Welcome to This Weekend in Esports, a brief overview of what to watch in the world of competitive gaming for the coming weekend.
For this weekend, it's time for the fighting games to take over.
Final Round 2018
This is a massive weekend for the fighting game community, because not one, but two, championship tours kick off this weekend. The first one is the Capcom Pro Tour for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. All the practice time for the game's best players is at an end. That includes defending Capcom Cup champion Saul "MenaRD" Leonardo Mena Segundo, runner-up Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi, the returning former Capcom Cup champion Du "NuckleDu" Dang, last year's points leader Victor "Punk" Woodley, wild card Seonwoo "Infiltration" Lee, and Street Fighter legend Daigo "The Beast" Umehara, just to name a few. Beyond the player field and all of their storylines, the Street Fighter meta has changed tremendously with the switch to Arcade Edition. New V-Trigger IIs are in place, along with a rebalanced character roster. Which player and which character will be the one to watch. Shacknews will be following this tournament to find the answers.
If that's not enough, the Tekken World Tour is also kicking off its season at Final Round. One top player who will not be present is defending world champion Son "Qudans" Byung-moon. But the rest of the Tekken's top players will be there, including the killer Echo Fox duo of Jinwoo "Saint" Choi and Hyunjin "JDCR" Kim. Tekken 7 grew into must-see status over the course of 2017 and this year will be no different and all of it is set to begin this weekend.
Elsewhere, Dragon Ball FighterZ continues its growth as a competitive fighting game, having siphoned a lot of the competitive Marvel player base to take over as the team fighter of choice. The player to watch will be Echo Fox player and FGC jack of all trades Dominique "SonicFox" McLean, who won big at a packed Winter Brawl 12 event. The road to the finals will be no easier for this this weekend, as he competes with more of the FGC's best, including even more Street Fighter pros like Leah "gllty" Hayes and Gustavo "801 Strider" Romero crossing over into the anime fighter realm. Winter Brawl 12 runner-up and Marvel legend Christopher "ChrisG" Gonzalez will also be present and will likely find his way to the top 8 again. Let's see if he and SonicFox cross paths again and see if ChrisG is able to adjust at all from last time.
LCS - Week 9
Game: League of Legends
When: March 16-18
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/RiotGames
The Spring Split for League of Legends is coming to a close this weekend. Three teams have already packed it in, eliminated from playoff contention. That leaves seven teams still playing musical chairs, with only six seats available.
Cloud9 and Echo Fox have certainly entrenched themselves in the playoff picture with identical 11-5 records. So are 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming at 10-6. It's likely that Team Liquid and Team SoloMid, both at 9-7 will take the other two spots, but the intriguing storyline of the weekend is that Counter Logic Gaming isn't completely out of it just yet. After a brutally rough start, CLG is one of the hottest teams in the NA LCS. They're riding a four game winning streak, which will likely extend to five if they can beat bottom-rung OpTic Gaming. The Sunday match with Team SoloMid will be a must-win, but even if CLG closes the season on an incredible six game run, they'll still need help to get in. Keep an eye on the Golden Guardians vs. TSM on Saturday and OpTic vs. Team Liquid on Sunday, because there's a chance that one of those teams bringing up the rear could be a major spoiler.
So what will you be watching this weekend? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.