Survive the biggest eSports weekend of the year: Dota 2, StarCraft 2, and Black Ops 2 details
Perhaps the biggest weekend of the year in eSports is upon us, and it's certain to be a big, confusing, amazing mess. There are three games with major championships this weekend, including The International 3, the biggest tournament of the year for Dota 2 and perhaps the second biggest event on the entire eSports calendar.
Blizzard is also featuring all three of its regional tournament finals in the StarCraft 2 World Championship Series, and there's a major Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 tournament as well.
It's the ePocalypse. Here's how to survive it.
The International 3 has quickly become a staple on the annual eSports calendar, and it's become one of the most highly spectated video game events of the year with the All-Star game clocking in at 530,000 concurrent viewers.
Early events and placement matches have already been going for a week, but the best action is yet to come as the tournament inches towards its conclusion on Sunday. Dota 2 will run every day this weekend starting at 12pm PST, concluding with the grand finals on Sunday.
PAR's own photographer, Dabe Alan, will be reporting from the event in Seattle and snapping some great photos for us.
Alternatively, you can buy-in to Valve's innovative Compendium project, which gives you access to team and player bios and tons of other resources for enjoying The International 3. Plus, 25 percent of your purchase goes toward increasing the prize pool of the championship. Some of The Compendium's features are now locked, such as the “predictions” sections, now that the tournament is underway.
It's not yet time for the biggest StarCraft 2 tournament of the year, but the collision of three major regional tournaments makes this a very important weekend in professional StarCraft 2.
The weekend will kick off very late tonight at 1AM PST as the WCS Korea final goes down in Seoul, South Korea where young phenom Maru, who shocked the world with a trouncing of the reigning world champion, will face off against Rain, a well-known StarCraft pro from the Brood War days.
After that, it will be the North America and Europe regional finals which will share the spotlight as the top 8 players battle it out for supremacy in each region.
Day 1 of WCS Europe will go first, beginning at 5AM PST. Korea may have the strongest players, but the Europe regional has been the most entertaining tournament to watch. The European players rallied this year to oust the South Koreans who had moved to Europe to compete. Several other great storylines have emerged as well, including the defeat of the greatest SC2 player ever, Mvp, at the hands of a resurging European Warcraft 3 pro who everyone assumed was over-the-hill. WCS Europe will conclude with Day 2 on Sunday at 3AM PST.
WCS North America has been the weakest of the three regions as the South Koreans continue to perform extremely well against the North American players, but it has still featured some high quality StarCraft. Day 1 will begin at 1PM PST on Saturday, and will conclude with Day 2 at 1PM on Sunday.
You can follow along via the Twitch embeds below, or by picking up Blizzard's new, free WCS iOS app which features access to streams, schedules, video on-demand of recent matches, and the ability to stream to a nearby television via Airplay.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
The recent success of competitive Black Ops 2 has been wonderful to watch. The pro scene has blossomed in a very short period of time, and there seems to be nothing but success in its future.
This weekend, Black Ops 2 teams will be heading to Georgia for UMG Atlanta. It's not the biggest tournament of the year, but every tournament is important in these early stages of the game's lifespan as team's compete for attention, popularity, and relatively scarce tournament winnings and sponsorships.
UMG Atlanta will begin on Friday at 2PM PST with Free-For-All games and 2v2 matches. The main event of the competition, the team games, will begin on Saturday at 7AM PST.
You can follow along at the Twitch embed below or on UMGgaming.com.
Of course, what live event isn't better when experienced in a crowd of people while relaxing with an alcoholic beverage? The StarCraft scene has long been known for its “Barcraft” events, and there are many going on across the world for this weekend's festivities.
The Dota 2 community has also embraced the spirit of the Barcraft and has begun running “Pubstomps” on the same basic premise: all of this wonderful competition is better when we can get a little drunk and cheer with our friends.
A short list of events that are happening around the country is available on TeamLiquid.net.
StarCraft 2 WCS Korea
StarCraft 2 WCS Europe
StarCraft 2 WCS North America
Black Ops 2 UMG Atlanta