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’s not. The teams are traveling 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 berrates them with regional variants on beloved Internet memes.
This weekend’s Texas-based OWL matches will be on Saturday and Sunday, with Paris Eternal vs. London Spitfire at 5:00 p.m. BST tomorrow and Hangzhou vs. Paris Eternal on Sunday. All matches will be streamed on the OWL Twitch channel.
Hearthstone’s biggest competitive event of the year is also going on. With a $1,000,000 (£774,000) prize pool, 16 of the best players around will compete in the HCT World Championship in Taipei, Taiwan. Day three of the group stage began this morning at 3:00 a.m. BST and runs through the morning, with the play-off stage running from 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning until 3:00 p.m. 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 $200,000 (£154,834) pot. That includes players like 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 resume on Saturday at 6:00 p.m BST. The finals will get underway at midnight and will be streamed on the Madden NFL Twitch channel as well as ESPN2.
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 8:00 a.m. ET each day. The tournaments will be streamed on the Pokémon, Pokkén, and TCG Twitch channels respectively.
And finally, the Gears of War Pro Circuit goes to New England this weekend for the Boston Open. The $300,000 (£232,251) 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 Saturday at 3:00 p.m. BST and again at the same time on Sunday. It will stream live on the Gears of War Twitch channel.
Featured image: Blizzard Entertainment