BlizzCon cometh. It’s that special time of year when all the good boys and girls of the Blizzard faithful are treated to an orgiastic glut of all their favourite esports in one place. This year’s competitions mark some landmark occasions for the company, with the death of StarCraft 2’s Heart of the Swarm (to be replaced next year with Legacy of the Void), and the birth of Heroes of the Storm (with actual qualified teams instead of invited exhibition matches). Outside of Anaheim, there’s also the conclusion of Counter-Strike’s CEVO Season 8, and some more Korean League of Legends – may it never end.
Scroll down to see where to catch all that action as we break down the weekend’s best competitive gaming below.
League of Legends KeSPA Cup
Worlds might be over for another year, but the Korean eSports Association’s annual cup is just starting this weekend. There’s a chance to see the runners-up from Berlin, KOO Tigers playing at 04:00 PST/12:00 GMT on Saturday morning before KT Rolster and World Champs SK Telecom T1 do their thing on Monday and Tuesday next week respectively. With the Grand Finals next weekend, there are no second chances so expect bitter, hard-fought matches to become the best in the best region. Matches will be streamed via Azubu.
Counter-Strike: CEVO Season 8 Finals
CEVO’s league has been toiling away in the background of every other major tournament for the past three months and finally reaches fruition this weekend. It’s a good chance to see Na’Vi and Virtus Pro take on some of the year’s less celebrated pro teams with Titan, Dignitas, Liquid and Luminosity Gaming all making it to the LAN finals. In the shadow of last weekend’s Major final, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was all over for the year but this is just the beginning of the winter season for CS:GO and it’s absolutely anyone's now that Fnatic don’t rule the roost anymore. Group stages start today from 14:00 PST/22:00 GMT, continue Saturday from 07:00 PST/15:00 GMT and the big finals are Sunday from 07:00 PST/15:00 GMT. Catch all the action on CEVO’s official MLG channel.
Heroes of the Storm World Championship
Kicking off tonight at 16:00 PST/00:00 GMT is the conclusion of the group stages for Heroes of the Storm’s first fully fledged esports tournament. It’ll be a rare chance to see teams from different regions square off against each other to claim the final two spots in the Semi-Finals against Cloud9 or Na’Vi. Europe’s Dignitas and Korea’s Team DK are looking most likely, but there is still a chance for an upset from Tempo Storm or Team YL. On Saturday, the Semis start at 09:45 PST/17:45 GMT with the Grand Finals following shortly after at 12:45 PST/20:45 GMT. All matches can be caught on the Virtual Ticket player or on Blizzard’s official stream.
Hearthstone World Championship
Likewise, with the early group matches being played throughout this week, today is the final chance for Hearthstone’s world hopefuls to make it through to those final playoff stages. The Round of 8 begins today at 12:00 PST/20:00 GMT, with a heavily Easter regions-represented cast of Kno, Zoro, Kranich, Zihao and Pipingho. Europe’s remaining hopefuls ThiijsNL and Ostkaka won both matches in their groups so stand a good chance of making it through to Saturday’s Semi-finals, which begin at 10:30 PST/18:30 GMT. All matches, including the Grand Final at 14:00 PST/22:00 GMT on Saturday, can be caught on the Virtual Ticket player or on Blizzard’s official stream.
StarCraft: WCS Global Finals 2015
Today also marks the start of the final elimination rounds of the StarCraft tournament. Once again, we’re faced with an all-Korea final as foreigners’ only hope Lilbow could not make it past last year’s champion Life in the Round of 16. Still, it is the absolute tippy-top of StarCraft talent, and chance to say goodbye to the middle child of SC2’s expansions, given Legacy of the Void will be upon us almost as soon as BlizzCon ends. Matches start today, from 12:00 PST/20:00 GMT and conclude Saturday from 12:30 PST/20:30 GMT. And as with the rest of BlizzCon’s action, they can be caught on the Virtual Ticket player or on the official stream.
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