The new year isn’t a week old, and we’ve already got esports action. From Jan. 4-7 in Washington D.C., the Captains Draft 4.0 steps into the limelight.
This event will be the ninth tournament in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) series, the new method by which teams earn qualification into The International. We’ve outlined the eight teams competing below, complete with their current DPC point totals.
- Evil Geniuses (Direct Invitation) – 765 points (5th)
- Team Secret (Direct Invitation) – 3690 points (1st)
- compLexity Gaming (N.A. Qualifier) – 135 points (=13th)
- paiN Gaming (S.A. Qualifier) – 0 Points
- OG (Europe Qualifier) – 540 Points (=7th)
- Team Empire (CIS Qualifier) – 0 Points
- Vici Gaming (China Qualifier) – 540 Points (=7th)
- Mineski (Southeast Asia Qualifier) – 720 Points (6th)
A cool $300,000 in prize money is up for grabs, as well as 300 total points. The winner claims 150 points, 90 to the runner-up, and 30 each to the third- and fourth-placed teams.
In traditional DPC format, two groups of four teams begin the group stage. Each game will be played over a best-of-one format.
After the first two games in each group, the two winning teams face each other. The winning team from that game earns the top spot in the group. After this, the two losing teams in the opening two matches play each other. The losing team in this game takes the bottom seed in the group.
Then, the two 1-1 teams play each other. The winner of that game claims the runners-up spot in the group. The loser takes the No. 3 seed.
The draw for the groups and the first two games in each group have already been decided. They are:
- Group A – Team Secret vs. Team Empire, Vici Gaming vs. Mineski
- Group B – OG vs. paiN Gaming, Evil Geniuses vs. compLexity Gaming
That said, the Captains Draft 4.0 boasts a few structural quirks. First, no teams are eliminated at the group stage, with each team’s final place in the group deciding their seeding for the playoffs.
The playoffs then progress from the quarterfinals as a straight knockout competition with each game at the quarter and semifinal stages a best-of-three match. The final gets a best-of-five format.
The draw for the quarterfinals pits the top seed in each group against the bottom seed from the other. The No. 2 seeds then play the No. 3 seeds from the opposing group.
Betway is offering odds on the outright winner of the Captains Draft 4.0.
- Team Secret – 13/10
- OG and Vici Gaming – 7/2
- Evil Geniuses and Mineski – 8/1
- compLexity Gaming – 10/1
- Team Empire – 30/1
- paiN Gaming – 66/1
Once the event starts at 16:00 UK Time on Jan. 4, Betway offers markets on every individual match.
Overwatch League ready for its inaugural season
Let’s continue our initial 2018 coverage by taking a look at one of the newer esports to come to the fore in recent years. Due to its massive success on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, Overwatch has become one of the fastest-growing esports titles in the world.
As such, the first-ever Overwatch League is ready to kick off 2018 in style. Jan. 10 marks the league’s first matches, with a guaranteed prize pool of $1.8 million to be won, including $300,000 for the eventual winning team.
Twelve teams will compete in this competition, split into an Atlantic Division and Pacific Division.
The two divisions comprise the following teams:
- Atlantic Division: Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, and Philadelphia Fusion
- Pacific Division: Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, and Shanghai Dragons
The regular season runs from Jan. 10 through June 16, and there are four separate stages throughout the season.
- Stage 1 – Jan. 10 to Feb. 10
- Stage 2 – Feb. 21 to March 24
- Stage 3 – April 4 to May 5
- Stage 4 – May 16 to June 16
At the end of the four stages, the top team in each division, plus the next four highest finishers in the league will qualify for the July playoffs.
Los Angeles’ Blizzard Arena is set to host regular season games Wednesday through Saturday each week. Performances in these games count toward teams’ season-long records and playoff seeding. In addition, the top teams in each stage compete on the final Saturday of that stage for a number of cash bonuses and the title of Stage Winner.
With support from HP and Intel, Overwatch League promises to be a massive esports development.