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Here are the most anticipated esports tournaments of 2021


Final yr simply may need been the strangest yr ever, and never simply in esports. However even with folks outdoors the scene praising esports for with the ability to proceed whereas conventional sports activities couldn’t, the results of the COVID-19 pandemic can nonetheless be felt.

Regardless of all that, there have been nonetheless some wonderful tournaments and moments in 2020. However now that 2021 is upon us, we are able to look ahead to some extra wonderful esports tournaments coming this yr.

Listed here are probably the most anticipated esports occasions of 2021.

IEM Season XV World Championships in Katowice (CS:GO)

Picture by way of ESL

There could also be no official Valve Majors in 2021 but, however the Intel Excessive Masters Season XV World Championships in Katowice options some main competitors. IEM Katowice represents a return to normalcy for Counter-Strike after a tumultuous however memorable 2020 with a multi-day LAN occasion with a number of phases and a positive assortment of proficient groups.

Eight of the world’s finest groups have already earned their spots in the primary group stage by way of their Street to Katowice rankings. This consists of the highest six European groups in Heroic, Workforce Vitality, Astralis, Na’Vi, G2 Esports, and FaZe Clan, in addition to the highest two North American groups in FURIA Esports and Evil Geniuses.

Sixteen extra groups make up the play-in subject, consisting of extra European and North American squads like Complexity, Fnatic, OG, and Workforce Liquid. The sector will probably be crammed out by the top-ranked groups from South America, Asia, and Australia, in addition to a set of different squads primarily based on their ESL World Rankings, like mousesports, Virtus Professional, Gambit, and Cloud9. Eight groups from the play-in subject will be part of the opposite eight in the primary group stage.

The motion kicks off on Feb. 16 from Katowice, Poland with $1 million on the road.

Overwatch League Grand Finals

Picture by Robert Paul by way of Blizzard Leisure

The top {of professional} Overwatch is way off within the distance and even the dates of the opening weekend are nonetheless unknown at the moment. However the 20 groups within the Overwatch League have fielded full rosters and season three is on the horizon.

On account of COVID-19, final yr’s playoffs have been break up right into a North American and Asian playoff. The 2 prime groups from every met in an offline double-elimination bracket in Korea. The San Francisco Shock repeated as champions with a 4-2 victory over Seoul Dynasty within the grand finals on the shoulders of their DPS MVP Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo. The Shanghai Dragons, notorious for his or her 0-40 efficiency in OWL’s first season, completed first within the 2020 common season, first within the Asian playoff, and ended up in third within the Grand Finals.

An intensive offseason has seen all three of these groups retool heading into season three with a couple of roster swaps every. However many groups, together with the Dallas Gasoline, London Spitfire, Paris Everlasting, and others, have utterly reset with nearly completely new rosters heading into the brand new season.

Final season began in February with the Grand Finals occurring in October, so that provides us some sense of when the third season will start and finish. We’ll replace this part with extra data when that turns into accessible.

The Name of Obligation League Championship

Picture by way of Name of Obligation League

Much like the Overwatch League, the fruits of the Name of Obligation League is a great distance sooner or later. However there’s ample sufficient cause to be excited in regards to the league’s second season.

There are a plethora of modifications even informal followers will discover between the inaugural season and the upcoming one. Gamers have transitioned from Trendy Warfare to the most recent Name of Obligation installment, Black Ops Chilly Struggle. Moreover, the aggressive format has switched from five-vs-five again to the standard four-vs-four.

Whereas there aren’t any enlargement groups this yr, there have been some modifications to a few the present ones. Los Angeles OpTic and its controlling group, the Immortals Gaming Membership, bought the OpTic branding again to its unique proprietor, H3CZ, and bought its CDL spot to former CoD star and 100 Theives founder, Nadeshot. With that, Nadeshot rebranded the workforce to the L.A. Thieves, whereas H3CZ dropped the Huntsmen identify for OpTic Chicago. A lot of the OGLA roster stayed in Los Angeles and can now play for the L.A. Thieves.

A number of huge names moved round throughout this previous rostermania as nicely. Dashy adopted the OpTic branding east to Chicago, linking up with Scump, FormaL, and Envoy. The New York Subliners hit a house run this offseason by touchdown Clayster, who was dropped by the champion Dallas Empire because of the change from five-vs-five to four-vs-four. A number of groups revealed completely new rosters throughout the offseason too, such because the Paris Legion and Minnesota RØKKR.

The 2021 CDL season will begin with the Kickoff Basic, a “particular one-year-anniversary of the Name of Obligation League,” on Jan. 23 and 24. Official matches start on the Opening Weekend, which is scheduled for Feb. 11 to 14.

2021 League of Legends World Championship

Picture by way of Riot Video games

The opening weekend for the marquee skilled leagues for League of Legends is quick approaching, so for a lot of groups with excessive expectations, meaning the street to Worlds is formally underway.

Ultimately yr’s Worlds in Shanghai, North America felt the sting of embarrassment when not one of the three LCS groups made it out of the group stage and into the playoffs. The LCS has taken “new yr, new me” to new heights with a brand new emblem and branding splash, along with quite a few enormous roster modifications this previous offseason. After six seasons as TSM’s mid laner, Bjergsen now fills the coach’s chair for the workforce, who additionally noticed the legendary Doublelift retire. Regardless of profitable the 2020 LCS Spring Cut up, Cloud9 simply missed the lower to make Worlds and responded with an enormous acquisition in former G2 star Perkz, in addition to former Fnatic coach Mithy.

Over within the LEC, the reigning champions G2 responded in variety with their very own famous person signing by grabbing Fnatic’s Rekkles. Additionally in Europe, Astralis will make its official debut after rebranding the spot beforehand occupied by Origen and signing a wholly new roster.

For the second season in a row, Worlds will happen in China, this time within the metropolis of Shenzhen. Assumedly, it would start on the finish of September and end on the finish of October, like final yr’s occasion.

Rainbow Six Invitational

Picture by way of Ubisoft

The Rainbow Six Invitational is the worldwide yearly fruits of Rainbow Six Siege esports. The most effective Siege groups from throughout the globe meet in a double-elimination model group stage that leads right into a double-elimination playoff bracket.

The status of the occasion has grown every year since its inception in 2017—and so has its prize pool from $500,000 to $2 million to $3 million. This yr will see a couple of modifications to the annual occasion since it would happen someplace in Europe versus the standard host in Montreal. The occasion may also subject 20 groups versus the same old 16. Although the occasion will nonetheless happen offline, there will probably be no stay crowd because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualification for the Six Invitational was primarily based off International Level Standings. Groups obtained factors primarily based on their performances in sure Regional Leagues and on the Six Majors. BDS Esport, a French workforce, has a prime seed as a result of they completed first in each phases of the regional European League and received the EU division of one of many majors. Cloud9 and Giants Gaming each completed first and second at every of the Asia majors and now have a prime seed on the Invitational. Different prime groups embody TSM and DarkZero Esports from NA, Workforce Liquid and Ninjas in Pyjamas from Brazil, and Virtus Professional and Workforce Empire from Europe. Final yr’s Invitational winners from NA, Spacestation Gaming, have the eighth-best world rating at the moment.

The Invitational will happen from Feb. 19 to 21, in response to the Ubisoft web site.



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