The weekend approaches, but while the masses get time away from the office, the esports professionals get down to business. Here’s what to look out for this weekend.
North American LCS Promotion Tournament
It’s crunch time in North American League of Legends, especially when one of the league’s staple teams could lose their spot in the League Championship Series for the first time since it’s inception. Team Liquid will do battle with Eunited tonight, and the loser will be cast down into the Challenger Series, not an appetizing prospect as rumours continue to grow regarding the potential franchising of the LCS. Team Liquid’s disastrous descent will need to be arrested tonight when they meet a team hungry for a shot in the league. Eunited topped the challenger series regular season, but fell short of the top seed in the playoffs.
Another major endemic esports organization is at a serious risk of losing their LCS spot this weekend. Team EnvyUs had even even worse split that Team Liquid, sitting at the bottom of the standings with merely three wins, they will be facing one of the most stacked rosters we’ve ever seen in the challenger series. Gold Coin United may not be the best team name we’ve ever seen, but the lineup, including the likes of Lucas “Santorin” Larsen, Kim “FeniX” Jae-hun, and the legendary Hong “Madlife” Min-gi, is one of the most experienced. The fact that EnvyUs have struggled to win series this season while Gold Coin United have shown success in the challenger playoffs indicates that the challenger side may actually be the favourite heading into this clash.
Both games will be shown on LoLEsport’s Twitch and Youtube channels. The first round of matches will begin tonight, though no team will be eliminated just yet, as the promotion tournament features a double elimination bracket.
European LCS regular season Draws to a close
Five out of six playoff spots and both relegation candidates have already been decided in Europe, but that doesn’t mean these last few matches of the regular season aren’t important. Only one team has locked in their exact position in the playoffs, and seeding for the rest is still yet to be locked in.
The most enticing facet of this final week though is the battle between Fnatic and Team Roccat. Both are tied at five wins and seven losses, but Fnatic so far have the edge on individual games won, meaning that Roccat must win and rely on Fnatic to lose their final series if they wish to make the playoffs. Unfortunately for Roccat, they face the undefeated G2 Esports on Saturday evening. If they do manage to defeat the invincibles somehow, Fnatic will then have to respond with victory over Misfits. It looks likely that Fnatic will take the final spot in the playoffs, but we have seen crazier endings before.
Final week of the LCK regular season
Europe only has one playoff spot to decide this weekend, but the South Korean LCK has absolutely none. All five playoff teams are decided, including three of their seeds, and the relegation candidates have also been chosen. There will be no end of season drama in LCK this time around, but if you’re looking for the best League of Legends teams in the world, you should still be tuning in.
The only seeding left to be decided is between fourth and fifth position, who both face each other in round one of the playoffs regardless. If MVP fail to pick up a single game (just a game, not the entire series) against league leaders SKT, they will meet Afreeca Freecs in a tie breaker. Seemingly all that tie breaker will decide is which team gets red or blue side choice then they meet in the playoffs.
Two games will be played on Saturday morning, with the last two matches of the regular season taking place on Sunday morning.
Overwatch PIT League
The European PIT Championship group stages draw to a close this weekend, and while it may not be the biggest league Overwatch has ever seen, it’s certainly been entertaining thus far. Group A was already concluded last week, with Ninjas in Pyjamas, Eunited, Vivi’s Adventure, and Laser Kittenz progressing to the playoffs.
As expected, the Swedish Misfits top the standings in group B, already doing enough to claim a spot in the playoffs. Team Singularity Ninjas and Movistar Riders are tied at 2-1, while Team Dignitas and Hammer’s Esports are locked in a battle for the final playoff spot. Ex-Alternate Attax unfortunately slumped to a 0-3 scoreline in the first half of the group, and thus would need a miraculous performance to secure themselves a spot.
Team Dignitas Vs Hammer’s Esports will likely be the match to watch tonight. The winner likely snatches a playoff spot, while the loser would almost certainly fail to make the cut.
The North American league also begun last night, with group A’s opening games taking place. Rise Nation, Selfless Gaming, and Luminosity Gaming Evil all picked up wins, while Counter Logic Gaming, Gale Force Esports, and Complexity Gaming took losses on day one. It’s too early to tell who’s going to claim a playoff spot and who will be left in the dirt, but all will be decided over the course of the weekend.
Whilst not appearing in Group A, and not feauring this weekend, it’s worth noting that the French side Rogue are participating in the PIT league, only their second tournament since moving to Las Vegas.
Dota 2 Asia Championship Playoffs
The Dota 2 Asia Championship has reached the playoff stages of the tournament, with some mouth watering matches set to take place over the weekend.
Starting early Saturday morning (or late Friday) at 3AM BST, Group A winners OG will face off against Group B runners up Newbee in the upper bracket. Followed by the reverse tie, Team Empire vs Invictus Gaming.
The rest head into the lower bracket, meaning one loss ends their entire tournament run. LGD.ForeverYoung face IG.Vitality, Team NP meet Team VG.J, Wings Gaming will face off against Evil Geniuses, and Team Liquid will battle for their tournament lives against Team Faceless.
The weekend will actually only take us up to the semi-finals of the tournament, with the final matches being played out over Monday and Tuesday. Check out a primer we released before the tournament to find out some of the teams and players to watch.