Jul 29 2016 - 5:55 pm

How to watch the ELEAGUE finals online: A viewer's guide

After a successful first season, and firmly establishing itself with the Counter-Strike community, Turner's debut season of ELEAGUE comes to a close this weekend
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.

After a successful first season, and firmly establishing itself with the Counter-Strike community, Turner's debut season of ELEAGUE comes to a close this weekend.

The lion's share of the $1.2 million prizepool will be handed out to the four remaining teams, after the ten week season saw 20 other teams fall by the wayside. The league is not only one of the largest prizepools given out in Counter-Strike, it's also the first time that CS:GO has been on television.

The finale is hotly anticipated by fans, and promises to be one of the biggest weekends in esports this year. If you haven't been keeping up with the season, allow us to get you up to date with everything you need to know.

When and where are the ELEAGUE finals taking place?

While the season has been played from Turner's custom-built studio in Atlanta, the finals week will be played from the Cobb Energy Center, a near-3,000 seat arena elsewhere in the city.

The two semifinals are set to start at 5pm and 10pm EDT respectively (2pm and 7pm PDT), with both matches using the best-of-three format.

The final takes place tomorrow from 4pm EDT (1pm PDT) with the two winning teams competing to lift the trophy.

Who is playing and how did they get here?

Over the past ten weeks, 24 teams have been fighting it out through a group stage. Each group of four teams played each other twice in best-of-ones to decide seeding for the bracket stage. The two final teams faced off on Friday nights on TBS, with the winners going through to the playoffs. After the quarterfinals, we were left with just four teams.

Fnatic are the favorites to win the whole thing, as the most decorated team left. Their semifinal will reignite their rivalry with Natus Vincere (Na`Vi) from the winter, which saw them meet in a number of major finals. These two teams would be the favorites against either of the other semifinalists.

In the second semifinal two underdogs will face off: veterans Virtus Pro, who have been together longer than any other lineup and still seem to pull off upsets, and mousesports who are banking on star player Nikola "NiKo" Kovač. NiKo is considered one of the best players in the world, but it's fair to say the rest of his team are not quite on his level.

With these four teams in the semifinals, we are guaranteed that the grand final will see a team with great pedigree face off against an enthralling underdog.

What's at stake?

First of all, the lion's share of the $1.2 million prizepool—more than half, to be specific. The winner will walk away with $390,000, almost $80,000 per player. The runner-up takes home $140,000, with the semifinalists claiming $60,000.

Prize money aside, it’s all about the prestige. Not only is it a first place trophy in a top tier competition—there will only ever be one first ELEAGUE champion. With season two already announced for the fall, the winning team will surely return to defend their title.

How can I follow the matches?

The bracket is available on the ELEAGUE website. You can also go back and see how each team did in the group and bracket stages, and all the teams they had to go through to get to this point.

How can I watch ELEAGUE?

All of the games will be streamed on Twitch and, for the first time ever, on Twitter. Fnatic and Na`Vi's semifinal will be streamed with the full studio production, anchored by Richard Lewis and the analyst desk.

For the second semifinal and the final on Saturday, the full production is only available on TBS or any local television partner. Don't worry if you still want to watch the game however—a game-only feed will be on Twitch and Twitter with the full overlay and the excellent casting of Anders Blume and Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat.

Jan 20 2017 - 9:49 pm

IEM Katowice’s CS:GO tournament is going to be awesome

The final two invites went out today, and the tournament's guaranteed to be exciting.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

The final two teams to be invited to one of the year's biggest events have been announced.

FaZe Clan and Danish soccer club FC Copenhagen's esports venture, North, will be attending IEM Katowice's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals from Mar. 1-5, ESL announced today. The teams, which showed impressive form towards the end of 2016 at multiple international LAN events, will be competing against some of the best teams in the world.

The two teams are also the last to receive invitations to the event, as four teams will be added after a series of online qualifiers. In total, three more European teams will be attending IEM Katowice, as well as one North American team. With an already-stacked ensemble of teams ready to attend, such as Brazil's SK Gaming, Polish hometown heroes Virtus Pro, and Denmark's top team Astralis, the four teams that will be advancing through the online qualifiers will be making an already-competitive event all the more fierce.

In October 2016, the current North roster, which was signed to Dignitas at the time, took home the $500,000 EPICENTER event in Moscow. Aside from being one of the biggest events of the year, it had all the top teams in the world in attendance. Since then, however, North has struggled to live up to the expectations placed upon them, and have recently fallen short at nearly all events they have attended since.

The opposite can be said about FaZe, since the team picked up former Astralis in-game leader Finn "Karrigan" Andersen. Since Karrigan's arrival, FaZe have had their best results since the team's inception, and have looked stronger at each event they have attended.

Taking place roughly one month after the ELEAGUE Major, which begins on Jan. 22, IEM Katowice will likely be the debut tournament of several new rosters—so make sure to keep an eye on what could be one of the biggest CS:GO events of the year.

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.