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, there is a lot going down. We'll keep it to the more noteworthy items, but there is something for everyone this weekend. Let's start with....
The 2018 Mid-Season Invitational - Knockout Stage
Game: League of Legends
When: May 18-20
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/RiotGames
This year's Mid-Season Invitational is down to its final four teams. Those looking for North America to represent, this is not the MSI for you, because those group stages were a bloodbath. Team Liquid got off to an 0-4 start and never recovered, finishing with a 4-7 record and with only victories against Royal Never Give Up and Flash Wolves to really hang their hats on.
RNG heads into this weekend with a lot of momentum, carrying an 8-3 record in the group stages. By the time this feature goes live, their match with Fnatic will have already concluded. Fnatic goes in as the sole EU LCS representative and rebounded from a fairly bad start to finish the group stages with a 5-6 record and just eke their way in to the Knockout round.
The Flash Wolves vs. Kingzone DragonX match could be the best matchup of the weekend, with Flash Wolves showing a lot of fire in the group stages. Flash Wolves have been a sentimental favorite for a while and the five-time LMS champions look poised to reach the next level here. But despite a few missteps in the group stages, Kingzone DragonX is the tournament favorite for a reason and the former Longzhu Gaming will be ready to go this weekend.
Rainbow Six Pro League Season 7 Finals
Game: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
When: May 19-20
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/Rainbow6
Rainbow Six Siege is ready to crown its Season 7 champions, as the world's best teams converge in Atlantic City this weekend. Penta Sports is arguably the big favorite, coming off their big Six Invitational victory. Their road to the championship won't be easy, as they face off against Evil Geniuses, who have been very game at previous tournaments, last losing to Rogue at the North American finals. Speaking of Rogue, they're still reflecting on their Six Invitational loss against Penta Sports and have been on fire, as of late. They enter this weekend as the top-seeded team and will look to finish the job this time, first facing off against Japanese squad Nora-Rengo.
Rainbow Six Siege players as a whole will want to tune in to the Season 7 Finals this weekend, because there's much more to learn about Operation Para Bellum, the next content drop for the game's ongoing Year 3 DLC. Look for a full reveal during the broadcast this Saturday and Sunday.
MDL Changsha Major
Game: Dota 2
When: May 18-19
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/BeyondtheSummit
The latest Dota 2 major is a bit of an interesting animal, because a handful of North America's top teams are not present, including the defending International champions Team Liquid. On top of that Team Virtus.Pro recently stepped aside from the competition, making room for Mineski to take their place.
That opens the door for some of the game's best international teams to rack up their share of the $1 million prize pool. Vici Gaming has already punched its ticket into the Upper Bracket finals, looking to bounce back from some subpar performances at the Bucharest Major and the Dota 2 Asia Championships. They face off against a VGJ.Storm team that has quietly been doing very well since returning with a new-look roster back in February. Both of these teams dominated Group B and are now on a collision course.
With The International drawing closer, this is one of the last Dota 2 majors before the world's best make their trip to Seattle. Those looking for a preview of what to expect from the game's best international talent will want to give this tournament a look.
That's scratching the surface. There's also the start of Stage 4 of the Overwatch League, the Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Playoffs and the Collegiate Championship Finals, Stunfest for Street Fighter V, Get on My Level for Smash Bros., and much more. So what will you be watching this weekend? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.