I normally try to zero in on one particular esports event or theme around it each weekend for this post, but this time there is just too much god damn high-level, mouse-clicking, button-mashing, card-dropping, play-calling competitive gaming action going on not to run through all of it.
First up we have the Overwatch League. Week four of stage two of year two of OWL might seem just like any other, but it isn’t.
The teams are travelling this weekend to Texas for a LAN event hosted by the Dallas Fuel. It’s meant to be a precursor for things to come, when each OWL team is based in its own arena, rather than Blizzard’s facilities in California. In the future, teams will get to spend thousands to play each other jetlagged while the home crowd berates them with regional variants on beloved internet memes.
This weekend’s Texas-based OWL matches will be on Sunday and Monday, with Paris Eternal vs. London Spitfire at 2:00AM AEST tomorrow and Hangzhou vs. Paris Eternal on Monday. All matches will be streamed on the OWL Twitch channel.
Heathstone’s biggest competitive event of the year is also going on. With a $US1 million ($1.4 million) prize pool, 16 of the best players around will compete in the HCT World Championship in Taipei, Taiwan.
Day three of the group stage begins today at 12:00PM AEST and runs through the evening, with the play-off stage running from 12:00PM AEST Sunday until 12:00AM Monday morning. All of it will be streamed on Blizzard’s Hearthstone Twitch channel.
The Madden NFL 19 Bowl is also this weekend. It’s the biggest Madden tournament of the year, with 16 of the game’s best players vying for a $US200,000 ($284,693) pot.
That includes players such as 18-year old Pavan “Pavan” Lakhat, the youngest winner of a Madden Championship; Michael “Skimbo” Skimbo, who has three titles from three different years to his name; and Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen, the defending champion.
Those play-offs run today until 10:00AM AEST and then resume on Sunday at 3:00AM AEST. The finals will get underway at 9:00AM AEST that day and will be streamed on the Madden NFL Twitch channel.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Pokémon Europe International Championships just started in Germany.
Feeding into the World Championships, which are set to take place in Washington, DC this August, the European finals will see the continent’s best Ultra Sun/Moon, Pokkén and Pokémon Trading Card Game players face off across both Saturday and Sunday beginning at 5:00PM AEST each day.
And finally, the Gears of War Pro Circuit goes to New England this weekend for the Boston Open. The $US300,000 ($427,039) event features pool play for established teams and a sprawling bracket for newcomers to test their mettle and try to earn a spot in the elimination stage.
OpTic Gaming’s Gears team will be the one to beat; they’re looking to pick up their 13th trophy. Competitive Gears hasn’t been around for that long — the Pro Circuit began in 2016 — yet Optic has managed to win almost every major tournament during that time.
Play in the open bracket resumes Sunday at 12:00AM AEST and again at the same time on Monday. It will stream live on the Gears of War Twitch channel.