Welcome to This Weekend in Esports, a brief overview of what to watch in the world of competitive gaming for the coming weekend.
This weekend, the best Rainbow Six Siege teams get together, Overwatch holds its own Fiesta Bowl, and Halo ventures to Orlando.
The Six Invitational
Game: Rainbow Six Siege
When: February 16-18, 7AM PT
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/Rainbow6
After previously outlining the Rainbow Six Pro League's plans through 2020, Ubisoft welcomes fans to the first Rainbow Six Siege Major of 2018.
With the group stages now concluded, only eight teams remain. The most intriguing match of the day is at the top of the quarter-final bracket, with perennial powerhouse Penta Sports facing off against defending Season 3 champions ENCE eSports. The matchup gets a little more intriguing with Ville "Sha77e" Palola jumping from ENCE to Penta shortly following the Season 3 Finals.
Meanwhile, the Black Dragons are looking to avenge a heartbreaking loss in those Season 3 Finals after blowing a substantial Grand Finals lead to ENCE. After a brief scare against YeaH! Gaming, the Black Dragons had little trouble dispatching Supremacy to advance to the quarters. If they can beat Australian squad Mindfreak, they'll meet the winner of Penta/ENCE, in what's sure to be one of the most exciting matches of the weeekend.
If that's not enough, Ubisoft will have more details on Operation Chimera and Rainbow Six Siege's two newest characters: Lion and Finka. Look for info to debut during the broadcast, but if you miss it, we'll have all of the information here at Shacknews.
Overwatch Fiesta Bowl Collegiate Championship
When: February 17, 2PM
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/PlayOverwatch
The Overwatch League is taking a week off following a thrilling Stage 1 Playoff. But there's still competitive Overwatch out there, with the collegiate circuit about to conclude its season in grand fashion.
Blizzard announced its collaboration with the Fiesta Bowl near the end of 2017 and that championship event has arrived. It's down to the final four teams and I get the sense that California may have this game nailed down. UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and defending champions UC Berkeley all sit with the final four teams, with the sole non-California squad hailing out of the University of Toronto. Those who have followed the collegiate team should get a sense of familiarity out of this final field, as the last Overwatch Collegiate Championship saw UC Berkeley knock off Toronto in a decisive 3-0 series. Toronto hopes to avenge this loss and be the last team standing out of a full field of 300 schools, all of whom battled it out over the course of the fall 2017 semester.
Halo World Championship 2018 - Orlando Open
The 2018 Halo World Championship season has begun and that means that Microsoft and 343 have opened the doors to over a dozen teams to compete in this year's Orlando Open. This includes several open bracket slots that will help create four groups of four teams.
But if we're talking about Halo Esports, the conversation should probably start and end with OpTic Gaming. They are the two-time defending champions and were last seen dominating the HCS Fall 2017 Finals, crushing Team Liquid in the Grand Finals. They return with their roster fully intact and that's bad news for the rest of the field, which has been in flux over the course of the offseason.
The Orlando Open will offer a good idea of what the Halo esports field looks like. There's $50,000 on the line, but more than that, it's the first stop on the road to the Halo World Championship 2018 Finals in April, where the top teams in the world will compete for $1 million.
That's it for this weekend, but is there anything we missed? Let us know what you'll be watching this weekend. Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.