Dota 2

Dota 2 continues to headline the world of esports this week as The Summit 7 saw Virtus.pro take the title, while on the other side of the Pacific in Shenzhen, China, Newbee won Galaxy Battles.The drama doesn’t stop there, as there’s plenty of action from the Dota 2 International 7 Open Qualifiers to the League of Legends LCS. We even have the CS:GO Esports Championship Finals to look forward to. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

League of Legends: NA LCS

Immortals continued to dominate the competition in week three and the introduction of Xmithie has only heightened their performance on the Rift. Team Liquid didn’t stand a chance as they were quickly crushed in a 2-0 sweep, which gave Immortals the confidence to reverse sweep Cloud9. Immortals aim to continue their dominance during their week four matches against Counter Logic Gaming and Team Dignitas. With their solid teamwork and excellent macro play, Immortals are ready for the challenges that lay ahead, but we shall have to see whether they can claim the top spot. The full schedule and stream can found by heading over to lolesports.com.

League of Legends: EU LCS

Misfits shed its underdog status last weekend when they managed to secure a 2-1 victory against G2 Esports in their week three series. Jungler Nubar "Maxlore" Sarafian got Misfits ahead as Lee Sin, giving first blood over to mid laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage's Orianna during the first three minutes. Maxlore continued to ramp up the pressure throughout the first game and Misfits finished game one off with a powerful teamfight from PowerOfEvil. Misfits eventually took the series in game three thanks to another dominant showing from Maxlore’s Lee Sin. Misfits now find themselves at the top of the Group A standings and they will be aiming to continue this success when they face Team Vitality today. The full schedule and stream can found by heading over to lolesports.com.

Dota 2: International 7 Open Qualifiers

The Dota 2 International open qualifiers started yesterday and for many professional teams these qualifiers are the most important step towards a successful season. The winners of each open qualifier will then advance to the main qualifier, which will run from the 26th to 30th of June in a two stage format. Competition is expected to be extremely fierce and 60 teams (10 from each region) will eventually make it to the gruelling group stage. The winning team will secure their share of the massive $1,600,000 prize pool and claim international glory. The full schedule and stream for each region can be found by heading over to dotabuff.com

CS:GO: Esports Championship Finals

The esports championship series season three finals are taking place at Wembley Arena today, where eight teams from around the globe will duke it out for the $660,000 prize pool and the champions' title. The event will see a double-elimination group stage, followed by single-elimination, best-of-three play-offs stage. The group stage matches will be best-of-one match-ups, whilst elimination and decider matches will be best-of-three. FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming are kicking off the group stage today at 04:15 PDT / 13:15 CEST, while the elimination and deciders start tomorrow at 03:15 PDT / 12:15 CEST. The tournament will be streamed live on www.youtube.com/faceit.

Overwatch: Apex Season 3

Overwatch Apex Season three continues to heat up as the qualified teams from each group continue to battle it out against one another. The finals are fast approaching and every team will be trying to claim the $177,055 prize pool. Today’s match will see X6-Gaming take on Team EnVyUs at 03:00 PDT / 12:00 CEST, while the Group B match between LW Blue and Lunatic Hai starts at 04:30 PDT / 13:30 CEST. Make sure to check out the full stream over on Twitch.

Hearthstone: Global Games

The Hearthstone Global Games tournament enters week 11 of play today and every team has been fighting hard to claim the top spot in the group stage. Half the teams from the original 48 have now been knocked out and the groups have been reseeded ready for the round robin stage. Group C’s round five match concluded yesterday for US viewers, but those of you in Europe can catch all the action today at 03:00 CEST. It’s a long road ahead for the pros and every team will be fighting hard to secure the $300,000 prize pool in phase two of the tournament. The full schedule and stream for week four can be found here.

Hearthstone: SeatStory Cup VII

Hearthstone’s seatstory cup begins today and 32 of the best Hearthstone players will gather at Krefeld, Germany to participate in the tournament. Hearthstone pros Frodan, Impact, Maverick and RDU will be present at this year’s tournament, but only the strongest will have a chance to claim the $20,000 prize pool and the seatstory cup. Today’s match will see Ostkaka and Reckful kick off the Group E bracket at 04:05 PDT/ 13:05 CEST, followed by RDU vs. Pavel at 05:20 PDT / 14:20 CEST. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to seatstorycup.com.

Heroes of the Storm: Global Championships Phase 2

Phase two of the HGC is well underway and teams from around the world will continue to battle it out for the $425,000 USD prize pool. Fnatic will be aiming to continue their Mid-Season Brawl success and claim a top spot in phase two of the tournament. Every team will have their eyes firmly set on the next Western Clash in August, but only those who can remain focused and remain strong under the pressure will have a chance at taking the title. Make sure you head over to heroesofthestorm.com to find the schedule and stream for all the matches being played this weekend.

Street Fighter V: The Fight 2017

The next stop in the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour season takes us to Bogotá, Colombia for The Fight 2017. Top players like Brazil's Brolynho and Dominican Republic's MenaRD will be in attendance as well as other top regional players. Flash from the USA will also be competing, so be sure to tune in to the live stream over on Twitch to watch all the combo chaos. The matches start tomorrow at 12:00 PDT / 21:00 CEST and continue throughout the day.

Dota 2

Photo credit: Valve

Time passes quickly in a packed esports season. It’s already been nearly two months since the Kiev Major, and if you blinked, you likely missed several important tournaments on the road to The International 2017. Now, the TI7 invites have been announced, with six teams grabbing the the honors: OG, Virtus.Pro, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Newbee and Invictus Gaming. 

Here’s a recap of what’s taken place so far—and what’s to come before the final fight for the Aegis this summer.

Manila Masters  

Dates: May 25-28Prize Pool: $250,000 USDTop Prize: Evil Geniuses ($125,000 USD)

A follow-up to the wildly successful 2016 event ESL One Manila, the esports event giant teamed up with local production company Mineski Production Team to bring Dota 2 back to the capital of the Philippines again. Held once again at the Mall Of Asia’s arena, the tournament boasted a $250 thousand prize pool, with $125 thousand going to the top team. 

Teams present were decidedly some of the top in the world, with OG, Newbee, and EG among the ranks. North American team NP had a surprisingly strong presence as well, taking a respectable third. Ultimately, though, EG and Newbee took the respective first and second place spots at the tournament before going their own ways to new, separate events.

ZOTAC

Photo credit: Valve

Dates: May 30-June 3Prize Pool: $100,000 USDTop Prize: Newbee ($50,000 USD)

The Taiwanese tournament felt small in scale and presence compared to other events, but make no mistake: the event had a $100k prize pool and strong teams including Newbee and NP. Still, at first glance, the absence of major tier one teams due to the upcoming Epicenter in Moscow can make it feel much less grand in the larger scheme of things. If it counts for anything, NP took a one-year ban from Dreamleague in order to be present. 

The aforementioned teams faced off in the finals, and Newbee went home with the prize. The fact that NP came so close, though, could mean that North American competition may get heated as the season goes on. Teams such as the also-present Digital Chaos will have a lot to work towards this season.

Epicenter

Dates: June 4-11Prize Pool: $500,000 USDTop Prize: Team Liquid ($250,000 USD)

The Russian tournament was well-received after their debut in 2016, and now they’ve returned for another year. This time, though, they’ve ditched the double-elimination format for a riskier one: ten teams invited, four eliminated in group stages, and six proceed to single-elimination brackets with seeding based on group stage performance. If it sounds confusing, you’re certainly not alone, but it likely plays more fairly and meaningfully than Valve’s current all-in single-elimination format.  

Teams present were some of the top performers in Kiev, including OG, EG, Team Secret and iG. Basically, the competition shaped up to be tough. As one of the last premier tournaments before the TI7 invites, each team fought tooth-and-nail for not just the prize, but Valve’s attention as well. 

At the end, Team Liquid took a somewhat-surprising but well-deserved win, given their inconsistently strong performance the rest of the season. As the other finalist, Evil Geniuses certainly performed well, though, holding onto their reputation as the top North American team.

Photo credit: Valve

The Summit 7

Dates: June 14-19Prize Pool: $100,000 USDTop Prize: Virtus.Pro ($42,500 USD)

The darling biannual tournament of Dota 2, hosted by grassroots studio Beyond The Summit, returns for its seventh iteration. It’s held in the house owned by BTS and features quirks such as “couch casting” (which is exactly what it sounds like), goofy features and a family vibe. It sounds odd, but the tournament itself is extremely serious, as it shows off the top teams in the world. With a $100k prize pool, teams have reason to take it seriously. 

More importantly, it’s one of the two tournaments, along with Galaxy Battles, that sits safely before the estimated dates of the TI7 invites. Virtus.Pro had the opportunity to reaffirm their worth as the premier CIS team, as Team Secret had to for western Europe. In the end, VP took the crown with a massive range of unique heroes: 81 out of 85 picks were unique, and they got the invite.

Galaxy Battles

Dates: June 15-19Prize Pool: $150,000 USDTop Prize: Newbee ($69,000 USD) (nice)

Also having taken place this weekend was the first iteration of Galaxy Battles, a Chinese tournament given a blessing by the National Electronic Sports Open, a major Chinese circuit. While it’s not as renown as The Summit, it still has a respectable mix of teams that can make for an engaging event. 

It’s worth more in prize pool than The Summit, with $150k total, and again, like The Summit, it’s one of the last tournaments before invites may go out. This time, Newbee proved they were the top Chinese team in Dota, and they got the invite.

Photo credit: Valve

The International 7 Qualifiers

Dates: June 22-June 29th 

Here, then, is the checkpoint and a turning point in the midst of all the chaos. Already, the dates for the qualifiers themselves have been announced. Now, teams that aren’t directly invited to the major event will have to face off in order to cinch the last of the spots, whether through the open qualifiers or an invite to the regional qualifiers. 

From these qualifiers, though, it doesn’t end before the Seattle main event. A few more events between now and then can signal to fans who will perform well at The International, if the teams choose to play instead of train.

If your team wants to give a shot at the Aegis, open qualifier signups are open as of the time of writing until the start of the bracket check-in on June 22.

Mars Dota 2 League

Dates: July 5-9 

Held by the Chinese media company, the Mars Dota 2 League already has some of the top talent lined up, including OG, EG and the two arguably strongest Chinese teams right now, Newbee and iG. Originally to be held late April, the sudden announcement of the Kiev Major meant the event had to be rescheduled to its new time. That means, though, that fans can enjoy another event before TI7 kicks off. 

This event will likely set the stage for the “east versus west” narrative that takes place each TI. With the flip between China and European/American countries taking the Aegis, fans are eager to see if China can break the streak.

Photo credit: Valve

The Final Match 

Dates: July 7-9Prize Pool: $50,000 USDTop Prize: $21,250 USD

One of the biggest South American tournaments in recent years (if ever), The Final Match brings together the top local talent, including Kiev Major underdogs SG E-sports, plus international invites, the European team Alliance and Korea’s MVP HOT6ix. The region is usually pretty ignored for its perceived poor play, though after SG’s run in Kiev, many speculate it’s due to the high lag that team experience in cross-continental American gameplay. A LAN of this size should be entertaining and a great preview of what’s to come from the South American qualified team.

DreamLeague Season 7 LAN Finals 

Dates: July 21-22Prize Pool: $175,000 USDTop Prize: $80,000 USD 

DreamLeague is one of the longest-standing esports leagues out there, with Dota 2 held as a staple. This time, though, instead of its usual European setting, the event has been brought to America. While there are typically visa issues when it comes to American events, the event has offered TI7 training space for any well-known team planning to attend, meaning teams have a reason to obtain their visas early.

The Atlanta event already has some pretty big names lined up, including Team Secret and Epicenter winners Team Liquid. Rounding out the event are Vega Squadron and Planet Odd, each of whom won through the event’s online circuit.

Dota 2

Photo credit: Riot Games

It’s another busy weekend in the world of digital sports as tournaments continue to gear up for summer finals. There’s plenty of action from the League of Legends LCS to the CS:GO Clash for Cash. We even have the various events from this year’s DreamHack to look forward to. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

League of Legends: NA LCS

The NA LCS Summer season is well underway and Cloud9 bounced back from their poor first week to take down Phoenix1 in week two. Cloud9 dominated the early game and methodically fought their way to P1’s base taking the Nexus in just 29 minutes. However, Phoenix1 managed to secure an early gold lead in game two, but they never managed to convert this into objectives.  Eventually, Cloud9 was able to pull off a few strong engages and P1’s lead quickly crumbled as C9 took their final win. Meanwhile, Team SoloMid managed to take down their previously undefeated rival Counter Logic Gaming, bringing TSM into fifth place, with CLG claiming top spot. The full schedule and stream can found by heading over to lolesports.com.

League of Legends: EU LCS

G2 continued their dominant run in week two when they faced the underdogs of the EU LCS. NiP showed glimpses of individual player skill and brilliance, but it wasn’t enough to stop the reigning champions. In the first game, NiP managed to secure a lead in kills and gold, but they couldn’t maintain this momentum and after 30 minutes G2 began tightening the noose. It was clear that G2’s experience and teamplay was on another level and NiP eventually crumbled. The second game was all about Zven who secured 14 out of 20 total kills with his dominant Twitch plays. Meanwhile, Misfits will be aiming to build upon their week two victories when they take on G2 in today’s matchup. The full schedule and stream can found by heading over to lolesports.com.

Dota 2: Summit 7

The Beyond the Summit house has opened its doors for the seventh edition of the Dota Summit and every team will aiming to get their hands on the $100,000 prize pool. Virtus Pro secured a direct invite position to defend their Summit 6 title, but they fell to LGD Gaming in the semifinals. This defeat comes after their disappointing sixth finish position at EPICENTER, but the competition is far from over for the remaining teams. LGD aims to continue their dominant run in today winner’s final, with the match kicking off at 16:00 PDT / 01:00 CEST. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to beyondthesummit.tv.

Dota 2: Galaxy Battles

NEOTV’s Dota Galaxy Battles tournament kicked off yesterday and this weekend teams will battle it out in a gruelling double elimination bracket. The first round of the lower brackets will be an unforgiving best-of-one elimination series which will end with two teams being sent home. Meanwhile, the remaining matches in the bracket will be a best-of-three series that will determine the placements of the grand finals showdown. With a $150,000 prize pool up for grabs and national pride on the line anything could happen. Make sure you head over to www.galaxybattles.cn to check out the updated schedule and stream.  

CS:GO: Clash for Cash

CS:GO: Clash for Cash will be giving ELEAGUE Major finalist Virtus.pro the chance to get revenge after their runner up finish in January’s ELEAGUE Major Grand Final. The Grand Final saw Astralis outgun Virtus.pro with a late-game comeback that saw them take the title. However, Virtus.pro now has the perfect opportunity to beat their rivals and claim the $250,000 prize pool. If the grand final of the ELEAGUE Major was anything to go by, this rematch will likely be see some of the best CS:GO action to date. Matches will be broadcast at 19:00 PDT / 04:00 CEST on TBS, Twitch, YouTube and ELEAGUE Live Game Command.

CS:GO: DreamHack Summer 2017

DreamHack Summer begins this weekend and we will see eight teams battle it out in the group stage of the tournament. In Group A, SK Gaming will be looking to make amends for their disappointing finish at the Pro League finals, while Gambit will be hoping to continue their strong performance in group B. The teams will be fighting for their share of the $100,000 prize pool and the DreamHack title, so expect plenty of frenzied firefights. SK Gaming will face Team Singularity this Saturday at 04:00 PDT / 13:00 CEST, while mouz will clash with Immortals at 07:00 PDT / 16:00 CEST. The live stream can be found by heading over to Twitch.  

StarCraft II: 2017 WCS Jönköping

StarCraft’s 2017 WCS group stages are continuing this weekend and only the best players will advance to the grand finals on Monday. The first group stage saw 64 players enter and now only 32 remain as they advance to the second group stage. Matches begin tomorrow at 10:15 PDT / 19:15 CEST and continue on Sunday at 03:15 PDT / 12:15 CEST. There’s certainly a lot on the line and anything could happen at this stage of the tournament. The matches can be watched over on Twitch.

Overwatch: Apex Season 3

Overwatch Apex Season three continues to heat up as the qualified teams from each group continue to battle it out against one another. The finals are fast approaching and every team will be trying to claim the $177,055 prize pool. Today’s match will see X6-Gaming take on AF.Blue at 03:00 PDT / 12:00 CEST in a match that will decide which team will take the lead in Group A. Meanwhile, the Group B match between LW Blue and KD Panthera starts at 04:30 PDT / 13:30 CEST. Make sure to check out the full stream over on Twitch.

Hearthstone: Global Games

The Hearthstone Global Games tournament enters week ten of play today and every team has been fighting hard to claim the top spot in the group stage. Group G’s round five match concluded yesterday for US viewers, but those of you in Europe can catch all the action today at 03:00 CEST. Ukraine are off to the best start in Group H with 14 total wins  and only seven losses, however, it’s a long road ahead for the pros and every team will be fighting hard to secure the $300,000 prize pool. The full schedule and stream for week four can be found here.

Hearthstone: DreamHack Grand Prix

The Hearthstone Grand Prix takes place this weekend and will feature a major open Swiss tournament for everyone willing to compete. However, only the best 16 players will advance to the playoffs, where they will duke it out in the single-elimination bracket. With 200 competitors taking part, players will need to have their wits about them if they wish to take home the $25,000 prize pool. Meanwhile, special prizes and a $1,500 prize pool are at stake for players who don’t make it through the tense Swiss stages of the main tournament. The full weekend schedule and stream can be found here.

Heroes of the Storm: Mid-Season Brawl

Heroes of the Storm’s Mid-Season Brawl will see teams from around the world battle it out for the championship title and the $100,000 prize pool. Sweden will once again play host to the top 12 Heroes Global Championship teams, with a stage dedicated to the tournament. The Phoenix Bracket starts tomorrow and the team that advances to the Grand Finals from the upper bracket will be granted a one game advantage. EStar Gaming are currently the North American favourites after they took first place with only one two defeats. Meanwhile, MVP Black followed in similar footsteps after they dominated the European scene, securing nine wins and only one loss. Make sure you head over to heroesofthestorm.com to find the schedule and stream for all the matches being played this weekend.

Rocket League: DreamHack Championship

DreamHack will be hosting the Rocket League Championship tournament this weekend where players can take to the pitch and battle it out with the pros. Fans of Rocket League will get a chance to see who has what it takes to bring home the trophy and the $50,000 prize pool. All matches will be played in a standard 3v3 and players can expect to see notable appearances from Mockit eSports, Flipsid3 Tactics, Gale Force eSports and Rogue. The round one matches begin tomorrow at 09:15 PDT / 18:15 CEST and can be watched by heading over to Twitch.

Dota 2

Photo credit: Riot Games

It’s another jam-packed weekend in the world of digital sports as the summer tournaments continue to turn up the heat. There’s plenty of action from the League of Legends LCS to the Dota 2 EPICENTRE. We even have the StarCraft II WCS North America Qualifier to look forward to. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

League of Legends: NA LCS

The NA LCS Summer season kicked off last week with a highly anticipated showdown between Cloud9 and Counter Logic Gaming. Cloud9 desperately tried to put their spring playoffs loss behind them, but CLG beat C9 in the first game of the summer split. Team Solo Mid also managed to land a critical blow to C9 after they beat them 2-0. TSM proved that they are still top dog and it was a successful return to the LCS, especially for AD Carry Doublelift, who returned in dominant form. However, Cloud9 are off to a 0-2 start in the 2017 summer split and they will need to be on top form if they wish to take down Phoenix1 and Echo Fox in week two. The full schedule and stream can found by heading over to lolesports.com.

League of Legends: EU LCS

G2 showed no signs of slowing down as they took on ROCCAT in their first game of the summer split. Many fans were nervous as ROCCAT had beaten G2 during the final weeks of the previous split, but despite this G2 managed to secure 2-1 victory. Blanc took the reins in game two with his dominant Orianna plays, while Loulex’s Kha’Zix made shockwaves in the jungle in game three. Meanwhile, Unicorns of Love will be aiming to build upon their week one victory when they take on Mysterious Monkeys in today’s matchup. The full schedule and stream can found by heading over to lolesports.com.

Dota 2: EPICENTRE

The group stages have wrapped up and the winners will secure a spot at the playoffs single elimination bracket semifinals, while the second placed team will play against Invictus Gaming in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, OG finished their EPICENTER journey with only one victory in the group stage, while Na’Vi was knocked out of the tournament without a single win. OG won’t be playing again until The International 7, while Na’Vi will continue to gain tournament experience with their new roster at next week’s Dota Summit 7. The full schedule can be found over on epicenter.gg, while the stream is available on Twitch

StarCraft II: 2017 WCS North America Qualifier

The 2017 WCS North America Qualifier will give four of the best StarCraft II players the chance to win travel, accommodation and entrance fully paid to 2017 WCS Valencia. Players have been battling through the gruelling open qualifiers and only the strongest have made it to double-elimination bracket. Matches begin today at 17:00 PDT / 02:00 CEST and continue the same time tomorrow. There’s certainly a lot on the line and anything could happen at this stage of the tournament. The matches can be watched over on Twitch.

Overwatch: Apex Season 3

Overwatch Apex Season three continues to heat up as the qualified teams from each group continue to battle it out against one another. The finals are right around the corner and every team will be trying to claim the $177,055 prize pool. Today’s match will see Team EnVyUs take on X6-Gaming  at 03:00 PDT / 12:00 CEST in a match that will decide which team will take the lead in Group A. Meanwhile, the Group B match between LW Blue and CB Spirit starts at 04:30 / 13:30 CEST. Make sure to check out the full stream over on Twitch.

Hearthstone: Global Games

The Hearthstone Global Games tournament enters week nine of play today and every team has been fighting hard to claim the top spot in the group stage. Group B’s round five and Group G’s round four matches concluded yesterday for US viewers, but those of you in Europe can catch all the action today at 03:00 CEST. America are off to the best start in Group B with 12 total wins  and only five losses, however, it’s a long road ahead for the pros and every team will be fighting hard to secure the $300,000 prize pool. The full schedule and stream for week four can be found here.

Hearthstone: Wild Open

The top 64 players from the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific have been invited to compete at the Hearthstone Wild Open. The tournament will be played in a best-of-five conquest format with one ban, while regional qualifiers will be double elimination. During the double elimination only the top two players will advance to the single elimination playoffs, where they will be joined by the top two players from China. The qualifiers start Sunday at ​ 11:00 PDT / 20:00 CEST, while the playoffs begin in July. The full schedule and stream can be found here.

Hearthstone: StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3

The Hearthstone action doesn’t stop there as players have been busy climbing the rankings in this year’s StarLadder. Every team will be aiming to secure their place at the grand finals for a chance to win the lion’s share of the $30,000 prize pool. Today’s match will see Naiman take on OMpf at 06:00 PDT / 15:00 CEST, while Group B’s matches start at the same time tomorrow.  The full schedule and stream can be viewed over on starladder.com.

Heroes of the Storm: Mid-Season Brawl

Heroes of the Storm’s Mid-Season Brawl will see 12 teams from around the world battle it out for the championship title and the $100,000 prize pool. The group stage begins tomorrow and only the top two finishers will qualify for the upper bracket of the double-elimination stage. Tempo Storm are currently the North American favourites after they took first place with only one defeat. Meanwhile, Fnatic followed in similar footsteps after they dominated the European scene, securing 13 wins and only one loss. Make sure you head over to heroesofthestorm.com to find the schedule and stream for all the matches being played this weekend.

Dota 2

It's been a long time coming, however Valve has now launched the "first-ever cooperative Multiplayer Campaign" for Dota 2. The first act of a proposed two—named The Sands of Fate—is out now and is available for Battle Pass owners, which are charged at £7.99/$9.99. 

So far as story is concerned, players are invited to "undertake a secret mission" that sees them tasked with defeating the "fiendish" Siltbreaker antagonist and his followers. In doing so, players stand to earn Artifacts which can be used during the Battle Pass season.  

Here's Valve with the skinny: 

"As Act I opens, Siltbreaker awakens in the depths of Dark Reef, and the mysterious Conclave of the Brine calls upon you to halt this dark power’s ascent, starting with Siltbreaker’s twisted creation—Rhyzik the Corruptor.

"As you battle through multiple play zones in search of Rhyzik, you’ll earn completion stars based on your performance level. The first time you complete a zone with one or two stars will net you Battle Points rewards, and delivering a three-star zone performance will grant a treasure from Siltbreaker himself."

Valve continues to say players with a Battle Level of 165 or higher stand to land double the treasure in each three-star zone they complete and that "each Siltbreaker Treasure includes a chance to receive an indescribably-rare Immortal Desert Sands Baby Roshan courier." 

Dota 2's co-op multiplayer Act 1: The Sands of Fate is out now via Steam.

Dota 2

Photo credit: Riot Games

It’s another busy weekend in the world of digital sports as lots of tournaments are gearing up for the summer finals. There’s plenty of action from the League of Legends LCS to the CS:GO ESL Pro League. We even have the Rocket League: Championship Series to look forward to. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

League of Legends: NA LCS

The NA LCS Summer season will be kicking off with a highly anticipated showdown between Cloud9 and Counter Logic Gaming. Cloud9 will be aiming to put their spring playoffs loss behind them after Team SoloMid took the trophy. However, TSM’s disappointing MSI performance showed clear weaknesses, but they hope to defend their dynasty with help of Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng in the bottom lane. Meanwhile, Team Liquid and Team Envy survived the promotion tournament, which marks the first time in the history of the NA LCS that the same group of teams will be competing two splits in a row. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to lolesports.com.

League of Legends: EU LCS

It’s been a hectic midseason for G2 and the team has barely had time to rest since they took down Unicorns of Love in the EU LCS spring playoffs. G2’s MSI journey painted a picture of confidence, but it wasn’t enough to stop SKT from blowing open their Nexus in the final. However, the defending EU LCS champions will face ROCCAT in first game of the summer split. G2 did lose to ROCCAT at the end of the last regular split, but it wasn’t enough to stop G2 from claiming the title. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to lolesports.com.

Dota 2: EPICENTRE 

Ten teams will battle it out in a deadly group stage that will kick off this year’s EPICENTER tournament. Only three teams from each group will advance to the playoff stage, so it expected to be a tense weekend for those participating. Group A will see OG and Team Liquid compete against each other along with the EU qualifier winner Team Secret. Na'Vi will also join the group, alongside the Chinese Regional Winners LGD Forever Young. Meanwhile, Group B has a diverse mix of regions where Evil Geniuses, Virtus.Pro and Invictus Gaming will be battling it out along with the NA Regional winners Thunderbirds and SEA Regional winners Clutch Gamers. The full schedule can be found over on epicenter.gg, while the stream is available on Twitch.

Dota 2: ZOTAC Cup Masters

This weekend the ZOTAC Cup Masters takes place in Taipei where four teams will battle it out for their chance to win the $100,000 prize pool. Danish Bears and Digital Chaos were eliminated from the tournament in the first round of playoffs, while Fnatic and iG Vitality will advance to face Newbee and NP. The semifinals concluded yesterday for US viewers, but those of you in Europe can catch all the action today at 03:50 CEST. Finals begin today at 17:50 PDT, while Europe can catch the action on Saturday at 02:50 CEST. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to zotac.com.

CS:GO: ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals

The ESL Pro League is well underway and both G2 and North have taken control of groups A and B respectively. The quarterfinals saw mousesports take on SK, while Team EnVyUs battled it out with Team Liquid. Both North and G2 aim to land a decisive semifinals victory that will lead them to the ESL Pro League crown and the $750,000 prize pool. The semifinals begin today at 21:50 PDT / 06:50 CEST.  All the action can be viewed by heading over to ESL’s official YouTube channel.

StarCraft II: 2017 WCS Europe Qualifier

The 2017 WCS Europe Qualifier will give four of the best StarCraft II players the chance to win travel, accommodation and entrance fully paid to 2017 WCS Valencia. Players have been battling through the gruelling open qualifiers and only the strongest have made it to double-elimination bracket. Matches begin today at 09:00 PDT / 18:00 CEST and continue the same time tomorrow. There’s certainly a lot on the line and anything could happen at this stage of the tournament. The matches can be watched over on Twitch.

Overwatch: Apex Season 3

Overwatch Apex Season three continues to heat up as the group stages enter the final rounds. Today’s match will see two Korean giants clash as KD Panthera aim to settle the score with their rivals Lunatic-Hai. KD Panthera lost their opening match against Lunatic-Hai, but the team has not let this defeat impact their overall dominance in the arena. However, Lunatic-Hai has yet to lose a single match, so KD Panthera will need to be at their best if they’re to dismantle the current leaders. The Group A match begins today at 03:00 PDT / 12:00 CEST, while the Group B match between MVP.S and CB Spirit starts at 04:30 PDT / 13:30 CEST. Make sure to check out the full stream over on Twitch.

Rocket League: Championship Series

Denial and Alpha Sydney are kicking off season three of the Rocket League world championship in Los Angeles today. The Canadian roster of CorruptedG, Lethamyr, and Sadjunior have been on top form and in week five they  dispatched Rogue Esports  to claim their regional championship spot. However, Alpha Sydney has dominated the Oceanic Region with their strong defensive plays and accurate cross-map goals. Drippay, Jake, and Torsos pose a threat to Denial’s claim to the RLCS throne, so they will need to remain focussed if they wish to advance. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to rlcs.gg.

Dota 2

The international Dota 2 LAN season started with an exciting and entertaining stop at Manila, where American favorites Evil Geniuses showed their finesse at the start of an impending competitive season. 

The Manila Masters, hosted by Mineski and ESL in the Filipino capital, brought in teams both regionally and from around the world to compete for the competition’s first title and a piece of a $250 thousand prize pool. The event is a spiritual successor to popular 2016 events ESL One Manila and PGL’s Manila Major, each of which were well-received for their hospitality towards the teams and the energy the venue and fans brought. 

After the Kiev Majors in late April, which brought team shuffles and gameplay changes, it was unclear who would come out at the top. At the end, Evil Geniuses, the American team waving the banner of The International 5’s winners, defeated Chinese rivals Newbee in the best of five finals. The match paralleled the long-standing rivalry between the Chinese and Western teams: the matches appeared close through each game, and Newbee certainly gave EG a run for their money. The winning team kept their grasp on the lead, though, and eventually overcame their opponents. With outstanding and unusual plays by EG’s star players, such as Zai’s 1HP taunt escape, they took the series 3-1 for the Masters trophy.

Not only is this win vital for EG, but the turnout is also important for the current competitive circuit. The period for locking in rosters for The International, the largest Dota 2 and esports event, closed during the event, meaning that the teams that remain stable after Manila are building their early-season strength. 

Newbee has been a consistent force to be reckoned with since before the Kiev Major, and so their second place finish was unsurprising. The team was directly invited to the event, and they managed to win over the major contender, OG, who won the recent Major, in a 2-0 semifinal. 

NP, meanwhile, had a surprisingly intense display at the Filipino event. The player-run North American team, while fan favorites for their charisma and anime-centric reputations, struggled to finish at the top of larger events in recent months. Still, they swapped out two of their players after Kiev and managed to snag a solid third place in Manila after falling only to the eventual champions, shattering the scene’s expectations.  

Also exceeding predictions was the Singaporean Team Faceless, which knocked OG out of the tournament and proceeded to win fourth overall. The SEA squad is known as a top contender in the region, rivaling teams such as TNC Pro Team, Fnatic and Execration, and was the kryptonite to the near-unstoppable TNC in Kiev. They defeated local rising team Clutch Gamers in the first round of Manila, then moved on to the losers’ semifinals before falling themselves to NP.

Regardless, this team took a surprising hit, meaning they ll have some work to do.

OG has gained a demigod-like status in Dota 2 for their sheer consistency in strength after winning four Majors, a rare trait in the scene, but that faltered here in the Philippines after losing to Newbee and, later, Team Faceless. Chinese team Invictus Gaming entered both Kiev and Manila with a similar reputation after a powerful run at the Dota 2 Asia Championships and a strong push in Kiev. Yet, they fell in the second round to eventual winners EG. It could have been for any number of reasons, whether because they didn’t want to impose their strength at every event after winning millions of dollars, or from the sudden change in climate and pub match atmosphere. Regardless, this team took a surprising hit, meaning they’ll have some work to do.  

Team Secret, of the Shanghai Major-winning banner, held onto their massive fanbase through several scandals and were greeted well in Manila. Their odd rise to power and fall to South American team SG Esports within the span of the Kiev Major put them in the spotlight leading up to the Manila Masters. Unfortunately, they were quickly toppled by Newbee, then NP, showing the team needs to buckle up and toughen up for the road ahead. 

The final team, Clutch Gamers, was the product of Mineski’s open league for an SEA slot at the event. They overcame such elite teams as Execration and TNC Pro Team in order to find their way to the major tournament for a chance at the grand prize. While the team recently took an emotional victory over Faceless to qualify for the upcoming The Summit 7 tournament, they couldn’t replicate the win in Manila and were taken out of the tournament by their regional rival. The world’s eyes are on this region lately, though, and Clutch may not entirely be out of the game this season, especially if they do well in The Summit. 

On the note of SEA, the region’s Dota 2 fans, known for its high population of esports enthusiasts, certainly turned out for the event, and the production certainly delivered entertainment for everyone. 

Even before the action started, content rolled out to liven up the mood. A trailer for the event depicts a common dilemma for young teens today: asking a cute crush out to an esports event. A young teen in peril tries to figure out how to draw a girl in by reading her profile, while spamming his internal monologue for the viewer to see, and hilarity ensues. Though likely inflated by Facebook’s autoplay feature, it has almost 250 thousand views, comparable to the top YouTube content creators in the scene.

The event also tapped into the international (but especially Filipino) love for soap operas

Battle of the Rages at the tournament was a competition of its own that was aptly named for its destructive energy and literal destruction. Fans were brought in to demonstrate their best “rage,” including one super-fan that called himself “Puppey Jr,” referring to video footage in which the Secret player smashed a computer screen and threw headphones. When the judges were brought in, the memery exploded as Puppey himself walked onto the stage. The production crew rightfully put faith in the fans’ ability to destroy used computer equipment, and the storms of fury made for a spectacular spectator sport. 

The event also tapped into the international (but especially Filipino) love for soap operas, bringing in SirActionSlacks, Merlini and Black^ to act out a death scene with volunteers, punnily-nammed “I Lie Die.” However, there was little competition for the talent—the Team Faceless player instantly pulled out all the stops by pulling out well-dramatized Tagalog slang off the bat: “Bessie ko… wag ka mamatay!”, or, “Best friend… don’t you die!” The Singaporean player could be seen checking his phone before his shot, so he likely learned the phrase moments ago, but his acting ability charmed and entertained the crowd.

Then, there’s the last unlucky and unintentional moment that brought fans together early on in the tournament. NP star EternalEnvy had the team camera online when his chair slipped away, and he hit the ground hard. Of course, as with any visible accident in Dota 2, there were memes, though this incident managed to also reach ESPN’s main channel as a top “jeer.” It’s an unfortunate out-of-game hit on his record of Dota 2 slips.

Already, fans on Reddit are calling for another Major in Manila, or at least more events in the region. It’s clear why, after this tournament: the teams and talent bring their all for their fans, no matter what they’re doing on stage.  

Dota 2

Photo credit: Riot Games

It’s been an action-packed month so far and various tournaments are nearing the finish line. The world of digital sports may be winding down a bit this weekend, but there’s still plenty of action from the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational and the Dota 2 StarLadder to enjoy. We even have the Hearthstone Global Games to look forward to. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

League of Legends: Mid-Season Invitational

SK Telecom has dominated the competition so far and despite dropping a game to Flash Wolves and Team WE, they continue to rise above the competition. The South Korean team will need to stave off another defeat against the Flash Wolves in their match today, while Team WE will be looking to take the advantage in their semifinals game against G2 this Saturday. Every team will be looking to claim their spot at this year’s finals, so SKT will need to be at their best if they wish to add to their record wins. The full schedule and stream can be found on LoL Esports.

Dota 2: StarLadder i-League Invitational

The Dota 2 Starladder i-League Invitational kicked off yesterday in Shanghai and teams from around the world will battle it out for their chance to claim the $100,000 prize pool. The Group B matches began yesterday for US viewers, but those of you in Europe can catch all the action today 06:00 CEST. Liquid will face Team faceless in the first round, while Newbee and Vega will clash straight after at 09:00 CEST. The semifinals will take place the following day followed by the finals on Sunday. You can find the full schedule and stream by heading over to starladder.com.

Dota 2: Dream League Season 7

Week three of the Dota 2 Dream League wraps up this weekend and one week of regular play is all that remains before the qualifying teams head to the LAN event in Atlanta, on July 21st. EPG will face mouz today at 09:30 PDT / 18:30 CEST, while Empire will clash with mouz at 12:00 PDT / 21:00 CEST. Meanwhile, Na`Vi and VP will continue their journey the following day before Secret joins the fray on Sunday. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to the Dream League official site.

Hearthstone: Global Games

The Hearthstone Global Games tournament enters week six of play today and every team has been fighting hard to claim the top spot in the group stage. Group B’s round four matches concluded yesterday for US viewers, but those of you in Europe can catch all the action today at 03:00 CEST. The USA and Canada are off to the best start out of anyone in the Global Games so far, but they will need to remain focused if they wish to beat Thailand. The full schedule and stream for week four can be found here.

Hearthstone: StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3

SL i-League StarSeries Season three is well underway and Hearthstone's best players have been busy climbing the rankings. Currently, Naiman remains on top of the Group A standings, while Rdu aims to fight off competition from both Zalae and StanCifka in the Group B bracket. The series uses the best of 5 "conquest" format and every player will be looking to secure the lion’s share of the $30,000 prize pool. Reddit has a nice viewing guide for the stream, which can be viewed over on Twitch.

Overwatch: Apex Season 3

Overwatch Apex Season three is well underway and Mighty AOD will need to take down Lunatic Hai to secure their first victory of the group stage. Mighty AOD lost 3-1 to Rogue in their previous match, but Lunatic Hai won’t be an easy adversary. The Group A match begins today at 04:30 PDT / 13:30 CEST, while the Group C match between MVP Space LW Blue start at 03:00 PDT / 12:00 CEST. Make sure to check out the full stream over on Twitch.

Heroes of the Storm: Global Championship

The Heroes of the Storm Global Championship playoff stage begins today and every team will need to be at their best if they wish to secure a place at the Mid-Season Brawl. Playoffs will see lower-seeded teams duke it out against higher-seeded teams for the chance to face North America’s Tempo storm or Europe’s Fnatic. Both these teams dominated their opponents and they will be aiming to take home the Global Championship title next month. You can check out the standings for each region and view the tournament schedule for your area over on the Heroes of the Storm’s official site.

Dota 2

Photo credit: Riot Games

It’s another busy weekend in the world of digital sports and lots of tournaments are heating up as they reach the final stages. There’s plenty of action from the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational to the Street Fighter V ELEAGUE. We even have plenty of Hearthstone tournaments to look forward to. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

League of Legends: Mid-Season Invitational

The best teams from around the world have been busy battling it out at this year’s MSI in Brazil, but this week we saw the return of the defending champions. SK Telecom has dominated the competition so far and they continue to be on top form. The South Korean team has only lost six best-of-one matches at international tournaments over the last four years, but three of those losses were inflicted by Flash Wolves. Day three of the MSI Group Stage begins today and Flash Wolves will need to be at their best if they wish to add to their record wins. The full schedule and stream can be found on LoL Esports.

Dota 2: Dream League Season 7

The StarLadder i-League Invitational and Manila Masters are just around the corner, but this weekend we have the Dream League to look forward to. Mouz will face Vega today at 09:30 PDT / 18:30 CEST, while Liquid will clash with Secret 12:00 PDT / 21:00 CEST. Meanwhile, EPG and Empire will continue their journey the following day. The LAN event will take place in Atlanta, on July 21st and 22nd where teams will be competing for a slice of the $175,000 prize pool. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to the Dream League official site.

Overwatch: Apex Season 3

Overwatch Apex Season 3 is well underway and Rogue will need to take down KongDoo Panthera if they wish to increase their chances of making it out of the group stage. They beat Mighty AOD 3-1 last week but KongDoo Panthera is out for revenge. The Group A match begins today at 04:30 PDT / 13:30 CEST, while the Group B match between X6 Gaming and Afreeca Freecs Blue start at 03:00 PDT / 12:00 CEST. Meanwhile, EnVyUs will start their journey on May 16th where they will battle it out against Meta Athena and BK Stars. Make sure to check out the full stream over on Twitch.

Hearthstone: Global Games

The Hearthstone Global Games tournament enters week five of play today and every team has been fighting hard to claim the top spot in the group stage. Group A’s round three match concluded yesterday for US viewers, but those of you in Europe can catch all the action today at 03:00 CEST. Both the USA and Canada are off to the best start out of anyone in the Global Games so far, but it’s a long road ahead for the pros and every team will be fighting hard to secure the $300,000 prize pool. The full schedule and stream for week four can be found here.

Hearthstone: Japan Major

The very first Hearthstone Major event is coming to Tokyo this weekend where eight players will square off against each other in the live playoffs. Competition is expected to be fierce as every player will be vying for coveted Hearthstone Competitive Points and a share of the 1,000,000 Japanese Yen prize pool. The playoffs begin Saturday at 21:00 PDT / 06:00 CEST and can be watched by heading over to battle.net.

Hearthstone: China vs. Europe

The quarterfinals for the Hearthstone vs. China tournament begin today and every player will be looking to claim a spot in Sunday’s final. OmegaZero will face XHope in the first semifinal match at 03:00 PDT / 12:00 CEST, while StanCifika will clash with Orange an hour later. Europe was undefeated for three years straight before China retorted with a championship win last year, but every player will need to be at their best if they wish to claim the Ferrari, or $200,000 prize pool. Make sure you check out the stream over on Twitch.

Hearthstone: StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3

SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 is currently underway, with matchups between some of Hearthstone's best going through the weekend, including DrHippi, BunnyHoppor, Fr0zen, and Neirea. Series use the best of 5 "conquest" format, with games cast by Firebat, Lothar, DTwo, and Noxious. Reddit has a nice viewing guide for the stream, which is happening over on Twitch.

Heroes of the Storm: Global Championship

The Heroes of the Storm Global Championship continues this weekend and the lower seeded teams from EU and NA aim to climb the ladder ahead of next week’s playoffs. Team 8 will need to secure a decisive win over No Tomorrow this weekend if they want to make a claim for top spot. Meanwhile, Dignitas will be looking to snag a win over Tricked after they were knocked down to second place. You can check out the standings for each region and view the tournament schedule for your area over on the Heroes of the Storm’s official site.

Street Fighter V: ELEAGUE

Group D of the Street Fighter V ELEAGUE is kicking off tonight’s actions and with three major groups already completed, there’s a lot on the line. The group is filled with talent from all over the world, including the 2016 Capcom Cup champion, Nuckledu. However, it has been over a month since all the competitors fought for the top spots, so anything could happen in this final bracket. Phenom has been the only player to beat Nuckledu and his consistent performance make him a serious threat to the players in this group. The full schedule and stream can be found by heading over to www.eleague.com.

Gwent: Challenger Finals

The Gwent Challenger tournament finals take place this Saturday at 06:00 PDT / 15:00 CEST, where the winners of the community qualifiers will compete alongside Jeffrey “Trump” Shih, Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy, Peter “ppd” Dager, and Kacem “Noxious” Khilaji for a chance to win the $100,000 prize pool. The event will be hosted by Maude Garret and ESL’s Joshua Gray with match commentary from community favorites, MegaMogwai and McBeard. Make sure to check out the live finals over on CD PROJEKT RED’s Twitch channel

Dota 2

Valve has just launched the Battle Pass for Dota 2's The International 2017, and if you've got the game installed it should be available right now or after an update. As usual, those who buy into it will get a bunch of goodies or access to goodies, chief among them this year being the Siltbreaker multiplayer campaign.

Dubbed "a cooperative adventure into the blackest depths of Dark Reef", Siltbreaker won't be available until later this month, but it's a campaign which will task players with battling through "a diverse landscape of loathsome monsters, cunning traps and other lethal terrors". As the general theme over on the Battle Pass page suggests, it'll have a subaquatic theme. Siltbreaker will boast two acts, with the first due "later this month" and the second in July.

There's tonnes more, naturally. This year's Team Quests will usher in a new type of mission, where players complete single- and multi-game goals together. Meanwhile, you'll now be able to play a trivia mini-game will waiting in the queue, and there are Prestige Towers, which combine the Battle Level totals of any given team and replace the game's normal defensive pillars. I'm not sure whether this is just cosmetic, but either way, the more points your team has the better it will look.

There's a huge amount of stuff to wade through over on the website, so you'd be well advised to pore through it if you're hoping to partake. As usual, 25 percent of all Battle Pass sales go into the prize pool for The International 2017, and the pool is currently sitting on $1,977,396 (and rising, naturally).

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