It’s not every day there’s a big StarCraft II tournament going on, and this weekend’s could offer a rematch of one of last year’s great showdowns.
The Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII StarCraft II started this week with 24 teams and will soon be down to 12 as the playoff stage gets underway this weekend. The $400,000 (£302,800) prize pool event is taking place in Poland where all of the best players will be looking to secure their spot at this year’s world championship with a first-place win.
Last year’s champion, Joona 'Serral' Sotala, came out on top in his group, although it was his closest rival, Kim 'Stats' Dae Yeob, who managed to make it into the playoff round without dropping a single game. If the two meet again during the bracket stage, which seems likely, fans could end up being rewarded with a sequel to last November’s glorious six-game showdown between the two pros. Even if you’re not a huge StarCraft fan, watching arguably the current best Zerg and Protoss players in the world duke it out in one of 2019’s biggest tournaments to-date is worth checking out.
Matches between the remaining 12 players start on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. GMT and continue into the afternoon. Then on Sunday the semifinals begin at 10:00 a.m. with the grand finals scheduled for 1:15 p.m. The entire event is streaming live on ESL’s StarCraft II Twitch channel and you can stay caught up on match times and results over on Liquipedia.
Meanwhile the best Hearthstone players from around the globe are descending on the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles for the HCT Winter Championship.
The remaining decider matches from the group stage as well as the quarterfinals will run all day on Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m. The remaining matches leading up to the finals will start at the same time on Sunday, with everything streaming on Blizzard’s Hearthstone Twitch channel.
Finally, if you, like me, are always looking to have more competitive Smash Bros. Ultimate in your life, there’s a tournament going on in Australia over the next couple of days called Phantom 19. It’ll host competitions in all of the Smash games, but the main showdown for Ultimate takes place on Saturday at 7:00 a.m. GMT. You can always watch the video-on-demand the morning after on the SydneySmash Twitch channel.