Top 6 games to watch this weekend in esports

by Brian Bencomo

Paris Eternal vs. San Francisco Shock -- Friday, 3 p.m. ET

Overwatch League Summer Showdown

As the defending champs and one of the strongest teams in the West Region, the Shock are always a team to watch. The Paris Eternal have been fairly average this season, but they started the Summer Showdown 2-0, including an impressive 3-2 reverse sweep of the Los Angeles Gladiators last weekend. With Nam-joo "Striker" Kwon announcing his retirement last week, the Shock will also be welcoming back Seonchang "ANS" Lee to their roster after a brief move to VALORANT. Fans are hoping to see the returning DPS player make his debut this weekend for San Francisco.

Read more: How the Overwatch League ensures competitive integrity with teams playing online

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Overwatch League schedule:

  • Friday: West division play starts at 3 p.m. ET
  • Saturday: East division play starts at 5 a.m. ET
  • Saturday: West division play starts at 3 p.m. ET
  • Sunday: East division play starts at 5 a.m. ET
  • Sunday: West division play starts at 3 p.m. ET

Sentinels vs. TBD -- Friday, 5 p.m. ET

VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 3 Challengers 1 open qualifier

On Friday we’ll get our first look at Sentinels after winning Masters: Reykjavík in May. They’re the best team in the world and they have superstar Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, so Sentinels’ matches are always appointment viewing. Like Version1, they’ll get the benefit of two bye rounds and will start in the Round of 32 for this Challengers open qualifier.

Looking at the bracket, they’ll face one of the following four teams: Evil Geniuses, Sewercats, Sum 2 Prove or LifeThruGaming. If they face Evil Geniuses, we’ll get a look at their revamped roster. Mike “Pho” Panza, Brandon “Branted” Ballard and Daniel “roca” Gustaferri were all announced this week. In a corresponding move, three players have been dropped from the roster, including Claudia “Clawdia” Che who played with CLG Red at Game Changers last weekend.

Read more: C9 White meL says team wanted to ‘make a statement’ with 3-0 Game Changers final

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VCT schedule:

  • Thursday: Starts at 5 p.m. ET
  • Friday: Starts at 5 p.m. ET
  • Saturday: Starts at 3 p.m. ET
  • Sunday: Starts at 3 p.m. ET

100 Thieves vs. Team Liquid -- Friday, 6 p.m. ET

League of Legends Championship Series

100 Thieves have been the best team in the LCS Summer Split so far. They’ll open up Week 5 against Team Liquid, a team that has been undergoing some changes recently. Head coach Joshua “Jatt” Leesman stepped down and Lucas “Santorin” Larsen is taking a break for health reasons. Since early in the split, the team has also been competing with Thomas “Jenkins” Tran in place of Barney “Alphari” Morris, who has been away to deal with personal issues. While Team Liquid have been sliding down the standings, 100 Thieves have risen to a tie with TSM atop the standings and are looking to solidify their position heading into the last few weeks of the regular season.

Read more: Winthrop University rises to the occasion in League of Legends

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LCS schedule:

  • Friday: Starts at 6 p.m. ET
  • Saturday: Starts at 5 p.m. ET
  • Sunday: Starts at 4 p.m. ET

Dallas Fuel vs. Atlanta Reign -- Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

Overwatch League Summer Showdown

This will be our first look at Dallas and Atlanta during the Summer Showdown since their return from Hawaii as West Region representatives in the June Joust Tournament. Dallas have proven themselves one of the best teams in the league overall, and Atlanta came on strong during the June Joust. They faced each other in the winners final of the June Joust, where Dallas won 3-1.

Read more: Overwatch League Power Rankings entering the Summer Showdown

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TBD vs. TBD -- Sunday, 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET

VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 3 Challengers 1 open qualifier

In the bottom half of the bracket, four of the qualifiers for next weekend’s closed event will be decided on Sunday. A Version1 vs. Luminosity Gaming matchup seems likely in one of the decider matches. LG was talented enough to qualify for Stage 1 Masters, and V1 will be without Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro, so V1 might not be a shoe-in for the closed qualifier. Cloud9 White are also in this quadrant, and fresh off their dominant VCT Game Changers victory, they’ll be riding some momentum into this tournament. If they beat LG in the Round of 64, it’s possible they end up matching up with V1. Complexity is another dark horse team to watch in this section of the bracket.

Andbox, Gen.G, Cloud9 Blue, Immortals and NRG are also in the lower half of the bracket and will be looking to qualify through to the closed event on Sunday. Immortals vs. NRG is likely to be one of the deciding matches.

Read more: Average Jonas explains value of co-streams for VALORANT

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Cloud9 vs. TSM -- Sunday, 6 p.m. ET

League of Legends Championship Series

TSM and Cloud9 have been going in opposite directions this summer. TSM are 9-3 and are tied with 100 Thieves for first place in the LCS -- both at 21-9. Meanwhile, Cloud9 have gotten off to a rocky start (6-6) after a dominant spring in which they won the LCS and went to Iceland to represent NA at the Mid-Season invitational. In a surprise move, the team benched star AD carry Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen early this split but then brought him back to their lineup last weekend. C9 are hoping to avoid what happened last year when they also had a dominant spring, only to fade in the summer.

Read more: State of the LCS: TSM atop the standings as other teams make roster swaps

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