York’s about halfway through its summer holidays now, and if you’re bored of relatives or have finished more exotic holidays, now’s the time to hunker down and watch some great competitive gaming. Here are the top five titles you’ll want to have your eyes on for the rest of the year.
The biggest esports event in the world is undoubtedly DOTA‘s International. The event is held just once a year: it’s a world championship that hosts possibly the most skilled players in esport. This year, 18 teams of the best DOTA teams will fight to hoist the trophy in Vancouver from the 20th-25th August. At the time of writing, the prize pool stands at a whopping $25 million, but despite the competition hitting its eighth year, no one has been able to win it twice. All eyes are on Team Liquid: the team won it last year and have made no changes to their roster in the interim. Alternatively, there’s potential for upset from unknown underdogs paiN Gaming. Can the Europeans defend their title? Find out, live on Twitch. More information for those new to the scene is available at the game’s subreddit.
League of Legends
The most popular game in the world also holds its world championship just as the York term begins. The action stars on the 1st October, and ends with the finals in Incheon, South Korea, on the 3rd November. Before that, the local leagues still need to conduct playoffs. In Europe, Fnatic remains dominant due to their star player Caps. In North America, Team Liquid are poised to defend a title forged in the spring playoffs. In South Korea, (the most competitive region in the world) KT Rolster seems poised to win their league. That’s significant because the organisation has a history of disappointing its fans in playoffs. League of Legends has a jam-packed Autumn: the championship won’t disappoint. It’s is viewable on Twitch, with the full schedule at the LoLesports website.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CS:GO’s world championship is particularly special, because it’ll be hosted by London. It runs from the 12th-23rd September in London in the Wembley Arena. CS:GO is very friendly to newcomers because of its simple interface, but this event will be particularly enjoyable because no one knows who’s going to win. Several teams are in the top tier of competition, but none are dominant… for now. Winner could include FaZe, Astralis: indeed any of the incredibly competitive 16 teams in attendance. More information on the major is available here, and tickets are still available for the qualifiers held in Twickenham.
Everyone’s favourite hero shooter might have finished its main league, but the All-Star weekend happens from the 26th August, mixing the league’s best players into teams that feature language barriers, varying hero ability, and even a British player or two. Viewers dissuaded by the hardcore competition of the Overwatch League will probably enjoy the more stupid game modes Blizzard have planned. The weekend should make for good watching, and it’s viewable on Twitch. You even get skin tokens for watching it. What’s not to like?
Rainbow Six: Siege
Think of Rainbow Six like a more modernised CS:GO: it’s extremely exciting to watch. The game will hold its first-ever world championship from the 13th-20th August in Paris, France. Ubisoft has pumped millions into making the game’s competitive scene, and the Paris Six Major will be the first test of that strategy. It should be exciting to see how the game handles a larger competitive audience on its debut tournament, with $350,000 up for grabs. PENTA esports is the definitive favourites to secure the title. It seems like tickets are still available if readers want to see the teams in person. (I hear Paris is lovely this time of year.)
Even with so much going on for the titles above, I couldn’t close the article without mentioning Rocket League’s $1 million prize pool for its new season of competition, which starts on the 14th September, or Fortnite’s continuing ‘Summer Skirmish‘, which still has a few weeks left to dispense of its eye-watering $8 million of prize money. There’s never been a better time to get into competitive videogames: esport might not be mainstream yet, but the players don’t seem to care. This summer should bring the largest scale events the gaming community has ever had. Enjoy…