Another Week in eSports

Rob Zacny at

The American eSports fan faces a dilemma tonight. Do you brew coffee and stay up until the Intel Extreme Masters finals start at 3 AM Eastern (9 AM Central European Time), or do you go to bed early and wake up in time to watch the games? Or do you do none of the above and catch the replay? The day starts with Counter-Strike, ESC v. Na`Vi, then moves on to StarCraft 2 and PuMa (Terran) v. MC (Protoss) at 6:15 AM Eastern. Finally, it's the League of Legends final between M5 and Dignitas, and even that, if the last few days have been any indication, will have a far, far larger audience than either StarCraft or Counter-Strike. If you need to be caught-up on what you've missed at the IEM, you can check out the video archives here.

As dilemmas go, choosing how to enjoy the IEM finals is not a bad one to have. Especially when you compare it to what the Evil Geniuses team is dealing with right now. One of their new contractors, StarCraft caster Jake "Orb" Sklarew, was caught using a racial slur in StarCraft 2 matches. EG CEO Alex Garfield quickly dimissed Orb and released a lengthy statement explaining where he stands with regard to racist behavior in the gaming community. Shortly thereafter, Orb made his own apology to the StarCraft community. Look for us to follow-up on this story soon.

But back to games. Last weekend, shooter fans could tune into the ESEA LAN tournament, where the Counter-Strike: Source championship went to the Dynamic team, and the CS 1.6 title went to Back2Back Gaming, the first non-Evil Geniuses team to win the finals in five seasons, now that EG has stopped competing in Counter-Strike.

But perhaps some of the best competition at the ESEA was the final between Classic Mixup and defending champ Quantic Legacy. Despite Quantic holding a match advantage from an extended series (as they had defeated Mixup in their first meeting, and that win counted in the final), Mixup took the championship by winning two consecutive best of three matches. You can see the start above, and the entire match should be available on eXtv's YouTube account.

Replays from the MLG Winter Arena are now available online. As I've said before, they are well worth watching.

Korean Zerg powerhouse DongRaeGu has been on a tear this last week. He kicked it off last Saturday by winning the GSL final and then helped help out his MVP team into the Global StarCraft 2 Team League.

The IGN Pro League is at SXSW this weekend. The main attractions are tomorrow, with a LoL all-star match at 4 Eastern and a one-on-one StarCraft 2 match between Stephano and White-Ra at 9 Eastern.

As always, this is not meant to be a comprehensive eSports news and events roundup. That way lies madness. Please feel free to suggest other events and videos in the comments.