KC Pioneers gain support of Chiefs, Charlie Hustle and other hometown household names for its #MyCity campaign as Kansas City hosts major esports tournament
It’s time to showcase Kansas City’s esports and tech community on a global scale, said Mark Josey — and what better way to do so than with a worldwide tournament hosted in downtown KC?
The Kansas City Pioneers, the city’s premier esports organization, is competing against the top Halo teams from North America, Mexico, Europe, Australia and New Zealand in the HCS Major Kansas City 2022, a bracket-style Halo tournament.
The tournament kicked off today at the Kansas City Convention Center with the championship match set for Sunday.
“We’re unbelievably excited for several reasons,” said Josey, who serves as the CEO for the Kansas City Pioneers. “We get to compete as one of the top six teams in the world and for the incredible franchise that is Halo. There’s something to be said that this is a homestand, and we’re really excited for people to be able to see what esports is all about.”
Kansas City is one of only three North American cities selected by Microsoft to host a “Major” Halo Championship Series event for the 2021-2022 season, Josey noted. The tournament is set to draw thousands of in-person viewers, as well as more than 250,000 viewers on the online streaming platform Twitch.
“The publisher [Halo] chose to host the tournament in Kansas City for a number of reasons,” Josey explained. “… We do have the Kansas City Pioneers here who are a very competitive team. Kansas City is also the heart of America, making traveling easier. And finally the internet and ping here is incredible; if you’re a high-level athlete, that is extremely important.”
Professional and amatuer gamers are able to come together, he said, noting that in addition to the 24-team competition with a $250,000 starting prize pool, the championship encourages spectators to play in a free-for-all bracket with a $5,000 winning prize.
Click here to read about how the KC Pioneers are innovating into the gaming and gambling sphere.
To showcase the diverse and iconic business in Kansas City on a global level, the KC Pioneers launched the #MyCity campaign on social media, Josey shared, referring back to the organization’s mantra “Kansas City-founded, globally driven.”
Some of its strategic partners include: Charlie Hustle, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque, Guy’s Snacks and Price Chopper.
“The Pioneers have built one of the fastest growing esport organizations in the country,” said Cameron Baraban, a marketing representative of Jack Stack. “With the growth of esports and gaming in general, we want our guests to know that we see them, and we support their interests in Kansas City.”
Charlie Hustle partnered with the KC Pioneers to design a T-shirt and sweatshirt that fans and community members can purchase to show their support.
“This city is full of great makers and creators and the team behind the Kansas City Pioneers is no exception,” said Chase McAnulty, founder and CEO of Charlie Hustle. “They’re literally pioneering a new dynasty here in Kansas City and we all should be taking notice.”
“When we think about building a dynasty and collaborating with those who we look up to, we think of Charlie Hustle,” Josey said. “It’s really an honor.”
Click here to check out the KC Pioneers’ collection at Charlie Hustle.
Other Kansas City sport organizations have shown their support for the KC Pioneers; the Kansas City Chiefs posted the #MyCity on Twitter, and the Royals hosted a three-day bootcamp alongside the KC Pioneers at Kauffman Stadium.
Kansas City Chiefs 🤝 Master Chief
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 23, 2022
Thank you to all of the teams & partners that made the @Royals x Pioneers Bootcamp possible!
This was the first-ever LAN event hosted in a Major League Baseball Stadium, and it happened right here in #MyCity
— Kansas City Pioneers (@PioneersGG) April 28, 2022
Using such momentum, the KC Pioneers are working to make esports an equitable opportunity for the next generation, Josey said, noting the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City where the team recently built a new esports gaming lounge.
“As an esports organization, we need to make sure we are tapping into the youth and thinking about the future of entertainment, jobs, connection, experiences and all the way to the metaverse,” Josey said. “Esports is crazy all over the world with tons of people watching and huge careers. We want to make sure the next generation is ready.”
For community members who cannot attend the HCS Major tournament in person, they can watch the Halo Championship Series Event online and use the #MyCity on social media to share their support for Kansas City and the KC Pioneers.
“I encourage everyone, whether or not you are familiar with esports, to go and experience something incredible — this tournament is put on at a high-level and there’s going to be some really exciting games,” Josey said. “If you’re from Kansas City and don’t know much about esports, we definitely know a team you can cheer for!”
Check out more scenes from the Halo tournament at the Kansas City Convention Center below.