This weekend sees the return of Dreamhack, the Swedish E-sports tournament that brings together a huge range of different games, giving them all almost-equal booking. You’ve got the super hardcore like Starcraft and Dota, but then more mainstream-friendly games like Battlefield 3 and Fifa 12 are also getting their own tournaments, meaning that theoretically, there’s something for everyone. Unless you don’t like games, but then what are you doing here, you silly person.
The highlights are doubtless the Starcraft, League of Legends and Dota 2 tournaments, and with Dreamhack having all of their broadcasts hosted by Twitch.tv, it’s going to be simple as anything to watch your favourite matchups and tournaments without missing anything. But even still, it’s going to be difficult to keep up with exactly what’s going on, so here’s what you should keep an eye out for.
Starcraft II Ezio Open
Dreamhack sees a massive pool of players coming together to hash it out in Starcraft II. 128 players across 32 groups are going to hash out a set of best of threes, to determine who’s going to come out in the top two of the group and then progress into playoffs where, over a 16 stage knockout tournament, they’ll see which two players will head for Dreamhack Winter. They’ll also win a rather large amount of money, so there’s a lot riding on this.
That initial scrum of 128 is where you want to be jumping on, though, focusing in on some specific groups that are looking pretty damn exciting.
In Group 4 you’ve got Thorzain, a fan favourite, and then in Group 5 is Puma. Group 15 has JYP, one of the few Asian players in the tournament, and Sase and HuK are in Groups 20 and 21, respectively. Stephano is popping into Group 29, and my personal favourite, White-Ra, rounds it out in Group 31.
With so many games going on, it’s going to be a bit chaotic at the beginning of the weekend, but things should clear up after the first few games, especially once the Group Stage is done with. At that point we’ll be in knockout playoffs, and things will get really excited. I’d be very surprised if some, or all, of those that I’ve named don’t make it through though.
Dota 2 Vengeance
There’s only four groups in the Dota 2 Vengeance tournament, which makes it much easier to keep track of things, and even then, four of the slots are for those who’ve brought their own computers to the event, and risen through the ranks of those playing on the show floor, which leaves the number of actual recognisable names even fewer.
mTw, which recently managed to secure a slot in the International during the Qualifiers last weekend, are in Group D along with two of the BYOC winners, which should make things interesting at the very least. Natus Vincere, or NaVi, are in Group C along with the other two BYOC winners, which is a bit of a tough break for the latter, because NaVi are widely considered to be the best Dota 2 players going right now.
The big shots in Group A look like mousesports, while Group B has Absolute Legends. Things are much less cut and dry than that, though, and with Dota you never know whether some crazy team comp is going to come along that really ruins someone’s day. Not the mention all the other teams showing up to Dreamhack this weekend have held their own with the best at some point or another. Bad news for those competing, but for viewers it’s fantastic.
TobiWanKenobi is going to be doing commentary on Twitch.tv for the Dota 2 events, too, which means we should be getting a good overview of what’s happening once JoinDota and Twitch.tv get up and running.
League of Legends MSI Beat It
If you thought Starcraft’s 128 players was a bit excessive, League of Legends has been having Online Qualifiers for the past two months to decide exactly who’s going to be turning up in Sweden this weekend. Over four massive online qualifiers, and a finals qualifier, we’ve come up with just eight teams that are going to be battling one another for a $40k prize pot.
It’s mostly the usual suspects, with Moscow 5, Absolute Legends, Na’Vi and Counter Logic all making appearances, but there’s also the likes of Teamless, Fragzone and fnatic popping up, which should keep things interesting.
With only eight teams, though, it will mean there’s slightly less going on in the League of Legends end of things, and while there’s also a BYOC tournament going on at the same time, the sheer amount of other things going on should mean that the MSI Beat It tournament stays the main focus of all things League of Legends at the tournament.
As for the rest, you can head on over to the Dreamhack website to check out what’s going on, and plan your weekend around exactly what you want to spectate and when. It’s probably about the time you should pick your teams, too, otherwise you won’t know who to cheer for when everything starts. Get your priorities straight, man.