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This Weekend in Esports: What to Watch from March 30-April 1

The video game landscape is covered in competitive gaming. Shacknews would like to offer an overview of what to watch for this coming weekend. This weekend, the NA LCS Spring Playoffs continue and Hearthstone goes Wild!

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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, the fighting game world heads to Northern California, while Hearthstone takes a break from Standard play to remember all the blasts from the past.

Norcal Regionals 2018

Game: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7
When: March 31-April 1
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/CapcomFighters, Twitch.tv/TeamSp00ky

The Capcom Pro Tour and Tekken World Tour hit their next stops this weekend, as the fighting game world heads to the Norcal Regionals. The west coast always brings its best for this event, welcoming in the top players in the world every year to present the best in fighting games.

Street Fighter's best will be in attendance and that includes Final Round 2018 winner Seonwoo "Infiltration" Lee, who looks to be back to where he was in 2016. The pools will be highly competitive, including a pool that includes Hyungsuk "Verloren" Kong, Naoki "moke" Nakayama, and Echo Fox's Victor "Punk" Woodley. Wait, did I say Echo Fox's Punk? That's right! Echo Fox scooped up Woodley earlier this week, as the rich get richer. Punk now joins an Echo Fox roster that includes Justin Wong, Yusuke Momochi, Dominique "SonicFox" McLean, and the man who beat him in the Evo Grand Finals, Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi.

Meanwhile, Tekken's top players will converge at the Norcal Regionals, as well. But the big difference from Final Round is that defending champion Qudans is now in the house and ready to jump into the circuit proper. With no Bae "Knee" Jae Min and no Jinwoo "Saint" Choi present, this would be an ideal time for Hyunjin "JDCR" Kim to try and pull ahead of the pack in the early goings. But Qudans will look to prove that he's the world champion for a reason, while the rest of the Norcal Regionals field will also look to make some noise in the Tekken World Tour standings.


League of Legends - Spring Playoff Semifinals

Game: League of Legends
When: March 31-April 1
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/RiotGames

Well, there it is! The NA LCS viewers we warned not to sleep on Clutch Gaming, but they did. And they shocked the NA LCS world last week when they knocked off Team SoloMid. It's going to take a lot for lightning to strike twice against a strong 100 Thieves squad. There's every possibility that Clutch goes in with a massive hangover, but if they continue to win their team fights, they can hang with that 100 Thieves team. This matchup still very much favors 100 Thieves, but the public is warned once again to underestimate Clutch Gaming at their own peril.

Meanwhile, Team Liquid cruised to the semifinals, knocking out Cloud9 in three games. But with Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon and Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett continuing to play lights out, this is still Echo Fox's series to lose. There are few in the world better than Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, but he'll have to play especially tough to lead Team Liquid past their biggest challenge to date.


Hearthstone Wild Open Finals

Game: Hearthstone
When: March 31
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/PlayHearthstone

Forget what you know about the Hearthstone Standard format and its place in the esports space. We're in Wild now! The Hearthstone Wild Open is down to eight players, two from each region. One champion will be crowned this weekend and get to walk away with $25,000.

This isn't like the usual Standard format Hearthstone tournament with only a handful of viable decks. There are a multitude of all of Hearthstone's greatest hits on display here, including Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Pirate Warrior (yes, even with the nerfed Patches), and even a Cubelock. Because even in a Wild tournament, there's no escaping the Cubelock.

Sit back, check out the decks, and enjoy Hearthstone as it used to be, because Wild is a totally different animal. The Wild Open wraps up on Saturday.


So what will you be watching this weekend? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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