October 2021 esports viewers guide

by Brian Bencomo

October is shaping up to be the biggest month in esports this year so far. This month, the premier championship events in League of Legends and Dota 2 take place. The first North American regional championship in Wild Rift’s history will also take place and send one team to Wild Rift’s first-ever international tournament. In VALORANT, the final four teams to qualify for Champions will be determined. Another North American Game Changers tournament kicks off this month, and Rocket League’s RLCS returns near the end of the month. Here’s our guide to get you ready for a jam-packed month of esports.

VCT NA Game Changers Series 3

September 30 - October 3

The third North American Game Changers tournament of the year takes place this weekend with eight female VALORANT teams competing for a share of the $50,000 prize pool.

Read more: Meet the teams competing at VCT Game Changers North America Series 3

Cloud9 White have dominated the scene, winning the previous two iterations of the tournament, but CLG Red and Shopify Rebellion also have been nipping at their heels. The women’s VALORANT scene has seen a sharp increase of teams signed by orgs recently. VersionX’s roster, who competed in last weekend’s open qualifier but didn’t make the main event, got signed last week. On Wednesday, XSET announced they had signed the roster formerly known as NOTHING2LOSE and would be competing as XSET Female going forward, starting this weekend.

League of Legends World Championship

October 5 - November 6

The pinnacle of the League of Legends competitive season takes place this month, with 22 of the best teams in the world gathering in Reykjavík, Iceland. The setting will be familiar, since Riot Games held the Mid-Season Invitational in Reykjavík in May. The number of teams competing will be greater for Worlds, the stakes will be higher and the stage is bound to be grander as teams compete for League’s ultimate prize: the Summoner’s Cup.

Read more: Meet the teams that have qualified for League of Legends Worlds 2021

DWG KIA are the reigning world champions and among the favorites to win. They finished second at MSI to Royal Never Give Up, who will be one of four Chinese teams at Worlds. Prior to DWG KIA winning last year, a Chinese team had won each of the previous two world championships. One of those champions -- FunPlus Phoenix, who won it all in 2019 -- will also be in Reykjavík and is also among the favorites to win. They lost to EDward Gaming in the LPL summer finals, so EDG are another strong Chinese team at Worlds.

After missing Worlds last year, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and T1 are back and will be looking for their first championship since 2016. MAD Lions will be representing Europe as the top seed from their region. After a poor performance at last year’s world championship, the team rebounded for a top-four finish at MSI and look stronger than ever. North American teams 100 Thieves, Team Liquid and Cloud9 are not expected to go deep into the tournament, but getting out of groups would certainly be an improvement from last year. Among the smaller regions, PSG Talon from the PCS has underdog potential and is a team to watch out for.

The International 10

October 7 - 17

After last year’s event was postponed due to the pandemic, Dota 2’s premier event, The International, returns in October. This year, Dota 2 outdid themselves again and took the record as the biggest prize pool in esports history with prizes totaling over $40 million. The event takes place in Bucharest, Romania, and features 18 teams competing.

OG are back-to-back champions so they will be the team everyone wants to take down. Three of their five members on the active roster have been a part of the previous two championships. Their most recent addition, Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan, was part of the 2015 Evil Geniuses team that won The International. Another team to watch is PSG.LGD, who have won two Tier 1 Dota 2 events this year and finished second at another.

Wild Rift NA Summoner Series Finals

October 8 - 10

The first North American regional championship in Wild Rift’s short history takes place during the second weekend of October. Six of the eight teams have qualified, with another two qualifying via a last chance qualifier taking place this weekend.

Tribe Gaming NA, NME, Immortals, Cloud9, Sentinels and Grilled Cheese have all qualified. The eight teams will be able to compete in-person at Nerd Street’s Localhost facility in Denver, and the winner will represent North America at the Horizon Cup in November. The Horizon Cup will be the first international competition in Wild Rift history and is set to take place on LAN in Singapore.

VCT Last Chance Qualifiers

October 10 - 17

VALORANT Champions, the year-end VALORANT Champions Tour championship, takes place in December, with 12 of the 16 teams competing already qualified. The other four teams will be determined through regional last chance qualifiers taking place in October. The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) LCQ starts Oct. 10, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and South America LCQs both start Oct. 11 and the North America (including Oceania teams) LCQ starts Oct. 12. All four LCQs conclude Oct. 17.

In North America, 100 Thieves are the favorites along with XSET, FaZe Clan and Cloud9 Blue. In Europe, G2 Esports and Team Liquid headline the field, along with Turkish team SuperMassive Blaze. In Asia, NUTURN Gaming are the favorites and will have to beat other Korean teams as well as teams from Japan, Southeast Asia and one team from India, Global Esports. This will be the first time a South Asian team will compete against teams from another region. The South America LCQ will bring together teams from both Brazil and Latin America, including Sharks Esports, Havan Liberty, Australs and Six Karma.

RLCS 2021-22 Fall Regional Event 1

October 15 - 24

The next Rocket League season kicks off in October across all the regions in the RLCS. Starting this season, four new regions will compete in the RLCS for the first time ever: Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific North and Asia-Pacific South. This is in addition to the four regions fans are familiar with: North America, Europe, Oceania and South America. Four regions will hold their regional event the weekend of Oct. 15-17, and the other four regions will compete Oct. 22-24.

Two developments to note are that True Neutral, formerly competing in the South America region, will play in NA. They won their first major NA tournament this summer when they won the Nerd Street Summer Championship for Rocket League. On Sept. 29, Evil Geniuses announced they were going to field a Rocket League team. However, their roster has not yet been announced.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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