a wonderful time and met so many friendly and interesting people. I have to thank Xbox and most of all Boris from Xbox Germany for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity. They took good care of us in L.A..
So what did I see? What did I get to play? I’ll answer it all.
After arriving at LAX late friday afternoon I took a Taxi to Hollywood where our Hotel was located. Right next to Hollywood Blvd. you find the fancy W Hollywood Hotel.

Jonathan Irons CEO of Atlas Corporation was accommodated there as well, maybe spying on some real and super „Advanced Warfare“. I wonder what time travel agency he booked. Haha funny, of course i am talking about world famous actor Kevin Spacey. After flying 12 hours and an hour Taxi ride I could finally take a shower and change. Then I met with the rest of the group. All in all we were 7 people from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy. The other guys were mostly Youtubers, one french guy works for Xbox France. I was really glad to meet Maxi, a german like minded Halo fan who works for GameStar/High 5.


The next day was the first day of the Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational Tournament that took place in the ESL Studios in Burbank, California.

It was about 86 °F on this day. I was told that even in L.A. this is quite uncommon for this time of year. My light skin was shocked and I had to put on sunscreen…in November!

8 teams were invited to compete over the top prize of $ 20.000:

– StK – Heinz, OGRE2, Royal 2, Snakebite, Coach Diesel
– OpTic Halo – Flamesword, Pistola, Ace, Snipedown, Coach Elamite
– Believe The Hype – Formal, Lxthul, aPG, Maniac, Coach Mr. X
– The Agency – Ninja, Hysteria, FearItSelf, Victory, Coach Towey
– VwS Gaming – Naded, Legit, Goofy, Mikwen, Coach Wolfmayyne
– TCM Gaming – Riotz, TuFoxy, Ramirez, Chalkie, Coach Xavier
– Str8 Rippin – Tsquared, Ryanoob, Roy, Str8 Sick, Coach Walshy
– Purple Rain – Gandhi, Elitest, Maven, Legion

The game types were Team Slayer, Neutral Bomb, 3 Flag CTF, 5 Flag CTF and King of the Hill. The playable maps were all from Halo 2: Anniversary. Shrine, Warlord and Lockdown. I think it’s fair to say that most votes were on team Optic Gaming. With players like Ace and (iGotUr)Pistola, winner and second best of the Halo 4 tournament last year, their chances were pretty good.

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Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky and Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez were there to give a live-commentary on the gameplay and they did a hell of a good job. On saturday the event went from 2 pm till 9 pm or something. Imagine to have to comment about 10 games of intense and fast pace game play.

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Even I couldn’t watch all of it. Hunger got us searching the neighborhood and we found a good old arcade. I did some wild animal hunting with Joost from Holland which I lost at. Damn you Joost! A nice meal at the Renegade Ranch completed the day. There was a mechanical bull you could ride and two of our younger, wild boys actually rode the bull. Let’s say they did quite well.

Sunday, I’m still jet lagged but overall happy as a clown. It all felt surreal. Our chaperone for the event was Clare from London. What a sweet girl! She managed everything for us and made us feel comfortable. She’s a gamer as well and has her own youtube channel. Around 11 am we were headed to ESL Studios again to see the grand finals of the tournament. Optic Gaming were out already, so was The Agency with Ninja on the team.

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We had Str8Rippin facing Believe The Hype in the grand finals. Boy did those teams play well. I couldn’t really say who I was rooting for, I was just so very impressed with both teams. In the end BTH won.
And did I mention that in The ESL Studios stood the most bad ass car there is? The Warthog, mother of all cars. I always dreamed of seeing one live. That I would be sitting in one wasn’t even part of the dream. But guess what we were allowed to hop in and take some pics. I even got to stand behind the turret. Haha the excitement! As far as I know there are only two official Warthog models out there. One from the movie Forward until Dawn and this one.

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After the tournament was over two teams (Optic and BTH) were invited to be the first to play the multiplayer Beta of Halo 5: Guardians. The footage of that was shown later at Halofest. It was the first footage of live gameplay the puplic saw.I didn’t want to watch it, since I knew we were invited to play as well later this evening. Needless to say I couldn’t resist. I was really impressed with the graphics and the new abilities like Ground Pound and Clamber.

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After what seemed like an eternity we were brought into a small back room with several gaming stations build up. We were allowed to record our gameplay. I brought my Elgato but in the end it didn’t work. Thanks to lovely Maxi I could use hers so I will have some gameplay for you guys when she sends it over. I will have a detailed post on my thoughts on Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer later. What I will say now is: It’s fast pace, it’s different, i will love it. At first I was scared when I saw the new design and feel of the weapons but after playing at Halofest a bit longer, that changed. 7 new armor abilities available to everyone right at the start. My favorite is Clamber. But yeah, detailed post soon to be up on here.

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fotu_halofest_2014_0030The End. Stay tuned for the Halofest 2014 recap…