“What’s on this week?” is ESI’s weekly feature letting you know just what’s going on in the wonderful world of esports in the next seven days. Each week, ESI picks a selection of events and provides a brief overview of what’s going down, where it’s taking place and how you can watch it.
2018 was an epic year for esports. With so much action taking place each week across the globe, heck, it’s why we decided to produce this very weekly article series you’re reading now. We took a few weeks off as 2018 drew to a close but what better week to return than the return of regular season play in both the League Champions Korea (LCK) and the newly rebranded League of Legends European Championship (LEC), formerly the EU LCS. We also look at our first important CS:GO event of the year taking place in Poland.
LEC 2019 Spring Week One
Europe’s premier League of Legends series had a big summer, with a name change, old teams saying goodbye to the scene and new teams joining the newly franchised EU league. Over the course of its nine-week regular season run, the LEC will see ten teams battle it out in a double round-robin Bo1 format, with the top six teams advancing to playoffs, with the top two sides receiving a bye to the semifinals.
Excel, FC Schalke 04, G2, Misfits, Origen, Rogue, SK Gaming, Splyce, Vitality and last years’ winners Fnatic make up the LEC going forward. Each week all teams will play two games, with action taking place on Friday and Saturday of each week. A full schedule can be found here.
LCK 2019 Spring Week One
Korea had a bad Worlds, with the region hosting the event a lot was expected of the region’s teams and, for the most part, they failed to live up to those expectations. With the start of 2019 and some of the regions top sides forming some steller rosters, 2019 could be a year in which LCK teams fight back. Other regions will likely take a lot of heart from their performances at Worlds and could look to continue to push forward and leave the LCK behind.
The LCK has a slightly different format to the LEC, with five teams qualifying for playoffs and whilst matches are double round robin, individual series are played in a Bo3, unlike Europe who plays BO1. This years’ LCK is made up of, Afreeca Freecs, DAMWON Gaming, Gen.G, Griffin, Hanwha Life, Jin Air Green Wings, Kingzone DragonX, KT Rolster, SANDBOX Gaming and SK Telecom T1.
Stream: LCK English – Location: Seoul, South Korea – Date: 16/1 – 20/1 – Sponsors: Woori Bank – Organiser: Riot Games – Prize pool: N/A
Europe Minor Championship – Katowice 2019
Counter-Strike also returns this week with the IEM Katowice EU & CIS region Minor events, our focus here will be to spotlight just the EU event. Whilst esports has started in 2019, the return of two of the staple events in LoL and CS:GO means 2019 has truly begun. For the Minor, two groups of four teams will start things off with a Bo1 with the second matches becoming Bo3. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Double-Elimination playoff round in at Bo3, no Grand Final will be played as the top three sides will head to the Major.
The event will feature mousesports, Windigo Gaming, OpTic Gaming, North, Space Soldiers, ENCE eSports, Valiance and Team Vitality for their share of the $50,000 (£40,000) prize pool and more importantly a place at the first Major of 2019.
Stream: ESL CS:GO – Location: Katowice, Poland – Date: 16/1 – 20/1 – Sponsors: Intel – Organiser: ESL – Prize pool: $50,000 (£40,000)
That’s a wrap on this week’s picks, be sure to check back next week for another edition of the ESI weekly picks.
We want to feature at least one smaller event each week on the ESI weekly picks. If you want an event included in a future edition, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.