Esports goes full throttle this weekend as the month-long climax of League of Legends begins in Paris. The group stages of LoL's European tour takes place over the next two weeks, the first of four stops that also includes London, Brussels and eventually Berlin for that spooky Hallowe'en Grand Final. In fact, almost every major esport has a top tier showdown this weekend, and with BlizzCon's European qualifiers in the mix, more than half are only the build up to massive global championships at the end of October. It's a busy month, so let's get started right with some sincere GLHFs for the following tournaments.
ESL One New York 2015
The first chance to see many of the world's tier 1 teams meeting outside of their own regions since The International. A lot has changed since then, with team rosters frantically scrambled about before September's lock-in date to be eligible for Valve's new Majors format of quarterly tournaments. Quarter-finals begin with Secret's almost unrecognisable new team (save for the remaining Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov) taking on Fnatic at 08:00 PDT/16:00 BST on Saturday, with Evil Geniuses going against Vega Squadron at 17:00 PDT/01:00 BST. Semi-finals begin on Sunday at 08:00 PDT/16:00 BST and the Grand Final Bo5 kicks off at 14:00 PDT/00:00 BST. You can watch it all on ESL's official Twitch channel (opens in new tab).
Hearthstone: EU Road 2 BlizzCon HWC 2015
Europe's top card slingers meet in Prague this weekend for the final stage of qualifiers for this month's BlizzCon World Championships. Group stages run Saturday between 03:00-14:40 PDT/11:00-22:40 BST and you'll want to keep your eyes on pretty much any matches coming out of Group A. Maverick, Ostkaka, ThijsNL and Hoej are all excellent and highly entertaining duelists and will ensure some exciting matches before the semi-finals on Saturday evening and final playoffs on the Sunday. You can watch it all on Blizzard's official Hearthstone stream (opens in new tab).
Heroes of the Storm: EU Road 2 BlizzCon HWC 2015
Ever the shrewd business people, Blizzard are also holding the Heroes of the Storm EU Championships-cum-BlizzCon Qualifiers at the same time in Prague this weekend. They've even given them the same acronym to save on letters, how thoughtful. It's the final hurdle for European teams before all of the world's best meet in Anaheim at the end of this month, so there's some guaranteed fireworks. Heroes action begins earlier than the rest of Blizzard's stable as the group stages started this morning and are running up until 11:00 PDT/19:00 BST today. Semi-finals begin at 08:00 PDT/16:00 BST on the Saturday, with the second three hours later at 12:30 PDT/19:30 BST. The finals fall to the Sunday at 07:00 PDT/15:00 BST, joining Hearthstone and WoW finals in one glorious Blizzard blowout. You can see all Heroes matches on Blizzard's official stream (opens in new tab).
League of Legends: LCS Worlds Group Stages
The European tour of this year's final showdown for League's top teams kicks off in Paris this extended weekend, beginning Thursday. The group stages are split over this week and the next, in a double round robin format, so there's plenty of chance to see a specific match-up. The seeding system means there'll be no clashes of each regions top talent just yet, but the skill level of all the qualifiers is so high that there's still plenty to tune in for. This weekend's offerings include Origen vs TSM (08:00 PDT/16:00 BST) and iG vs Cloud9 an hour later on the Saturday. Sunday provides a chance to see TSM take on Chinese first seed LGD (05:00 PDT/13:00 BST) and C9 take on EU first seed Fnatic (08:00 PDT/16:00 BST) in day of the American underdogs. All available on pretty much every streaming solution known to man, including Twitch (opens in new tab), YouTube (opens in new tab), and Azubu (and six other Chinese ones if you're feeling exotic).
CS:GO: PGL Season 1 Finals
Twelve teams whittled down to just four, including Fnatic, TSM, Team Liquid and Virtus.pro, will fight it out for the PGL Championship title starting today with VP vs Liquid and Fnatic vs TSM. Today's semi-finals decide who will be playing for survival on Saturday and who for their spot in Sunday's Grand Finals. The loser's bracket elimination kicks off early on Saturday at 12:00 BST, while the winner's final runs three hours later 15:00 BST. Sunday follows the same schedule with the last chance of making it into the top two for a shot at the $40,000 grand prize coming before the Grand Final at 15:00 BST. You can watch it all at www.twitch.tv/PGL (opens in new tab).
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