Tag Archives: the weekend in

Competitive Madden Returns This Weekend Starring Two-Time Champ

Pro Madden kicks off the first major tournament of its 2020 season this weekend with the Madden 20 Classic in Arlington Texas where all eyes will be on Michael “Skimbo” Skimbo to see if the existing champ can win his third straight title.

Skimbo has been a powerhouse at the Classic for the last two years; he cemented his status as one of the best in the league three years ago when he won the 2017 Madden Championship against seasoned veteran Eric “Problem” Wright. This year will be a perfect opportunity for someone new to raise their status if they’re able to unseat Skimbo.

The event also takes place just over a year after a shooting at a Madden tournament held in Jacksonville, Florida on August 26. That tragedy left two players dead, Elijah “Trueboy” Clayton and Taylor “SpotmePlzzz” Robertson, as well as several others wounded. EA hasn’t announced whether there are any plans to honor the anniversary in some way at this weekend’s Classic.

Tournament play began earlier today at 5:00 p.m. ET and lasts until 11:00 p.m. On Saturday, matches resume at 1:00 a.m. and go until midnight, while on Sunday, the last stage of the tournament gets underway at 1:00 p.m. and will wrap up by 10:00 p.m. Everything will stream live on EA’s Madden Twitch channel.

Also this weekend are the first round of qualifiers for competitors in the eighth season of Rocket League’s Championship Series. It provides a fighting chance to new teams consisting of players competing in the lower tiers of Rocket League, or even just alone in their own homes; these teams will be getting a shot at competing in the game’s multi-million dollar league. Qualifiers for North America start on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET followed by Eruope on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. Those games will be streaming on the Rocket League Twitch channel.

Finally, you can catch up on the latest round of Nintendo esports this weekend at 2GG: SwitchFest 2019. While Smash Bros. Ultimate will headline the event, there will also be a ton of tournaments for other Nintendo games, including Splatoon 2 and Arms, as well as Super Mario Maker 2 and Mario Tennis Aces. There will even be a side competition in Super Mario Party. I’ve never watched a competitive Mario Party tournament before, but it sounds like the kind of thing my life has been missing. A full schedule for all of the tournaments is available here, with matches for each streaming on 2GGaming’s Twitch channel.

Source: Kotaku.com

It’s The End Of A Generation At This Year’s Pokémon World Championships

Image: The Pokémon Company

At the 2019 Pokémon World Championships this weekend, trainers can choose any of the existing 807 known Pokémon to fight by their side. This is the last time they’ll be able to do so, at least in the near future.

Earlier today, the Pokémon Company announced that Pokémon Sword and Shield will be the official games used for competitive play during the 2020 season. While that’s not necessarily a surprising move, it does mean that that the scene will be seeing some major competitive shifts moving forward after the 2019 championships in Pokémon Sun and Moon wrap up.

As revealed at E3, Pokémon Sword and Shield will be the first games in the series’ recent history that won’t allow players to pull in Pokémon from previous games via the Pokémon bank. We don’t know which Pokémon will be left behind in this coming generation. Will Celesteela, who helped North American champ Wolfe Glick clinch the finals in June, end up returning? Whoever makes the cut, the field is in for a major culling, and it seems likely that some current competitive favorites could fall victim to that.

While that’s made some fans angry, it also makes this year’s World Championships extra special. It’s the end of a generation—multiple generations, really—and a perfect opportunity to celebrate the series’ competitive legacy on the 3DS. The Swiss round of matches got underway earlier today, and the action continues on Saturday starting at 8:45 a.m. ET to determine who will make the final cut. Then on Sunday, the video game finals are expected to kick off sometime after noon with the Junior Division. The finals are expected to wrap up by 4:00 p.m. ET that day. All of those matches will be streamed on the Pokémon VGC Twitch channel.

The Pokémon World Championships are home to more than just matches in the Moon and Sun games. The event also hosts the championships for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, which will be going on simultaneously and streaming here, as well as a Pokkén Tournament DX event that will be streaming here with the finals starting at 3:00 p.m. ET Saturday. Earlier today, the event even hosted a small Pokémon Go invitational. If you want to check out what competitive Pokémon Go looks like, you can find the VOD available here, which one spectator over on ResetEra called “a beautiful showcase of Pokémon GO’s trademark jank.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Last Year’s Underdogs Now Have A Shot At This Year’s Call Of Duty Championship

Image: Activision (Call of Duty: Black Ops 4)

Colt “Havok” McLendon watched the 2018 Call of Duty World League Championship from home. This year, his team could go all the way to the finals.

“Before this year started, I told myself, ‘I’m going to do competitive all or nothing, or I’m going to be a streamer,” McLendon, a member of the team Gen.G Esports, told Dot Esports in an interview earlier this week. “I’m not going to try to do both again.’ Now, my only goal is to win an event. And I guess it’s the secret formula because it’s been a lot better.”

The release of Call of Duty: WWII turned out to be the kiss of death for the pro player, whose 2017-2018 season ended in disaster, including not even qualifying for the championship. His fortunes have rebounded in the era of Black Ops 4, starting with a respectable 7th-place finish at the Las Vegas Open last December before managing to qualify for the 2019 Pro League with his ragtag team of unknowns, Team Space, in January.

The team, which was immediately signed by Gen.G, has only continued to build up steam, finishing 7th at CWL Fort Worth in March, 5th at CWL London in May, and 2nd at CWL Anaheim in June. Earlier this month, Gen.G finished the Pro League 2019 season in 3rd.

Now they have a chance to become world champions, and potentially rake in millions between the Pro League Championship’s $1,250,000 prize pool this weekend and the World Championship’s $2,000,000 prize pool in August. It’s the kind of money that could make it all worth it for the team of six whose future remains uncertain, especially as the esport heads into 2020 with not only a new game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but also an Overwatch-like franchise system.

Play-ins for the remaining two spots in this weekend’s Pro League playoffs take place throughout Friday afternoon, with the bracket stage beginning on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET. Play continues on Sunday at the same time, with the grand finals slated to get underway sometime later that day. You can watch the entire tournament streaming on the Call of Duty Twitch Channel.

Outside of esports, the European Speedrunner Assembly will be kicking off its 2019 marathon on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. ET with an Any% run of Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64. Though not as well known as Summer Games Done Quick, at least on this continent, the weeklong event features plenty of talented speedrunners showcasing playthroughs in a wide range of games.

Some other runs to watch out for include Wario Land: Shake It! at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Catherine Classic at 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, and Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age on Thursday at 3:51. The entire event will wrap up next Saturday at 6:00 a.m. with a playthrough of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on the Game Boy Advance.

And of course it’s all for a good cause, with donations from viewers going toward the Swedish Alzheimer’s Foundation. You can watch all of the speedruns on the ESA Marathon Twitch channel

Source: Kotaku.com

Samurai Shodown Competition Heats Up At This Weekend’s Fighting Game Tournaments

Evo 2019, the premier fighting game tournament, is less than a month away, and players are spending the weekend getting ready. With their game having only released in June, it’s an especially important time for Samurai Shodown players.

Nine-time Evo champion Justin “JWong” Wong hasn’t wasted any time getting up to speed after announcing in February he’d be competing in Samurai Shodown’s first-ever Evo tournament, which will have a $30,000 pot bonus partially thanks to the game’s publisher SNK. Wong, while best known for playing Street Fighter, has placed first in Samurai Shodown tournaments at both CEO 2019 in June and The Pinnacle last weekend. This weekend he faces competitors NeoRussell and ElChakotay at Toryuken 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

More Samurai Shodown competition will take place this weekend at Low Tier City 7 in Texas and Sonic Boom VI in Madrid, Spain. Since the game is still so young, and it’s been 11 years since the previous in the series, Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny, it’s too early to declare favorites—although given his experience, notoriety, and recent momentum, Wong remains an obvious contender to watch.

Samurai Shodown pools for Toryuken 8 begin on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. ET and will continue into the afternoon. On Sunday, the top eight for the event will get underway at 3:00 p.m. ET. All of the matches will be streamed live on the Toronto Top Tier Twitch channel, and a schedule for the rest of the event is also available.

Meanwhile, there’s another grass-roots event for Halo 3 being held in Chicago on Saturday. The $10,000 old-school tournament will feature 2v2 team battles throughout the night. If you have trouble sleeping that night, you can catch the remaining players grinding it out in the finals at approximately 5:00 a.m. ET Sunday morning. Those matches will be streamed live on Red Bull’s Twitch channel.

Finally, the remaining Dota 2 teams from North America will be battling it out in qualifiers this weekend for a shot at competing in next month’s The International for a piece of the $25 million prize pool. The Round Robin stage is currently underway with Forward Gaming leading the pack undefeated. After a few remaining matches tonight, the top four teams will reconvene on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET for the start of the playoffs, followed eventually by the grand finals on Sunday at 6:00 p.m ET. You can catch all of that action on Beyond The Summit’s Twitch channel.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Dog, A Duck, And A Wario Walk Into A Smash Tournament…

This week, America celebrates declaring its independence from England with hot dogs, fireworks, and, apparently, tanks stationed around the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But don’t let that stop you from catching Europe’s biggest Smash Bros. tournament of the year go down at Emirates Stadium in London.

Currently boasting over 1,000 entrants, Albion 4 will host the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players from around the world in what could prove to be an exciting series of matchups that break away from the current dominance of Snake, Peach, and a host of Fire Emblem fighters.

Most notably among these is a potential showdown between Wario main William “Glutonny” Belaid and Duck Hunt main Tetsuya “Raito” Ishiguro. Seeded third and fourth respectively, they are both currently projected to meet in the loser’s semifinal in what could be one of the game’s most unusual meta-shattering face-offs to-date.

It’s also possible, though even more improbable, that both pros could meet in the winner’s final, although to do that they would need to unseat the one and two seeds, Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby and Jestise “MVD” Negron, in the winner’s semifinals. Pools play kicks off at 5:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, with top eight play set to begin on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. All of the matches will be streaming live on the DAT Team Twitch channel.

DreamHack Showdown will also be taking place in Europe this weekend. The all-women Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament out of Valencia, Spain will feature the best female teams around including CLG Red, Besiktas, and the reigning world champions, Team Dignitas. The $100,000 event begins on Friday at 4:00 a.m. with group matches, followed by eliminations matches starting at the same time on Saturday. The semifinals are scheduled to begin at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the grand finals at 12:00 p.m. All of the matches will be streamed live on the DreamHack Counter-Strike Twitch channel.

Meanwhile, in Germany, play has already gotten underway in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ESL One: Cologne 2019. European powerhouse Astralis is already dominating in Group B, while Team Liquid prepares to face NRG Esports in Group A on July 4 at 9:30 a.m. ET. The quarterfinals for the tournament will then get started on July 5 at the same time, with the grand finals taking place at 10:00 a.m. on July 7. You can find a full list of match times on Liquidpedia, with all of them streaming live on ESL’s Counter-Strike Twitch channel

Source: Kotaku.com

The Race To Have The Biggest Prize Pool In Esports History

When Epic Games announced $30 million in prize money for this July’s Fortnite World Cup, it seemed set to be the largest ever for an esports event. That increasingly looks like it might no longer end up being the case, thanks to Valve’s Dota 2.

The International 2019, the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year, will take place in August. Already, its prize pool looks set to break last year’s record, and possibly even outpace Fortnite’s. In addition to the $1.6 million invested by Valve, a quarter of all the money spent by players on the game’s battle pass also gets added to the tournament’s prize pool. Last year that amount capped out at $25,532,17. This year, more than a month out from the event, the prize pool has already broken $23 million.

While those impressive numbers are the result of players spending money on battle pass levels and associated treasures (that’s Dota 2’s version of loot boxes), it doesn’t mean that Valve plays a completely passive role. On June 26, Valve announced the Battle Level Bundle sale, offering $120 worth of treasures and battle pass levels for $30. Not surprisingly, the prize pool exploded following the announcement, growing by almost $4 million in the days since. It’s the largest prize pool in esports for so many years running, and the creator of Dota 2 and its fan base seem intent on retaining that title for their preferred esport.

As of today, 12 teams have locked in their spots for The International. Many still have work to do ahead of that event, including those competing in this weekend’s $1 million Epicenter Major in Moscow, Russia. There are several matches still to go in the tournament’s lower bracket, starting on Saturday at 5:00 a.m. ET with TNC Predator vs. PSG.LGD. On Sunday, Vici Gaming, currently ranked third in the world on points, will be awaiting whoever makes it through in the grand finals at 9:00 a.m. All of the matches will be streamed live on the Epicenter Twitch channel.

Back on this continent, some of the best fighting game players from around the world will be throwing down in Daytona Beach, Florida at CEO 2019. Featuring all of the big games, including Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the event is also famous for featuring tournaments in lots of other competitive series, including BlazBlue, Guilty Gear, and Dance Dance Revolution. You can find a full list of match times and streams on CEO Gaming’s website, with most of the action streaming on CEO’s Twitch channel.

Finally, Friday Fortnite has its third official tournament of the season going on right now. Featuring Ninja, Myth, and others, play began in the bracket at 4:00 p.m. ET with matches expected to continue well into the evening. You can watch the $20,000 tournament in its entirety on the UMG Events Twitch channel

Source: Kotaku.com

This Weekend’s Rocket League Tournament Will Set The Stage For The World Championship

With a $100,000 prize pool at stake, this weekend’s big Rocket League tournament in Dallas will give some of the game’s biggest teams one last chance to test one another before next month’s World Championship.

Now in its seventh season, the Rocket League Championship Series is divided across four continents. The winners of the biggest divisions, North America’s NRG Esports and Europe’s Renault Vitality, both battled through their groups in matches that started earlier today, and Vitality has already stumbled on their way to the grand finals in a shocking upset.

Mousesports, which finished last in the European division with a one and six record, managed to edge out Vitality 3-2 in the Group A semifinals, sending the European champions down into the loser’s bracket. Though Vitality eventually qualified for the single-elimination bracket later in the day, the early results have shown that even the game’s top teams aren’t unstoppable. For its part, NRG Esports cruised through its group matches, while Cloud 9 and FC Barcelona, the runners up of North America and Europe respectively, will be tested later this evening.

After a full day of matches on Saturday, the play-off stage will get underway on Sunday starting at 12:00 p.m. ET. You can watch all of the matches live on DreamHack’s Twitch channel.

DreamHack Dallas will be home to a number of other big tournaments this weekend, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Classic Halo, and a number of fighting games like Mortal Kombat 11 and Smash Bros. Ultimate. You can find stream listings and match times for all of them over on DreamHack’s website

Source: Kotaku.com

The Latest Test For Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Captain Olimar

Are the glory days of Captain Olimar the proud, first of his name, numbered? Or are they just beginning? We’ll have a better idea after this weekend’s big Smash tournament.

The Pikmin protagonist has some very powerful attacks while also being skilled at zoning out the competition, making him a frustrating character to face at times. At 2GG: Prime Saga last month, Shuto “Shuton” Moriya, an Olimar main from Japan, made a decisive trip up through the lower bracket and obliterated his opponent, Zackray, in a two set series, dropping only one match out of seven.

A week later at Pound 2019, Olimar main Robert “Myran” Herrin narrowly lost the grand finals to Elliot Bastien “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce, the latter of whom has recently being playing as Metal Gear’s Snake. Other competitors, especially those who had fallen to Olimar during the tournament, were ecstatic over the astronaut’s temporary demise. Then, at the $28,000 Thunder Smash tournament earlier this month, Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby made his own amazing run as Olimar through the lower bracket to take the grand finals by an overwhelming margin.

Now Dabuz, Myran, and most of the other top players from the game will face one another at Get On My Level 2019 in Canada. The event, which also features Melee, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and other fighting games, will be the latest test of whether Olimar is a true, top-tier contender, or a more niche fighter whose reign was only temporary. It’s been nice to have someone else to watch out for besides Peach and Daisy. It’ll be even nicer if a new face from Ultimate’s staggering roster proves to be an enduring threat.

GOML 2019 starts at 11:00 a.m. ET on Saturday with the top eight scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. You can catch all the action streaming on Event Matchup’s Twitch channel.

Elsewhere, League of Legends will see its 2019 Mid-Season Invitational draw to a close this weekend with an exciting showdown between North America’s Team Liquid and the winner of SK TElecom T1 and G2 Esports. The grand finals will take place on Sunday at 3:00 a.m. ET. The series will stream on Riot’s Twitch channel.

Finally, Dota 2’s North America qualifiers for Epicenter 2019 will conclude this weekend as well. Matches will resume on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET in the lower bracket with the grand finals scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Everything will be streamed on Epicenter Twitch.

Source: Kotaku.com

Call of Duty Esports Is Getting Ready To Change Again

Photo: Call of Duty World League (Twitter)

The Call of Duty World League has only been around since 2016, but it’s already making an overhaul that could spell the end of its current format, which mixes weekly matches that have their own cash prizes with bigger bimonthly tournaments. Activision is planning for its blockbuster shooter series to follow in the wake of Blizzard’s Overwatch by channelling regional rivalries to help fuel its growth. This weekend the game’s top teams battle it out in London as the scene around it threatens to evolve once more.

During its earnings call yesterday, Activision announced it was partnering with organizations in five different cities—Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris, and Toronto—to create a city-based professional league around Call of Duty. Activision had previously announced its intention to make Call of Duty esports more like the Overwatch League, so it’s not surprising that the first five teams in the new league will be based in places that already have Overwatch teams.

But it is an interesting gambit overall. A new Call of Duty game has come out every year since 2005. It wasn’t until 2008 when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare released that the series really began to take off. That game was featured in the 2008 Major League Gaming National Championships in Las Vegas, with its sequels being played in later years, becoming a staple of the event and eventually ousting Halo as the premier competitive console shooter.

In 2016, Activision decided to take things in-house, organizing its own league called the Call of Duty World League. There were weekly matches and a world championship, but also random intermittent tournaments across various cities during the rest of the year. It was a sort of bridge between the old way of doing things in esports—haphazardly organized third-party events with cash prizes largely supported by commercial sponsors—and something more stable and professional, like traditional sports.

Now the game looks set to completely cut with its grassroots past and enter a new top-down era, where the main competitors are those able to afford spots in a league costing an estimated $25 million according to a report by ESPN.

There’s still CWL London though, one of the last big Call of Duty events leading up to the finals in July. Team Envy, whose parent organization Envy Gaming will be heading up Dallas’ Call of Duty team, will be competing there, as well as the game’s other top sides like Optic Gaming and Evil Geniuses. Matches started today and will continue on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. ET and go until 3:00 p.m. Then on Sunday the action gets underway earlier at 5:00 a.m. with the grand finals slated for 12:30 p.m. You can catch the entire event streaming live on the Call of Duty Twitch channel.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Overwatch League Goes To Texas This Weekend

I normally try to zero in on one particular esports event or theme around it each weekend for this post, but this time there is just too much god damn high-level, mouse-clicking, button-mashing, card-dropping, play-calling competitive gaming action going on not to run through all of it.

First up we have the Overwatch League. Week four of stage two of year two of OWL might seem just like any other, but it’s not. The teams are traveling this weekend to Texas for a LAN event hosted by the Dallas Fuel. It’s meant to be a precursor for things to come, when each OWL team is based in its own arena, rather than Blizzard’s facilities in California. In the future, teams will get to spend thousands to play each other jetlagged while the home crowd berrates them with regional variants on beloved internet memes.

This weekend’s Texas-based OWL matches will be on Saturday and Sunday, with Paris Eternal vs. London Spitfire at 12:00 p.m. ET tomorrow and Hangzhou vs. Paris Eternal on Sunday. All matches will be streamed on the OWL Twitch channel.

Heathstone’s biggest competitive event of the year is also going on. With a $1,000,000 prize pool, 16 of the best players around will compete in the HCT World Championship in Taipei, Taiwan. Day three of the group stage begins tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET and runs through the morning, with the play-off stage running from 10:00 p.m. Saturday night until 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning. All of it will be streamed on Blizzard’s Hearthstone Twitch channel.

The Madden NFL 19 Bowl is also this weekend. It’s the biggest Madden tournament of the year, with 16 of the game’s best players vying for a $200,000 pot. That includes players like 18-year old Pavan “Pavan” Lakhat, the youngest winner of a Madden Championship, Michael “Skimbo” Skimbo, who has three titles from three different years to his name, and Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen, the defending champion.

Those play-offs run today until 8:00 p.m. ET and then resume on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The finals will get underway at 7:00 p.m. that day and will be streamed on the Madden NFL Twitch channel as well as ESPN2.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Pokémon Europe International Championships just started in Germany. Feeding into the World Championships, which are set to take place in Washington, DC this August, the European finals will see the continent’s best Ultra Sun/Moon, Pokkén, and Pokémon Trading Card Game players face off across both Saturday and Sunday beginning at 3:00 a.m. ET each day. The tournaments will be streamed on the Pokémon, Pokkén, and TCG Twitch channels respectively.

And finally, the Gears of War Pro Circuit goes to New England this weekend for the Boston Open. The $300,000 event features pool play for established teams and a sprawling bracket for newcomers to test their mettle and try to earn a spot in the elimination stage.

OpTic Gaming’s Gears team will be the one to beat; they’re looking to pick up their 13th trophy. Competitive Gears hasn’t been around for that long—the Pro Circuit began in 2016—yet Optic has managed to win almost every major tournament during that time. Play in the open bracket resumes Saturday at 10:00 a.m. ET and again at the same time on Sunday. It will stream live on the Gears of War Twitch channel.

Source: Kotaku.com