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, Call of Duty crowns a world champion, Rainbow Six: Siege travels to Paris, and The International gives everyone the appetizer before next week's main course.
2018 Call of Duty World League Championship
Game: Call of Duty: WWII
When: August 17-19
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/CallofDuty
The Call of Duty series is about to head into Black Ops 4, which means it's time to put Call of Duty: WWII to bed in the esports world. Only one team will walk away with the bulk of this year's $1.5 million prize pool, as the Call of Duty World League Championship unfolds from Columbus, OH and caps off the biggest money year in the series' history.
The group stages have come and gone with 16 teams already being sent home. The big story from the group stages is the continued unraveling of OpTic Gaming, once the powerhouse to beat in Call of Duty esports. The former big dogs in Call of Duty were eliminated by Evil Geniuses on Thursday and it was fairly one-sided. While this is months after their storied roster was broken up, it's still strange to see OpTic bow out in the group stages with a whimper.
So who's left? Rise Nation and Team Kaliber both entered as the favorites to win, each having claimed three event victories this season. That sets up a Winners Bracket Round of 16 match between...
...Rise Nation and Team Kaliber!
(Man, I've gotten some serious mileage out of this gif lately.)
Whichever of those teams survives will have a long road to the championship, as Red Reserve (last seen coming agonizingly close with a runner-up finish at CWL Anaheim), FaZe Clan, and Luminosity Gaming all come in with their own share of momentum. Only one team will be named the Call of Duty World League champions and the action will all unfold this weekend.
Six Major Paris
Game: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
When: August 17-19
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/Rainbow6
Rainbow Six: Siege is heavily underrated and criminally overlooked in the esports world. The Six Invitational was among the most thrilling events of the year, featuring an amazing reverse sweep and a re-coronation of one of the game's best teams in the form of Penta Sports.
And if you're a casual follower of the Rainbow 6 esports scene, you may be wondering where that Penta Sports squad is. The answer is that the full roster has been acquired by G2 Esports, a move that went down just a week ago. They may be wearing new jerseys, but they're no less fearsome, as the newly-christened G2 Esports easily took care of business in the group stages. They're undoubtedly the team to beat, though Six Invitational runner-up Evil Geniuses could potentially be waiting for them in the Grand Finals. And if they were to meet again, EG would relish the chance to avenge the Six Invitational's reverse sweep.
Also, for the average Rainbow Six player, be on the lookout for announcements regarding the upcoming Operation Grim Sky. Shacknews will be around to report on anything that pops up from Paris. You can also check out Another Mindset, the documentary that follows eight of the Rainbow 6 esports community's biggest names. For more information on that, you're welcome to revisit David Craddock's E3 interview below.
The International 8 - Group Stages
Game: Dota 2
When: August 17-18
Where to watch: Twitch.tv/Dota2TI
It's almost time. The International 8, bringing together the top teams in Dota 2 and the biggest prize pool in all of esports, is set to begin its Main Event on Monday.
But to get an idea of who will be competing, there's the matter of getting the group stages out of the way. The game's top teams will compete throughout the weekend in a round robin format, determining who moves on. Followers of the Dota 2 North American scene will want to tune in on Friday at 7PM PT, as Evil Geniuses takes on defending champions Team Liquid. As for the other teams competing, it's hard to keep track of who's who in the Dota 2 world. Fortunately, Jake "SirActionSlack" Kanner has capably filled in any blanks.
You can't start the party without setting the table, so be sure to follow the games this weekend and get ready to watch the Main Event, which kicks off this Monday at 10AM PT.
What will you be watching this weekend? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, This Weekend in Esports: What to Watch from August 17-19
Ah yes, the International. That one week a year where I watch half of a game, get super nostalgic about Dora, jump back in for 1-2 matches then realize I hate it.