Big, big weekend in eSports this week. It’s an IEM weekend which is usually a big deal but this weekend is the annual IEM World Championships from Katowice, Poland. It’s the one eSports event that I would strongly consider hopping on a plane for. Well, mostly because I’ve never been to Eastern Europe and I understand Poland is a lovely part of the world.
Anyway, the annual IEM World Championship features League of Legends and CS:GO events along with supporting mini-tournaments for Hearthstone and HOTS. They’ve also partnered with Blizzard to bring the WCS Winter Championship to Katowice which marks the first major stop on the road to BlizzCon.
If none of that strikes your fancy, the second Dota 2 Major Championship, the Shanghai Major, is currently going through its playoffs with the grand final on Sunday. I would assume that the winner of this tournament will spent July in Seattle for The International so there’s more than the $1.1 million winner’s purse on the line.
I’m not sure I could have picked a worse week to get back into the eSports weekend calendar. LPL is taking a short break so it’s a light schedule on the League of Legends front. Dota 2 is mostly qualifiers and small regional events. SC2 is all qualifiers. At least CS:GO and Hearthstone have a couple of big tournaments this weekend.
There’s a whole lotta eSports going on this weekend. Chief among the action are the two big MOBAs. Over in Dota 2, the jointly produced StarLadder Star Series and IMBAtv i-League season comes to an end with their playoffs and some top teams still in contention. Meanwhile, League of Legends starts league play this weekend worldwide. All five of the big leagues have games over the weekend so we can see who gets off to a hot start.
Elsewhere, there is various StarCraft action in Korea. The Heroes of the Storm Gold Series continues group play ahead of next weekend’s playoffs. And CS:GO has their first January Minor event in the Americas. That doesn’t sound too impressive but it’s worth $30,000 to the winner and an invite to the final eight qualifier for February’s MLG Columbus Major.
If you’re looking something to watch on Twitch this weekend and are in the Americas, this is a good weekend for you. Dota 2’s The Summit 4 wraps up this weekend with the eight-team playoff. ESL and ESEA conclude their CS:GO pro league. And StarCraft II’s Nation Wars continue this weekend. Canada is in action on Thursday and Friday so I’ll be watching to see if Scarlett, HuK and desRow can bring Canada to the Round of 8.
For those on the West Coast or those up late elsewhere, Riot is holding the 2015 All-Star Event featuring the international regional all-star teams and the 1v1 tournament. Put a pot of coffee on if you want to see the finish of those.
This weekend, the world of eSport descends on Jonkoping, Sweden. The little Swedish town becomes the home of competitive StarCraft, Dota, CS:GO, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm as it’s the host city of DreamHack Winter 2015. StarCraft II, Hearthstone and HOTS all have their own tournaments that started earlier today and will continue through to Saturday. Dota 2 and CS:GO have ongoing leagues that are concluding their seasons in Jonkoping.
It’s a quiet weekend in the world of eSports. There isn’t a lot happening outside of group stages in team leagues but you can certainly find some of that happening if you do some digging. Dota 2 takes the lion’s share of the attention with the conclusion of the first Dota 2 major, The Frankfurt Major. Friday sees the tournament go from five to three teams and Saturday sees the Lower Bracket Final and Grand Final to crown the first Dota 2 major champion.
Blizzard has a little eSports action themselves. BaseTradeTV is hosting a one-day SC2 TVT tournament on Saturday. Over in Hearthstone, the Collegiate Hearthstone Championship wraps up on Sunday.
If you’re a fan of StarCraft, you didn’t have to wait long after the release of LOTV for the first major tournament in the new expansion. This weekend sees eight top Korean players including WCS semi-finalist Rogue and superstars like Zest, Bomber and Parting in TotalBiscuit’s ShoutCraft Invitational II.
The two big MOBAs also have big events this weekend. Dota 2 is holding the first of three majors starting this weekend with the group stages of the Frankfurt Major. It’s the first stop on the road to The International 2016. Whether it means more to the winner than a $1.1 million payday remains to be seen. In Korea, some of the top Korean League of Legends teams are in the final stages of the KESPA Cup with the semifinals and final this weekend.
Just in time for the 2015 League of Legends World Championship, it’s time for the return of the eSports Weekend Calendar. Usually, it runs on Thursdays at the end of the day but because the Worlds start on Thursday afternoon (Central European Time) in Paris. I’ll be paying as much attention to this as I can because I have some acquaintances trying to drag me back into league. He’s an ADC who is looking for some help. I’m working on my healers so I’m playing a lot of Soraka and Sona because if you need a new ADC, it usually someone to keep you out of trouble. His loss. My Morgana is pretty good.
There is more happening in the world of eSports besides the Worlds. ESL is holding their latest ESL One Dota 2 tournament at the Madison Square Garden Theatre. Just for the spectacle of eSports at MSG, I think this might be the highlight of the weekend. And then fans can go upstairs and watch the WWE on Saturday night. Meanwhile, in Korea, GSL wraps up this weekend with their Season 3 Grand Final. It’s also the last stop on StarCraft’s road to BlizzCon so the field will be set on Sunday.
It’s a really busy weekend in the world of eSports. There are tournaments and leagues that are taking place and wrapping up all over the world. You name it and there’s a tournament this weekend. I think this might actually be the biggest weekend calendar that we’ve ever done.
Let’s go through the Cole’s Notes version of the calendar. DreamHack Bucharest has the Dota 2 StarSeries XII playoffs, PGL’s CS:GO Championship Series final four and tournaments for Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. We have the LPL spring finals this weekend. Round 2 of the 2015 SC2 Proleague sees CJ Entus and Jin Air Green Wings do battle in the final. And Heroes of the Dorm wraps up Sunday night on ESPN3 and ESPN2. Yes, Blizzard got their first major Heroes of the Storm tournament on US cable television which is actually a massive deal.
Hello eSports Weekend Calendar. How we missed you.
This weekend in the world of eSports, there are big games for people interested in League of Legends and CS:GO. ESEA League S18 comes to a close this weekend with a $100,000 prize pool on the line. Meanwhile, both EU and NA LCS seasons will come to an end with spring finals this weekend. If you’re looking for Dota 2 or StarCraft action, there is some but they’re in the qualifiers and group stages of their events so there’s a ways to go before money is handed out.