Last February, Valve announced that the forthcoming Major League Gaming Major Championship in Columbus, Ohio would have a $1,000,000 prize pool.
With Counter Strike: Global Offensive fans already excited about the next Premier event in the calendar, this added bonus money certainly ramped up the excitement about this forthcoming event still further.
The event is taking place at two venues in the city of Columbus, the MLG Arena and the Nationwide Arena. The Group Stage will take place at the MLG Arena starting on the 29th March and will be closed to spectators, however the knockout phase of the competition will switch to the Nationwide Arena and will be open to spectators from 1st until the 3rd April.
The eight “Legends” that qualified for this event directly from their performances in the last Valve Major in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 2015 will take on eight teams that earned their place in the event through a number of qualifiers.
The Legends consist of the following teams: Team EnVyUs, Natus Vincere, FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Fnatic, Virtus.pro, Astralis and Luminosity Gaming.
While the challengers also consist of some instantly recognisable teams in:
- G2 Esports
- Gambit Gaming
- Flipsid3 Tactics
- Team Liquid
- Counter Logic Gaming
The 16 teams have been drawn into four groups of four for the group stage starting at the MLG Arena on the 29th March. Each team will play the other teams in its group once with the top two teams from each group qualifying, leaving us with the eight teams that will contest the knockout phase quarterfinals.
The Groups have been drawn as follows with two Legends and two Qualifier teams in each group:
- Group A – Ninjas in Pyjamas, Luminosity Gaming, mousesports, Flipsid3 Tactics
- Group B – FaZe Clan, Fnatic, Splyce, Team Liquid
- Group C – Team EnVyUs, Astralis, Gambit Gaming, Counter Logic Gaming
- Group D – Natus Vincere, Virtus.pro, G2 Esports, Cloud9
The playoffs are a straight knockout event with no second chances for teams in a losers bracket with the teams playing through the quarter finals, semi finals and final to decide the overall winner.
All of the eight teams that qualify for the playoff stages will also receive entry into the next Valve MLG Major event as one of the Legend teams, while those eliminated will have to try and qualify for that event, so the onus is very much on teams to at least reach the playoff stage in the event.
The winners will take home a huge $500,000 for winning the event, with the second place team earning $150,000 and the semi final losers each taking home $70,000.
When it comes to the bookmakers, they currently have Fnatic as the odds on favourites (8/11 with Bet365 Sport) to win the event with Natus Vincere the next best price at 9/2. Luminosity and Astralis are 7/1 shots, with Team EnVyUs a 10/1 shot and Ninjas in Pyjamas an 17/1 shot. The outsiders are Counter Logic Gaming at 250/1, Splyce at 800/1 and Gambit Gaming are huge 1000/1 outsiders.
This is a massive event for CS:GO fans and one of the biggest events of the season for CS:GO top level teams. Keep your eyes peeled throughout the week for additional betting offers and changes in odds as this competition continues.
EU & NA Qualifiers in LoL Spring Split revealed
With the Spring Split qualification phase coming to an end in the North American and European sections of the League of Legends Championship Series it is now crunch time for the teams that didn’t make it to the Spring Playoffs outright as the bottom three teams in each section enter the Summer Promotion.
In Europe, this event kicks off on the 24th March, but in the North American section, it starts on the 6th April.
In Europe, it is Giants Gaming, Splyce and Team ROCCAT from the LCS qualifying group that now face the task of holding on to their status in that group for the Summer Series.
They will be taking on Copenhagen Wolves and Huma that qualified from the Challenger division to earn a shot at a place at the top level of European League of Legends gaming.
Giants take on Copenhagen in the first elimination round on the 24th March before the winner progresses to take on Splyce. The other qualifying round game sees Huma take on ROCCAT with the two winners of these games qualifying for the LCS Summer season and the three teams that lose out being seeded in the lesser EUCS Summer Season.
This is a big deal for European League of Legends fans as it will define which teams make it through into the prestigious Summer Season, while potentially relegating teams that have enjoyed top level status until now.
This means that the makeup of the Spring Playoffs is now known in both Europe and North America. In Europe, Fnatic, G2 Esports, H2k-Gaming, Origen, Team Vitality and Unicorns of Love made it through.
The quarter finals will pit Team Vitality against Fnatic and Origen facing Unicorns of Love with the two winners facing the seeded pair of H2K and G2 Esports in the semi finals.
These matches will take place from the 2nd April until the 17th in the European section.
In North America, Cloud 9, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NEG eSports, Team Liquid and Team SoloMid made it into the playoffs and the format for the playoffs in the North American section is the same as in Europe.
Cloud 9 will face Team SoloMid and Liquid face NRG eSports in the quarterfinals before the winners progress to take on the two seeded teams Immortals and Counter Logic Gaming in the semi finals. These games will take place starting the 2nd April through until the 17th April in North America.
Remember though that while the European and North American qualifiers are now completed, there is still plenty of top Spring Split action across the League of Legends scene over the forthcoming weeks in the other qualifying tournaments.
Those still playing are taking place in Asia (Korea, China, Macao/Hong Kong/Taiwan) and in the International section in Brazil. The final race for places in the Spring Playoffs, plus the threat of the Summer Promotion for teams that didn’t finish in the top places in their chosen league, giving these games added edge.
And of course, you can also check our eSports betting odds tracker for up to date odds on matches across many eSports titles.