Welcome to This Weekend in Esports, a brief overview of what to watch in the world of competitive gaming for the coming weekend.
While major esports League of Legends and Overwatch continue their regular seasons, this is the weekend of majors. And there are three of them this weekend! Let's begin with...
The Bucharest Major
Game: Dota 2
When: March 9-12, 12:45AM PT
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/PGL_Dota2
Now that the smoke has cleared from Katowice, Valve's Dota Pro Circuit is moving on to Bucharest. There's a lot on the line in the Bucharest Major, including 1,500 DPC points and a $1 million prize pool.
ESL One Katowice featured some massive upsets, arguably none bigger than Team Secret falling to Fnatic in Group B. Team Secret then fell to Team Liquid again in the playoff stage, dropping the International rematch. Team Secret will look to rebound this weekend.
Another team looking to rebound is Team Liquid. The defending International champions looked pretty good heading into the final round at Katowice, but hit a roadblock in the form of Virtus.pro. Their struggles continued in the early stages of Bucharest, already going down to Evil Geniuses.
As for the ESL One Katowice champions, Virtus.Pro has already suffered a big loss to OpTic Gaming on the first day of competition, but they still boast some of the best support players in the world. They'll still be a tough out and will be out to prove that Katowice was no fluke.
Halo WC 2018 - Sydney
Game: Halo 5: Guardians
When: March 9-11, 3PM PT
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/Halo
The Halo World Championship is heading down to Sydney to continue the 2018 season. The North American fanbase is familiar with the best players from the American regions, but now it's time to take a look at the best teams from down under.
The team to watch will be Mindfreak. Largely known for their Call of Duty and Rainbow Six siege teams, Mindfreak has been on a tear in online circles. They didn't have a great showing at the Orlando Open against North America's best, but the team did show some flashes of brilliance. The top two teams will punch their ticket to the HaloWC 2018 Finals in Seattle on the weekend of April 13, but there's another $5,000 on the line in this tournament and that's no small amount of change.
Game: Call of Duty: WWII
When: March 9-11
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/CallofDuty
Call of Duty is likewise holding its latest major event and it will take place in Atlanta, GA. Over 160 teams from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region have made their way to the south to compete for a $200,000 prize pool.
CWL fans are still waiting to see when OpTic Gaming will hit its winning stride again. The defending CWL champions haven't quite made the full leap to the winner's circle just yet, having placed 3rd in Dallas and completely out of the top eight in New Orleans. They'll look to get back into form, but their road out of Pool C won't be easy. They'll have to get past CWL stalwarts like FaZe Clan and eUnited.
Meanwhile, Pool A has been turned upside-down with the sudden departure of Episilon eSports. They'll be replaced by the Lightning Pandas, who will look to make the most of this opportunity. But they'll have to get past a hungry Echo Fox squad and a Splyce team that's considered one of the best in Europe.
So what will you be watching this weekend? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.