When you look at characters that would have interesting stories that continue on from StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, I wouldn’t have considered Nova among them. The likes of Zagara or Alarak who played bit parts in the various SC2 expansions could have interesting stories following the Into The Void missions based on LOTV and the epilogue. However, Blizzard got off on the right foot with the first mission pack of Nova Covert Ops. The second mission pack is a bit of a miss, though.
While the story of StarCraft II ended with Legacy of the Void and the Into the Void epilogue, Blizzard hasn’t ended the stories it wants to tell in the StarCraft universe. The first return to the Koprulu sector takes place several years after the conclusion of Legacy of the Void. One of the long-lost Blizzard projects was StarCraft: Ghost which was supposed to introduce Nova as the player character. The game was eventually scrapped and Nova was introduced in Wings of Liberty and a StarCraft: Ghost novel.
Many years after Ghost’s cancellation, Nova finally gets her long-awaited solo project. It’s not a shooter but it’s a real-time strategy game in the same way that we’ve come to know from StarCraft II but with an episodic twist.
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.
One of the top stars in professional StarCraft has been arrested under suspicion for match-fixing. Life, who was the 2014 StarCraft World Champion, was formally arrested over the weekend by the Changwon District Prosecutor’s Office and certainly turned the StarCraft world on its head.
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.
There are a few events happening this weekend to give some of your favourite eSports stars a couple of extra dollars in spending money right before Christmas. The stars of League of Legends are split between China and Germany. The big teams are in Cologne for a stop on the Intel Extreme Masters tour while China plays host to World Cyber Arena. Also at WCA are Hearthstone and Dota 2 which isn’t listed below because I can’t find times for anything beyond the group stage.
My focus will be on StarCraft II this weekend. The semi-annual HomeStory Cup is taking place this weekend. I believe that this one will be the first HSC from Take’s new studio rather than his apartment. Hopefully this won’t change the atmosphere of the event. HomeStory Cup is my favourite tournament series in SC2.
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.
There are a series of random tournaments and leagues in action this weekend. Challenger level teams are getting their own League of Legends tournament. The world’s top CS:GO teams descend on Canada for the Northern Arena championship as part of the Canadian Videogame Awards FanFest at the old Maple Leaf Gardens. And over in Korea, the eSports World Championships feature StarCraft and Hearthstone.
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.